Global Strategy Requires a Meeting of Minds
Bridging Western vs. Eastern Thinking
Kase, Kimio; Slocum, Alesia; Zhang, Yingying
Date: Fourth Quarter 2011
Tags: East, West, thinking, mind-set, inductive
The growing prominence of Asian economies on the world stage has done more than shake up the old economic order. As the world economy becomes increasingly globalized, new challenges are being thrown up by cross-cultural business interactions between East and West. In our book, Asian Versus Western Management Thinking: Its Culture-Bound Nature, we review various research perspectives, from cross-cultural management to cognitive psychology. We carried out case studies on Asian and Western managers, and conducted a further study of Asians and Westerners into how they make business decisions. We find two very different approaches to thinking and acting, based on different philosophies, foundations of reason and culture. We term these different ways of thinking “inductive” and “deductive,” and argue that these two approaches, when understood, can be used to broaden and deepen a manager’s toolbox, allowing greater strategic ability.
Tools and Frameworks:
> “Two World Views” highlights the ancient roots that condition how Eastern and Western business leaders think and act today.
> “Cultural Chameleon” proposes that managers can embrace elements from both inductive and deductive thinking to create better strategic and managerial solutions.
Liu Chuanzhi, Lenovo, Huawei, Ren Zhengfei, Dr. Beat Richner, Kantha Bopha hospitals, Santander, Emilio Botín, Toshiba, Atsutoshi Nishida, Stan Shih, Acer, Virgin Group, Richard Branson
The authors compiled in-depth case studies on Asian and Western management styles, and surveyed Asians and Westerners on their different cognitive approaches.
About the Authors:
Kimio Kase teaches strategic management at IESE Business School.
Alesia Slocum is a professor of management and marketing at the Madrid campus of Saint Louis University.
Yingying Zhang is a professor at CUNEF (Colegio Universitario de Estudios Financieros).