Symbolic and Instrumental Approaches

Can you describe what goes on when someone uses a definition of culture anti-conceptually? Can you give an example from our reading?

Using an anti-concept definition of culture creates an ambiguity. Cultural analysis should be guessing at meaning, assessing the guesses, and drawing explanatory conclusions from the better theories; not discovering the mountains of definition. An-anti concept of culture lies on the belief that culture is power, which is perhaps a false assortment. Culture is a context in through which we understand civilization, clans, and human behavior; what they live through, the formulae they use to define what happens to them Using an anti-concept of culture makes a delusional perception of one’s mind characteristics, personality, cognitive structure, or whatever. One assumes that it works the same among them as it does among us, as lack of familiarity with the imaginative universe within which their acts are signed. As Wittgenstein said, “one human being can be a complete enigma to another, without understanding the mastery of their language, their people, and if one does not know that then he cannot see his feet with them.” Entities tend to get blurred when an anti-concept of culture is defined. Culture is formed from psychological structures through which groups and individuals guide their behavior. One has to believe in operating in a manner acceptable to its members. A social code exists in every culture, and an anti-concept refracts that code.

This concept is best explained by Ryle, on his discussion of “Thinking of thoughts.”  He explains that two boys are sitting, facing each other. Both of them are contracting the eyelids of their right eyes. In one, this is an involuntary twitch, in the other, a conspiratorial signal to a friend. The two movements are identical, and one could not tell which one was twitch and which one was a wink of if both were twitching or if both were wink. The winker is communicating uniquely, imparting a particular message. As Ryle points out, the winker has done two things contracted his eyelids and winked, while the twitcher has done only one thing, pledged his eyelid. Recruiting your eyelid on purpose when there is a public code which so doing is count as winking. Now, suppose there is a third boy who parodies the first boy’s wink. He does it identically the same way as the other two; but this boy is nor winking nor twitching, he is parodying someone else. Here, too, a social code exists and also a message. If the other think he is winking or twitching, this whole project misfires completely. Even we can go further by saying that he not winking, nor twitching nor parodying he is rehearsing; he has been doing practice with a mirror in the past. From this is affirmed that culture public because meaning is. You cannot wink without knowing what counts as a wink or how to contract your eyelids. Knowing how to wink is(Geertz, 1973)

Can you describe two different operationalization of culture and explain the benefits and limitations of those approaches?

National culture is more distinguishable to foreigners than to the nationals themselves. When we live within a country, we do not discover what we have in common our citizens, we only know what makes us different from them.

Management and organizations are culturally dependent because managing and organizing involve manipulating symbols which have meaning to the people who are managing and managed. Many organizations have adopted foreign management techniques into their culture; this happened in Japan, where mainly U.S. management theories were taken over but in an adapted form. This adaptation led to entirely new ways of practice which in the Japanese case were highly successful. One example is the Quality Control Circle. The Quality Control Circle has been so useful in Japan that now the Americans are bringing it back to the U.S. Still, it isn’t very certain whether most of its present U.S. protagonists realize the role that Japanese educational and social conditions play in the ability of Japanese workers to function effectively in a Quality Control Circle. Not all other countries have been as fortunate as Japan in that a successful adaptation of American management theories and practices could take place. In Europe but even more often in Third World countries, foreign management methods and ideas were indiscriminately imported as a part of “technology transfer.” The evident failure of much of the international development assistance of the 60s and 70s is at least partly due to this lack of cultural sensitivity in the transfer of management ideas. It has caused enormous economic losses and human suffering. Most present-day management theories are “ethnocentric,” that is, they take the cultural environment of the theorist for granted. What we need is more cultural sensitivity in management theories; we could call the result of organizational anthropology or management anthropology. Is unlikely to be the product of one single country’s intellectual effort; it needs by definition a synergy between ideas from different sources. The convergence of management will never come. What we can bring about is an understanding of how the culture in which we grew up and which is dear to us affects our thinking differently from other peoples’ thinking, and what this means for the transfer of management practices andtheories(Hofstede, 1983)

Numeracy, Accounting, and Power

Can you explain why control over numbers, numeracy, and abstraction leads to concentrations of social power?

