Strategic analysis and culture : a necessary return to sources.
In Michel Crozier’s Le phénomène bureaucratique (The bureaucratic phenomenon), cultural context is said to play an essential role in organization functioning, but this idea has been largely discounted in strategic analysis, both in the theoretical texts and to an even greater degree in empirical strategy analyses. The main reason given for this position is that actors’ capacity to construct the rules that frame their actions, and the considerable variety of operation modes discernible within a single cultural context, are incompatible with cultural determinism. The article shows this argument to be based on a particular conception of culture as governing attitudes, behavior, and values, a conception that dominated in the social sciences a few decades ago but is increasingly less likely to be accredited today. A more exact way of apprehending culture, i.e., culture as semantic context, makes it possible to reconcile strategic and cultural types of analysis.