DOI 10.14707/ajbr.200081

Social Practice within Strategy Communication Process: Power Distance Tension among Top and Middle Managers

DOI 10.14707/ajbr.200081

Jarrah Al Mansour
AOU Business School, Arab Open University, Kuwait.

Demola Obembe
Leicester Castle Business School, De Montfort University, United Kingdom.

Abstract

We examine the role of power distance in regulating strategy communication practice among top and middle managers from a social practice perspective. We argue that power distance cannot be treated as a material factor that can be controlled and easily measured beyond organisation boundaries; rather, it is a cultural accumulation of social interactions between organisational members. Based on a single case study with 27 interviews drawn from a Kuwaiti public sector organisation, we found that strengthening communication practices among organisational members and aligning individual- and group-level cognition, are key drivers for successful communication of strategy in public sector organisations. Furthermore, we found that in a high-power distance culture, more powerful individuals are inclined to make autocratic decisions. Equally, organisations with high power distance cultures are prone to deliberate mismanagement and high cultural tension. Our research contributes to the culture literature by exploring the under-researched subject of power distance and the cognitive understanding of social practice.

Keywords:Power Distance, Strategy Process, Social Practice, Top and Middle Managers, Strategy Communication

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