International and Cross-Cultural Management Studies: A Post-Colonial Reading By: Gavin Jack and Robert Westwood, Publisher: Palgrave MacMillan
13 April 2010
I am always weary of books with ‘international’ or ‘cross-cultural’ management studies in the title. Often a strong Westernised, typically Northern European lens is used to make sense of such terms. It was, therefore, refreshing to read Gavin Jack and Robert Westwood's book which takes us on a journey across the landscape of international and cross-cultural management studies (ICCM) from a post-colonial perspective. They expertly traverse the key ideas and taken-for-granted ways that Western and European colonialisation has framed how we make sense of 'culture', 'international' and 'management'. If we go beyond the ironically traditional and rational structure of the book imposed by a post colonialist publishing house (mainly so people will buy the book I suppose), we find an intriguing and engaging story. One that demonstrates how ICCM proffers an orthodoxy of culture management studies incognisant of its postcolonial ideologies, its institutionalisation, histories, strategisation and stories of resistance, engagement, adaptation and counter-resistance. Of course, a number of books that take a post-colonial perspective handle such elements adequately well. What differentiates Jack and Westwood is that they offer ideas for reframing ICCM that help break, or at least provide, an alternative reality to the dominant frame.
Tyrone S. Pitsis
Centre for Management and Organisation Studies
Robert Westwood is a Professor of Organisation Studies in the Faculty of Business’s School of Management and a core member of the Centre for Management and Organisation Studies.