Journal of Business Ethics

, Volume 91, Issue 3, pp 319–327 | Cite as

The Political Dimension: Added Value for Cross-Cultural Analysis. Nozawa and Smits, Two CEOs and Their Public Statements

  • Robert van Es
  • Thomas Pels


Work-related cultural differences, which were familiarized by scholars such as Hall and Hofstede, offer important concepts to help us understand various forms of cooperation and communication. However, the predominant focus of cultural analysis on collectivistic harmony prevents us from gaining an understanding of strategy and conflict. In an attempt to grasp how conflicts are handled, a political analysis can provide new insights. This is illustrated by a comparative study of two CEOs who gave public statements concerning management failure: Shouhei Nozawa of Yamaichi and Paul Smits of KPN. Their statements were strikingly different in several ways, but the classical insights of cross-cultural analysis can only partly explain the differences. This is where political analysis comes in, focusing on interest relationships, responsibilities and virtues, tactics and strategy.


cultural differences political analysis public statements responsibility makoto spijt CEO Nozawa Yamaichi Smits KPN 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.University of AmsterdamAmsterdamThe Netherlands

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