Face, Harmony, and Social Structure: An Analysis of Organizational Behavior Across Cultures

Hardcover | August 1, 1997

byP. Christopher Earley

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Face, Harmony, and Social Structure continues author P. Christopher Earley's investigations of the differences among people within organizations in different cultures. The concept of "face," as set forth by Earley, is a reflection of the individual's struggle for self-definition andunderstanding, of which a key component is a positioning of self relative to others is a social setting. Face is at the heart of social behavior and provides a consistent linking mechanism to understand behavior across cultures. Earley uses this concept of face as a basis for examination of cross-cultural organizational behavior from an individual's personal perspective. In this work, he develops a mid-range theory of individual behavior, self-concept, and interpersonal process in an effort to explain cultural differencesin organizational settings. He sets up a cross-level model, and then attempts to provide a single coherent force--"face"--as an engine driving the entire system that can be used to integrate various social and organizational mechanisms in predicting people's behavior. This understanding of how andwhy people behave certain ways is a critical tool for studying the impact of individual behavior on the functioning of organizations. Earley's work represents a new theory of self-presentation and face within a cross-cultural context, integrating a cross-level approach ranging from the individual to the organization and to the societal levels of discussion. Face, Harmony, and Social Structure is a truly interdisciplinary workthat brings elements of psychology, sociology, and anthropology to organizational studies. It will be illuminating reading for professionals and scholars of management and organizational behavior, as well as to academics in cross-cultural psychology and anthropology.

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Face, Harmony, and Social Structure continues author P. Christopher Earley's investigations of the differences among people within organizations in different cultures. The concept of "face," as set forth by Earley, is a reflection of the individual's struggle for self-definition andunderstanding, of which a key component is a positioni...

P. Christopher Earley is Professor of Organization Behavior at the London Business School. He is the author of five books and numerous articles and book chapters, and his most recent publications include Culture, Self-Identity, and Work (Oxford University Press 1993) and The Transplanted Executive: Managing in Different Cultures (Oxfo...

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Format:HardcoverDimensions:256 pages, 9.29 × 6.18 × 0.91 inPublished:August 1, 1997Publisher:Oxford University Press

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0195110072

ISBN - 13:9780195110074

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Table of Contents

1. Introduction and Overview2. General Framework and Model3. Face and Social Context4. Mianzi as a Form of Face5. Lian as a Form of Face6. The Social Actor7. Harmony and Face8. Societal Context9. Organizational Context and Content10. Resulting Patterns and Consequences11. Conclusions and Research AgendaReferencesIndex

Editorial Reviews

"This book presents an original theory that links the concept of face to interpersonal behavior and macro variables, such as aspects of institutions and culture. The concept of face is universal but is manifested in culturally specific ways. It is examined in two chapters using the Chineseconcepts of lian (evaluations by self and others concerning a person's adherence to rules of conduct) and mianzi (evaluation by self and others of the position of the self within a social structure). A creative integration of differential emphases on lian and mianzi in different kinds of cultures issupported by a broad literature on organizational behavior. An insightful examination of organizational behavior in the Czech Republic, India, Sweden, and the United States leads to suggestions for further research that uses this new theory."--Harry C. Triandis, University of Illinois