Cultural Dimensions of Decision Making: Denmark and France Compared

Jette Schramm-Nielsen

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    In spite of decades of focus on decision making and decades of research on cross‐cultural management, few authors have devoted attention to the combination of decision making and specific cultural settings. The focus of this paper is the decision‐making processes in French and Danish companies. Results from empirical data indicate that there are clear differences in the ways decisions are arrived at in terms of how managers emphasize different phases of the decision‐making process. The analysis also shows what happens when different stages become the responsibility of people in different roles within the organisation. In the analysis, the importance of decision rationality is discussed, and the different cultural styles are linked to the classical theories in decision making such as economic man, administrative man, and muddling through. Since these are found inadequate to characterize French and Danish actual behaviour, new models are suggested under the labels of emotional man and action man.
    Original languageEnglish
    JournalJournal of Managerial Psychology
    Issue number6
    Pages (from-to)404-423
    Number of pages20
    Publication statusPublished - 2001

    Bibliographical note

    An earlier version of this article has been printed in Revue Française de Gestion, No. 128, March‐April‐May 2000, under the title “Dimensions culturelles des prises de décision. Une comparaison France‐Danemark”.


    • Decision making
    • National cultures
    • Denmark
    • France
    • Differentiation
    • Rationalization

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