National – Corporate Culture Tension

One of the intriguing things that some theorists have noticed is that there is a tension between corporate and national culture. In societies where there tends to greater democratic openness and loose speech attitudes at the national level, the biggest and richest corporations tend to have tight internal rules about expression and behaviour, with heavily centralised systems for reporting and control. In societies where, on the other hand, national culture tend to emphasise rigid and authoritarian control, companies are often poorly organised internally, wracked by unionised activity, crude top-down power plays, weak accounting, and loose behaviour patterns. It seems as if to create open and free societies one needs institutional building blocks of high discipline, self-restraint and capacity for diligence, and that corporations are the breeding grounds of these values in richer, economically advanced, societies.

—- Loosely paraphrasing the seminal works of Chandler, Lazonick, et al.

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