Example for particularism-strategy of an international company
What do USA, United Kingdom, France, Poland, Sweden, Germany, Turkey, India, Russia, Brazil, Italy, Australia, South Korea and China have in common? Not too much, indeed, but all of them – and some more – have their own Vogue. The company, founded in 1892 and still based in the US, started the international exploration in 1920 with independent editions in GB and France. In 2013 people in Thailand and Ukraine had received their own Vouge, in 2012 Vogue had to stop publishing in Greece. Vogue as a mirror of politics? Not only! Vogue is also a mirror of cultures! The genius decision made about 100 years ago to let the local editors create their own issues, especially content, made it possible that every issue has a close connection to readers in every different country. It is also a beautiful visual example for different cultures for me as a trainer and lecturer for intercultural competence. And that always up to date!
Every globalizing company has to make the decision, how much competence the branches and affiliates in the local markets will have. The cultural dimension particularism versus universalism can be understood not only for national cultures but also for the cultures of organizations. Vogue, as described above, is a good example for the particularism-strategy. The opposite example – for universalism – can be named IKEA: The same products, the same design of stores, the same communication rules (First name and informal style between colleagues and with customers, regardless of cultural preferences).
What is always “universal” is compliance: It must work in any and all parts of the company’s “universe”.