The Doctrine for Cultural Engines in Intercultural Management Training

Key words: culture, ethnocentrism, cultural value models, cultural forces, cultural intelligence, instructional psychology



Cultural engines represent a body of knowledge on the forces of any given cultural group that has been revealed exclusively following the application of the following criteria and must meet each and every one of them.

  • Only the members of a given cultural group can identify them. The construction must respect Lévi-Strauss’s argument that it is impossible that someone from a culture place a true judgment on someone from another culture and follow an EMIC posture.

  • It must be a shared agreement among the members of a given cultural group.

  • 7+/–2 members of a cultural group identify them at least, and the cultural engines must be identified by a group of various people from the given culture.

  • They are composed of 7+/–2 elements of nominal data. There is a need to focus on the essentials and to seek the manageable set of common denominators that reflect the forces of a given cultural group.

  • The cultural engines are acknowledged by the members of the given cultural group and are viewed as supporting many behaviors. (The members of the given cultural group designing their cultural engines should express confidence that these forces can be found in the many walks of their culture. In addition, this should help seek reliability.)

  • They are considered by the members of the cultural group as a combination of critical forces that are essential to the cultural group. This point focuses on the validity of the findings.

  • The members of the cultural group consider them as a positive formulation of their strengths. The cultural group members should be pleased with their findings and express confidence when sharing them with people from other cultural groups.


Cultural engines are disruptive to the academic perspective because they bring an additional emic-static perspective to the numerous cultural value models developed after static-dynamic etic modes and cross-cultural communications models and mimicry developed after the dynamic–emic perspective.

Cultural engines are disruptive to international business and intercultural management teaching because they bring a new dimension into the discussion of the often implicit forces of cultures and the differing impact on the often implicit approach cultural members adopt in their interactions with people from other cultures.

I believe empirically that cultural engines help address the issue of ethnocentrism in intercultural management training and intercultural interactions, in general, and I think this is the critical performance issue in the intercultural management interactions in international business contexts.

Cultural engines bring a new dimension to the appreciation of the continuum in the value-beliefs-attitude-behavior. They represent shared implicit beliefs on the forces of a given cultural group exclusively determined by the given cultural group. In a business context, the cultural engines provide relevant additional knowledge to better understand and anticipate cultural behaviors and ways of thinking from members of other cultural groups and, therefore, enable to better prepare business persons to adjust to various dominant cultural approaches.

My idea to disrupt with cultural engines is to bring a complementary stand-alone methodology, body of knowledge, and learning activity for sensing intercultural forces from any given cultural group and working towards adjusting behaviors to build mutually intercultural beneficial relationships. This would provide an additional means to enhance understanding on the complexities of cultures and adjust behaviors for optimal performance. Twenty years of empirical experience by teaching intercultural management sessions and a doctoral thesis on the subject have brought a solid case for cultural engines.

I believe academics and businesses should join hands to research and appreciate at what levels cultural engines impact intercultural effectiveness and international people’s performance, address the issue of ethnocentrism, and expand the scope of research to all countries in the world as the cultural engine research has focused so far on only the 75 dominant economic countries.


Further research questions

Assessing the impact of cultural engines on ethnocentrism?

Exploring the cultural engines of all other world countries?

Applying grounded theory to cultural engines findings?


Frank Rouault, DBA +33 (0)6 08 71 72 34 Paris, France



Argyris, C. (2002). Double-loop learning, teaching and research. Academy of Management Learning and Education, 1(2), 206–218.

Baba, M. L. (1986). Business and industrial anthropology: An overview. NAPA Bulletin, 2(1), 1–46.

Bandura, A. (1969). Social-learning theory of identificatory processes. In D. A. Goslin (Ed.), Handbook of socialization theory and research (pp. 213–262).Chicago, IL: Rand McNally.

Bandura, A. (1977). Social learning theory. Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice-Hall.

Bennett, M. J. (2004). Becoming interculturally competent. In J. Wurzel (Ed.), Toward multiculturalism: A reader in multicultural education (2nd ed., pp. 62–77). Newton, MA: Intercultural Resource Corporation.

Berne, E. (1971). Transactional analysis in psychotherapy. Paris, France: Payot.

Bird, A. & Osland, J. (2004). Global competencies: An introduction. In H. Lane, M. Maznevksi, M. E. Mendenhall, & J. McNett (Eds.), Handbook for global managers (pp. 57–80). London: Blackwell.

Bjerregaard, T., Lauring, J., & Klitmøller, A. (2009). A critical analysis of intercultural communication research in cross-cultural management: Introducing newer developments in anthropology. Critical Perspectives on International Business, 5(3), 207–228.

Black, J. S., & Mendenhall, M. (1990). Cross-cultural training effectiveness: A review and a theoretical framework for future research. Academy of Management Review, 15(1), 113–136.