The control over numeracy and accuracy leads to social power; this was practices by the organization of tobacco in Spain. They used disciplinary cost accounting practices in the RTF, which was linked to the state’s recognition of the importance of tobacco revenue to the treasury and also the RTF was recognized as the symbol industrial prestige. It was noted that the cost accounting practices provided information and techniques that contributed to the promotion of strict work discipline, which helped in the reduction of theft and also culminated in minimizing the cost of production. The cost accounting system used the expected cost of direct labor and material consumption for those parts of the production process that were not susceptible to adequate supervision. They also provided calculations of various expenses. This practice tended to single out the controllable elements of value. Actual production cost was mainly used in experiments seeking to improve production and particular tasks. The quantification of human effort and skill, through the development of different measures – like rate and mix of utilization – which creates a new potential for the those at the top hierarchy to engage in a position of power and management. With these measures, they can compare, differentiate, hierarchize, normalize, and homogenize individuals. They can even isolate and dismiss individuals. Hence, disciplinary power is an exercise through itsindivisibility (Fernando, n.d.)

Can you narrate different cases of attitudes towards accounting in a business or among a group of people?

The two types of ERM model can best explain two different attitudes towards accounting in business; one driven by the shareholder value imperative and the other corresponding to the demand of the risk-based internal control essential. The shareholders’ value imperative drives a particular model of ERM in which risk management is a fundamental feature. It is ERM by the numbers. It is contingent on a vision of uniting and controlling risk & return. This model requires the quantification of risk silos and risk capital need of business. The essential significance of this model is derived through strategic planning and performance management. It is diagnostic. It corresponds to risk management in strategy setting with planning control and using it to manage risk within the company’s risk appetite.

However, the risk-based control imperative is prominent with holistic risk management. It focuses on qualitative assessment; risk management exercises are flexible, allowing the negotiations of risk limits when the business requires it. It is keen to acquire business insights to present an opinion on risk issues that are beyond quantifiable risk-framework. It is interactive. It corresponds more directly to the design requirement that risk should be appliedto (Mikes, 2009)

Can you explain what consequences those attitudes towards accounting have for the actions of the given business or group of people?

Under the definition of operational risk, one finds both quantifiable and non-quantifiable risk. Therefore, businesses need to apply a set of operational risks that are relevant to them. Companies will likely pick issues for entrance into the remit of the executive risk controller. Based on the difference between the two approaches, businesses could expect that with time the management of operational risk will take separate routes, depending on the ERM model they’re adopting. Moreover, further studies on the dynamic of risk management are vital to confirm the validity of each attitude. The study suggested that the interface between accounting and risk-management is riddled with tensions. The quantitative risk approach allowed risk managers to address the problem of risk aggregation, which allowed the risk specialists to examine the risk profile of the institution, set limits, and do the same for separate business units.

The ideal of risk-based management required risk managers to focus on quantifiable risks. Their commitment to a calculative culture of managing risk by the numbers resulted in a boundary around their remit that prevented them from gaining access to the framing of non-quantifiable risk issues. The ideal of holistic risk management was frustrated; hence the paradox of resolving the challenges of risk computation; by doing so, the risk function’s limit became confined and inflexible. The role might have become a cog in the wheel of value creation, but it was not part of the strategicengine (Mikes, 2009).


Culture and Materiality

Can you explain the way in which material objects acquire cultural meaning?

