Presentation Details

The Fourth International Conference on Knowledge, Culture and Change in Organisations

Economic Culture of Business Organizations

Dajin Peng.

Culture has had major impact on the business organization of all the nations in the world. However, until today, few studies have been done concerning the cultural aspects of business organization and their impact on national economic performance. Conventional theories of international relations have almost ignored the rich studies of business organizations. On the other hand, theories of business organization tend to be too much micro-focused and have made few endeavors to explore the impact of business organizations on national economic performance.
I try to bridge this gap by incorporating the rich research of business organization into the study of international political economy on national economic strategy and performance. Culture serves as a very useful tool in constructing such a bridge since culture is often closely related to a broad national background while it is reflected in many micro-aspects of business organization. I argue that under globalization, with almost all the nations adopting the market approach, national cultural differences have become a key factor in shaping the business organizations and therefore in forming different competitive advantages. That is why the Anglo-Saxons tend to develop stock-holding companies and ethnic Chinese are inclined to develop networked family firms. The tightly organized hierarchical Japanese business system excel in capital-intensive mass production and geographically- clustered Italian small firms do well in fine clothing industries. My paper will provide a systematic study of how cultural traits and their changes affect the organizational features of major businesses in East Asia, Western Europe and North America. The knowledge and information industries will receive great attention, given their key role in today's global economy. Hopefully this study will trigger more research on this very important dimension of international business and economy.


Dajin Peng  (United States)
Associate Professor
Department of Government and International Affairs
The University of South Florida

I got my Ph.D. in Public Affairs from Princeton University in 1995. I also researched as a post-doctorate fellow at Wseda University in Tokyo in 1997 and 1998, thanks to a Social Science Research Council fellowship. I have published in prestigious journals such as International Studies Quarterly, Political Science Quarterly, Pacific Affairs, etc.

  • economic culture
  • business organization
  • Economic performance
  • business networks
  • informal institutions

(30 min. Conference Paper, English)