Convergence of Attitudes in Different Cultures Towards the Budgeting Process

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Working Paper

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budgeting, managerial economics


Globalization, advancement in information technology, and gyrations of national economies has required managers to pursue the appropriate management practices as to ensure the survival of their corporations. Although national cultures have formed the backbones of management practices, cultural diversity has taken a backseat to managers' ambition to advance in an organization (Fish, 1999). Studies see convergence in business approach, organization design, and management norms (Adler, 1997; Vertinsky et al., 1990). This is an empirical study that utilizes a particular management practice - the building of budgetary slack during the budget setting process - to discern between different approaches adopted by managers from different cultures. It is proposed that despite cultural differences, management practices tend to converge in the face of globalization and advancement in information technology. The study is made up of two parts: the first compares the different managerial behaviors of the US and the Japanese managers during the budget setting process. It is suggested that the cultural differences between these countries prompted managers to adopt different business approaches (Franke, et al., 1991 and Dunk & Perera, 1997). The second part of the study suggests that with the passage of time and the changes in the business environments, management practices in different cultures would converge.

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