Power Distance and Public Relations: An Ethnographic Study of Southern Indian Organizations
Tayeb ( 1 988) echoed the sentiments of many scholars (e .g . , Hofstede , 1 980; Negandhi , 1985 ; Shenoy, 1 98 1 ) who advocate viewing organizational members and activities through a cultural approach in understanding organizational pro cesses:
This study approaches the problem at hand-understanding the public rela tions practices of selected Indian organizations-through the strategies advo cated by the first school of thought that Smircich ( 1 983) identified . Smircich posited that proponents of this point of view see culture as an independent variable almost synonymous with country, which is imported into the organiza tion through the employees (e.g . , Hofstede , 1 980; Tayeb, 1 988). These scholars typically chart the similarities and differences among nations and cultures and try to compare management practices cross-nationally and cross-culturally. Smircich ( 1 983) noted that such studies would be especially helpful to multinational orga nizations as evidenced by the popularity of Theory Z (Ouchi , 1 98 1 ) and The Art of Japanese Management (Pascale & Athos , 198 1 ) . This study argues that study ing the linkage between societal culture and public relations should precede the investigation of the influence of corporate culture (culture internal to organiza tions) on public relations .