Leveraging Values Diversity: The Emergence and Implications of a Global Managerial Culture in Global Organizations


Management International Review. Volume 56, Issue 2, pp 227–254


The debate about divergence and convergence of managerial values has focused on the effect of macro-level influences on values. In contrast, little attention has been paid to micro-level influences, i.e., influences operating at the individual level. We therefore examine and identify micro-level influences on managerial values in global organizations and look at their impact at the group and organizational level. We start by reviewing the concepts of convergence and divergence as well as Ralston’s (e.g., 2008) notion of crossvergence. Subsequently, we identify examples in the literature where convergence has occurred for some groups of managers and not others. We argue that managers with similar values will cluster into global values and local values clusters with convergent and divergent values, respectively. We call this phenomenon groupvergence. Propositions are presented about the individual level causes of globalizing managerial values, relating it to exposure to other cultures as well as direct socialization into global values in a professional or a work setting, such as a global organization. The implications of the co-existence of global values and local values clusters in global organizations are examined, including the potential mediating boundary spanner role which members of global values clusters may play between global and local subgroups, groups and organizations. The analysis suggests that the presence of global values and local values clusters in global organizations can allow organizations to leverage value differences both inside and outside of their boundaries and can thus have a positive influence on organizational functioning and effectiveness.



Convergence, Divergence, Crossvergence, Groupvergence, Managerial values, Globalization & Global organizations