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Comparative Management

Comparative management analyzes the extent to which management principles are applicable from one country to another. Since the leader in the development of management principles is the United States, comparative management seeks to determine the applicability of American know-how to foreign locales. Although the concept of comparative management evolved in the late sixties, it continues to be the subject of considerable debate.

Part of the debate that surrounds the study of comparative management addresses the issue of whether management is an art or a science. The application of scientific principles knows no boundaries. For instance, the rules of structural mechanics and architecture apply regardless of the location of the building to be constructed. Those who argue in favor of management as a science contend that there are certain fundamentals of the discipline that are applicable for practitioners under a variety of circumstances. In other words, the universality of management science allows it to be transferred from one locale to another. Management is universal because it is critical to the successful operation of an organization. The "universalist" school of management theory believes that certain management principles are fundamental and can be transferred to any organized form of human activity.

In contrast to the universalists are those who believe that management practice is culture bound. Cultural differences in various countries exert a significant effect on the successful application of management principles. The fundamentals of management that apply to a developed culture like the United States might not apply to a less highly developed culture like Brazil, for instance. Management practice is even further culture bound to the extent that its transferability might be problematic within institutions other than business (e.g., education and government) in the same national culture. However, e...

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Comparative Management. (1969, December 31). In Retrieved 11:31, February 21, 2017, from