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Australian and Canadian managerial values: a review

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Purpose ‐ Although Australia and English Canada share common British colonial origins, they have not evolved into identical cultures. This is likely because they do not share an identical pattern of cultural values. Research has shown that, while common values certainly exist, each nation's dominant values are neither identical for all values nor are specific common values necessarily shared to the same degree. The purpose of this paper is to compare and contrast seven key values studies and considers their managerial implications. Design/methodology/approach ‐ This review of comparative values studies helps identify, through analysis and comparison with other cultures, subtle differences between Australian and Canadian cultural values. Findings ‐ Distinct Australian and Canadian value profiles emerge when each culture is contrasted with other, especially Anglo-based, cultures. However, the studies in this review do not explore in great detail how such values became prominent cultural markers. This review therefore suggests that the impact of Anglo-Celtic immigrants during each nation's formative periods may be a primary underlying cause that deserves further study. Research limitations/implications ‐ The studies rely on various value scales to identify cultural similarities and differences. Such studies are cross-sectional and do not analyze the results from a longitudinal or historical perspective. Nonetheless, reviewing these values studies contributes to the understanding of contemporary Australia, English Canada, and their respective managerial cultures. This review does not examine French Canadian values studies because of this analysis' focus on Anglo cultures to determine distinctions among dominant values and to suggest reasons for differences among those sharing a common British colonial heritage. Practical implications ‐ This review informs practicing managers in Australia, Canada, and others considering entering these cultures, which values haven proven culturally important and how local values could impact managerial decision-making behavior. Originality/value ‐ Given a lack of research directly comparing Australian and Canadian cultural and/or managerial values, this review of significant comparative values studies helps identify distinctions worthy of further investigation. The critical discussion considers limitations of the current literature, as well as areas for future research that include ethno-cultural factors in organizational research that are important for domestic enterprises and multinational corporations entering each market.

Keywords: Australia; Canada; Cross-cultural management; Culture; National cultures; Social values

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: 2009-05-20

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