Material objects, especially clothing items, can acquire cultural meaning. They sometimes not only represent people but constitute who they really are. An excellent example is the ‘Sari.’ A ‘Sari’ is a piece of cloth, around 6 meters long, worn by women in India. The Sari represents who they are; it represents their identity and makes a woman who she is. The ‘Pallu’ is a more decorated and free end of the Sari which falls over the left shoulder down to the waist. The Pallu represents an artificial decorated quality of the garment that is not shared by any western clothing. It is so remarkable who the Pallu, although the Sari, represents a complete set of culture, hot it reflects a woman’s belief and values. The Pallu is a haven for an embarrassed face and a cover for unfitting emotion.  As an outsider, when one enters a village where all the women wear a sari, he must assume that this has become natural; as something distinct and regular. A woman would have worn a sari for 30 years and still have no command over it; it is like driving a car. Learning to drive a car and learning to wear a Sari both mark a shift in one’s life, sense of age; there is the feeling of becoming an adult with all the new freedom, power, constraints, and fear that growing up entails. Just as the Sari starts off as very oppressive than most western garments, it has now become a symbol of power. Men working in offices complaint that they cannot compete with women simply because they don’t wear a Sari. Moreover, the Sari is like a fellow actor, partnering on stage regularly, for which the whole presence must always be remembered. The Sari makes a woman a person who can interact with others and with the self through this continuously shifting material. A Sari can be exceedingly supportive, when attended to, helping to accomplish all the manner of tasks. But, when ignored, it can be quick to betray and destroy one’s respect and honor, causing other to judge harshly. Such diverse and uncertain experiences with the Sari have a far-reaching bearing upon a woman’s life and sense of herself. There are, however, a multitude of varying expectations and experiences that are the direct result of wearing a particular item of clothing (Miller, n.d.)

Can you offer two different examples of ways that groups have distinguished themselves due to their use of clothing? Why do they dress the way that they do?

A qualitative study done in a rehabilitation center showed how organization members use their dress to represent themselves and negotiate issues. The study showed that the dress took on various and often contradictory meanings. Patients who wear pajamas and see hospital garb around them think of themselves as sick. If patients and their caretakers wear street clothes, then patients are more likely to feel that they are moving out of the sick role and into the rehabilitation. They will have a firm belief that they are ready for life outside the hospital. This is the rehab philosophy, and this is what is distinguish it from the other units.

Moreover, health and medical professionals believe their work is professional by taking care of sick patients; they examine their body fluids and get the patients’ slime all over their clothes and body. Therefore, they’re dressed in scrubs. Both groups work in the same hospital. Yet the portrayals of who they are and who they take care of are remarkably distinguished by their dresses. Dress serves as a symbol that facilitates an organization, like the hospital. Dress serves as a convenient and useful window allowing members of the hospital to look at the multiple and competing for social identities inherent in the hospital (Whetten, 1985) (Dukerich, 1991). The appropriateness of each form of dress facilitated the issues related to the mission, clients, roles, and status of each nurse. The meaning of a symbol, such as the street cloth and scrub, within one organization, like the hospital, may differ from its purpose in another organization or at a different place and time within the same organization. The rehab center members in the hospital wear street clothes because they rehabilitate the clients by giving them information, knowledge, and expertise. The focus is on showing them identify a new state of health. They want the patients to see a difference between the acute care unit and the rehabilitation center. They feel comfortable seeing street clothes; they see a transition in their health and the clothes are the sign of that.

Moreover, the members in the medical unit are likely to wear scrubs because of the acute condition and treatment of patients. The study suggested that symbols represent not only core values and beliefs but also several event-driven issues within an organization. In the case of the hospital, the dress symbolized the change in the patient population. Each dress represents a unit’s mission, patients and employees’role (Rafaeli, n.d.)


Dukerich, D. a., 1991. Keeping an eye on the mirror: Image and identity organizational adaptation, s.l.: s.n.


Geertz, C., 1973. Thick Description: Toward an interpretive Theory of Culture, s.l.: s.n.

Hofstede, G., 1983. The cultural relativity of organizational practices and theories , s.l.: s.n.

Mikes, A., 2009. Risk Management and Calculative Cultures , s.l.: s.n.

Miller, D., n.d. Why Clothing is Not Superficial . In: s.l.:s.n.

Rafaeli, M. G. P. &. A., n.d. Organizational Dress as a symbol of Multilayered Social Indetities , s.l.: s.n.

Whetten, A. a., 1985. Research in organizational behavior , s.l.: s.n.



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