Changes in authority relations when moving between more and less authoritarian cultures: The impact of Anglo-American education and return home

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Abstract

By analysing the experience of Cypriot workers who studied and worked in Britain and the United States and then returned to Cyprus to work, it is argued in this article that the time abroad contributes to making their authority relations' conceptions less authoritarian. On return home, many of the individuals who studied abroad wish to retain the newly acquired elements in their attitudes and behaviour, but even though they seem able to influence workers around them, especially subordinates, to act in a less authoritarian manner, they find that they have to adjust, at least to an extent, to local norms, particularly when other co-workers did not go through a similar educational experience. These findings suggest that an experience in a less authoritarian society compared to the home culture tends to shift authority relations norms to the less authoritarian but adjustment is likely needed on return home. Implications for managerial practice are briefly discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)173-193
Number of pages21
JournalInternational Journal of Cross Cultural Management
Volume14
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 13 Aug 2014

Keywords

  • Acculturation
  • Anglo-Saxon education
  • authority relations
  • change
  • Cyprus

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