Reconciling Management Dilemmas: Cultural Profiles Of Seven Chefs de Missions

Por: Dimitra Papadimitriou, Rosa D’ Amico e Vassil Girginov.

Athens 2004: Pre-olympic Congress

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Research and experience on the culture of management [1] suggest that national cultural interpretation and adaptation of
management becomes a prerequisite to the understanding of national and international management practice.
Knowledge of the cultural meaning of sport management in a particular country would equip sport managers with a
valuable tool in managing both the cultural diversity of their staff and in developing appropriate cross-cultural skills.
This paper seeks to establish the propensity of sport managers to reconcile seven fundamental cultural dilemmas. It
offers an approach to the study of the culture of sport management based on Dilemma Theory as developed by
Trompenaars and Hampden-Turner [2,3].

Seven Chefs de Mission from Cyprus, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, Malta, Monaco and San Marino were
studied during the Games of the Small States of Europe in Malta 2003. The dilemmas are defined as a set of seven
contrasting values. Each dilemma is measured on a scale of 0-100% by a set of four questions. Each question consists of
five answers, two of which are reconciled, two reject, and one is a compromise. Dilemma theory contends that what is
needed for a successful management is an approach where the two opposing views can come to fuse or blend. This is
called reconciliation. A SPSS analysis was used to determine Chefs de Mission propensity to reconcile dilemmas.

Table 1 shows the seven Chefs de Mission’s propensity to reconcile dilemmas. The higher the percentage on each
dimensions the greater the propensity of a Chef de Mission (Cyprus, Iceland and Malta) to take on board and integrate
other people’s views.

Discussion / Conclusions
Developing a cross-cultural competence is essential as it offers a key to understanding what valuing processes inform
sport managers’ decisions and attitudes to organisation, its purpose, structure, operations and outcomes. A similar
knowledge could form an integral part of the training of sport managers dealing with staff and partners from different
cultures. A limitation of this study was the size of the sample. Hence it did not allow for generalisations across
countries. Future studies therefore, should aim to overcome this disadvantage.

[1]. Morden, T., (1999), Models of National Cultures - A Management Review, Cross Cultural Management, 6 (1), 19-
[2]. Hampden-Turner, C., and Trompenaars, F., (1993), The Seven Cultures of Capitalism, Piarkus: London
[3]. Hampden-Turner, C., and Trompenaars, F., (2000), Building Cross-Cultural Competence, Yale University Press,

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