Collective culture shock. Contrastive reactions to radical systemic change.

Gerhard Fink, Nigel Holden

Publication: Working/Discussion PaperWU Working Paper


Many countries are going through severe transitions as they move from one system of economic management to another, experiencing a traumatic state which we term collective culture shock. Taking a cue from psychology, we suggest that collective culture shock can be seen as comprising four components: integration, assimilation, separation, and marginalisation. The movement towards free market economic systems calls for complex institutional adjustments, but these seem very difficult for societies to introduce in a systematic way. In order to exemplify collective culture shock, we examine four countries (including one country group): Russia, East Central Europe, South Africa, and Japan. Our treatment of these countries will show how collective culture shock is the product of complex economic, social and political forces specific to each situation. We hope to demonstrate that the phenomenon of collective culture shock is an important conceptual tool for managers responsible for international business strategy to help them to understand the complexities of change - or rather resistance to change - in transitional economies. (author's abstract)
Original languageEnglish
Place of PublicationVienna
PublisherForschungsinstitut für Europafragen, WU Vienna University of Economics and Business
Publication statusPublished - 2002

Publication series

NameEI Working Papers / Europainstitut

WU Working Paper Series

  • EI Working Papers / Europainstitut

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