Bouvier, P. F. (1982). An argument for anthropology in management education. Academy of Management Proceedings, (pp. 90–94). doi: 10.5465/AMBPP.1982.4976450

Chen, Y. R. (2009). Bringing national culture to the table: Making a difference with cross-cultural differences and perspectives. Academy of Management, 3(1), 217–249.

D'Andrade, R. G. (1987). A folk model of the mind. In D. Holland & N. Quinn (Eds.), Cultural models in language and thought (pp.112–148). London: Cambridge University Press.

Earley, P. C. (2006). Leading cultural research in the future: A matter of paradigms and taste. Journal of International Business Studies, 37(6), 992–931.

Gagné, R. M., & Dick, W. (1983). Instructional psychology. Annual Review of Psychology, 34, 261–295.

Gagné, R. M., & Rohwer, W. D. (1969). Instructional psychology. Annual Review of Psychology, 20, 381–418.

Geertz, C. (1973). The interpretation of cultures. New York, NY: Basic Books.

Glaser, B. G. (2010). The future of grounded theory. The Grounded Theory Review, 9(2), 1–14.

Glaser, B. G., & Strauss, A. L. (1967). The discovery of grounded theory: Strategies for qualitative research. New York, NY: Aldine.

Hammond, J., & Morrison, J. (1996). The stuff Americans are made of: The seven cultural forces that define Americans—A new framework for quality, productivity, and profitability. New York, NY: Macmillan.

Kirkpatrick, D. L. (1998). Evaluating training programs: The four levels (2nd ed., pp. 48–49). San Francisco, CA: Berrett-Koehler.

Kluckhohn, C., & Strodbeck, A. (1961). Variations in value orientations. Evanston, IL: Row, Peterson.

Knowles, M. S. and Associates. (1984). Andragogy in action: Applying modern principles of adult learning. San Francisco, CA: Josey-Bass.

Kohn, R.L., Brussow, H. L. (1995) Training know-how for cross-cultural and diversity trainers. Intercultural Press.

Kroeber, A. L., & Kluckhohn, C. (1952). Culture: A critical review of concepts and definitions. [Monograph]. Papers of the Peabody Museum of American Archaeology and Ethnology, Harvard University, 47(1).

Leung, K., Bhagat, R. S., Buchan, N. R., Erez, M., & Gibson, C. B. (2005). Advances in culture and international business perspective. Journal of International Business Studies, 36, 357–378.

Lévi-Strauss, C. (1952). Race et histoire [Race and history] (p. 51). Unesco Collection Folio essai: 1987. Paris, France: Editions Flammarion.

Lévi-Strauss, C. (1966). The savage mind. Chicago, IL: University of Chicago.

Miller, G. A. (1956). The magical number 7, plus or minus two. Retrieved from

Miller, G. A. (1956). The magical number seven, plus or minus two: Some limits on our capacity for processing information. The Psychological Review, 63(2), Winter1999, 81–97.

Neuliep, J. W. (2012). The relationship among intercultural communication apprehension, ethnocentrism, uncertainty reduction, and communication satisfaction during initial intercultural interaction: An extension of anxiety and uncertainty management (AUM) theory. Journal of Intercultural Communication Research, 41(1), 1–16.

Neuliep, J. W., & McCroskey, J. C. (1977). The development t of a U.S. and generalized ethnocentrism scale. Communication Research Reports, 14(4), 385–398.

Pareto, V. (1896). Essai sur la courbe de la répartition de la richesses [Test on the distribution curve of the wealth]. In Recueil publié par la faculté de droit à l’occasion de l’exposition nationale suisse [Reports published by the Faculty of Law in conjunction with the Swiss national exhibition]. Geneva, Switzerland: Université de Lausanne.

Pike, K. L. (1954). Language in relation to a unified theory of structure of human behavior. (2nd ed.). The Hague, NL: Mouton.

Pike, K. L. (1967). Language in relation to a unified theory of structure of human behavior (2nd revised ed.). The Hague, NL: Mouton.

Rapaille, C. (2001). Advance praise for 7 secrets of marketing. Provo, UT: Executive Excellence.

Rapaille, C. (2006). The culture code: An ingenious way to understand why people around the world buy and live as they do. New York, NY: Doubleday Broadway Publishing Group.

Tung, R. L. (2008).The cross-cultural research imperative: the need to balance cross-national and intra-national diversity. Journal of International Business Studies, 39(1), 41–46.

Van Marrewijk, A. (2010). European developments in business anthropology. International Journal of Business Anthropology, 1(1), 26–44.

Van Rij, J. B. (1996–1997). Trends, symbols, and brand power in global markets: The business anthropology approach. Strategy & Leadership, 24(6), 19–24.

Varner I. I. (2001). Teaching intercultural management communication: Where are we? Where do we go? Business Communication Quarterly, 64(1), 99–111.

Laisser un commentaire

Votre adresse de messagerie ne sera pas publiée. Les champs obligatoires sont indiqués avec *