Cross-national reconstruction of managerial practices: TQM in Turkey
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Drawing on the discursive and translative perspectives, we examine the discourse produced by an elite group of corporate executives to legitimate TQM (total quality management) at the national level in Turkey. The findings indicate that the legitimating agencies largely used ethos justifications exploiting the macro-cultural discourses prevalent in the Turkish context. As such, they reconstructed TQM as a blueprint embracing solutions to the problems at societal, organizational, and individual levels. Based on the findings, we propose that reconstruction of imported practices in recipient contexts is more likely to involve ethos justification when compared to the construction of the original rhetoric because of the nature of cross-national translation. The strategy of ethos justification is even more likely when legitimating actors also strive to legitimate themselves as a social group, and/or to promote the practice to the public. Furthermore, the recipient discourse will be less coherent if legitimating actors have less formal authority and loose structure, and the target audiences have diverse values and expectations. We suggest that, under these circumstances, the reconstruction of the imported practices is more likely to produce fashions than institutions, a limited diffusion of the practice in contrast to the intentions of legitimating actors.
KeywordsCross-national reconstruction of managerial practices
New institutional theory