Part 1 Panem et Circenses The Global Sports Business Intercultural Sports- and Soccer Management
Five dimensions of global sports and soccer management
1. The socio-historical aspect
2. The Cultural Imperative of Global Sports
3. Soccer from an economic/political standpoint
4. Soccer from a sociopsychological perspective
5. Cultural strategy, tactics and styles of soccer
Part 2 Culturally Integrative Global Sports Management
Vishua Chaytana – Formulation of a Global Consciousness-Based Global Inter/Transcultural Management Science
1. The completion of the intercultural edifice
2. Design of a scientifically-based diversity-integrative transcultural profiler
2.1 The state of the intercultural art and science: On human relativity in intercultural research
2.2 Enhancing the intercultural art and science: Sources, models and the achievement of supreme cultural intelligence
3. 36 Inter-/Transcultural Management Instruments
Part 3 Quantum Cultural Communication In The Planetary Third Millennium
1. A Universal language for the universal era
Part 4 Transcultural Management Dictionar
Part 1 Panem et Circenses The Global Sports Business Intercultural Sports- and Soccer Management
Five Dimensions of Global Sports and More Specifically Global Soccer Management
1. The sociohistorical aspect
The Ancient Roman adage “panem et circenses” (bread and games) still seems to set the rules of the global game in our days at a universal scale, while bread still seems to be at stake. While one part of the world is dying of hunger, in civil wars and other violence the other revels in global gaming. Nothing has changed fundamentally since Ancient Rome as far as basic human tendencies are concerned. And who does not play that game has been sidelined then as much as he is now. The arenas of the gladiators have become the arenas of global business, politics and sports. Neither the language nor the fundamental themes seem to have changed on the world’s stage, with its super predator global competitors, those who emulate them and the masses of the spectators. Global media allow the whole world to take part in the game, not just the few ones on site. Global competition for victory over a competitor and the global competition for the bread of survival and its enhancement, i. e. total competition is the one theme that unites and divides all men, rich and poor, races, cultures, religions, ethnic groups, nations, organisations and sport organisations, federations, and clubs are simply another facet of the theme of competition, which necessarily entails losers, in sports, in politics, in business and above all with regard to bread, i.e. survival. Who refuses the game and proclaims deviating values from the mainstream ideology of panem et circenses will be prosecuted, as the Christians were prosecuted in Roman times as they are now in various places of the world. Diversity again emerges as a major issue at a global scale, internally and externally. In Roman days diversity could be controlled by Roman law and its military might across the Roman Empire that covered parts of three continents. The aspiration to global rule by major present day players is another parallel that transcends two millennia. Due to the emancipation of nations with their claim to sovereignty, however, it is has become difficult to enforce one global standard by global organisations and nations. Therefore the global diversity issue has arisen in our time, after the enforcement of global standards in the shape of various ideologies has also failed over the centuries.
It is useful to look at sports in a cultural perspective in order to contextualize it in human society and in the “global arena”. Due to man’s panem et circenses impulse he has transformed the whole world in countless arenas with their diverse forms of competition and strife with winners and losers across the word. Unless the impact of the destructively competitive arenas can be contained and mitigated by more cooperative gaming, there may not be enough bread for human survival for everybody. Unless the world learns, in addition to competition, complementary sharing cooperation, competition may satisfy human basic instinct but also destroy humanity if it remains uncontrolled.
Sports may be a human learning experience in view of controlling and containing the competitive instinct and thereby positively affect the diverse globally competitive arenas, individually, locally, regionally and globally.
With the ongoing UEFA (UNION OF EUROPEAN FOOTBALL ASSOCIATIONS) highlight, the European Soccer Championship 2012 in Eastern Europe, in Poland and Ukraine and the upcoming Olympic Games 2012 in London, organized by the IOC (INTERNATIONAL OLYMPIC COMMITTEE) it seems appropriate to look at the cultural role of sports in general and of soccer in particular in a global world.
This essay looks at global sports and more specifically at global soccer from historical, cultural, economic, social and strategic/tactical perspectives. Soccer as a global management phenomenon is contextualized in a global intercultural management framework.
2. The Cultural Imperative of Global Sports
Due to the globalization, multiculturalization and mercantilization of sports its protagonists increasingly need intercultural skills at the level of their strategic management in an ever more competitive global market environment as well as at the level of sports practice. This applies in particular to professional sports like professional soccer. Soccer clubs have to negotiate international transfers and acquisitions like international organizations in global business. They are in global business. Like transnational and metanational enterprises they have to prospect the most valuable human resources worldwide and valorize them in their market as fast as possible so as to amortize the tens or hundreds of millions of investment in the most promising human resources or talents that ultimately are hoped to condition the status of the club in the globally competitive soccer environment. Right and wrong investment decisions in this respect mean success or failure of top clubs. Therefore they need intercultural management and negotiation skills, for the culture variable, the professional culture as much as societal and individual cultures of acquisitions play a role in the process. And there must be an overall cultural fit and compatibility with the culture of the acquiring club, as in the case of global mergers and acquisitions in the global corporate world.
UEFA, FIFA and IOC have to coordinate and implement global sports events taking in account internal and external security issues that are accentuated in an increasingly diverse global environment. Worldwide coordination and realization involve a steadily growing number of cultures, nations, races, ethnic groups, languages, values and belief systems together with the diversity of their behavioural manifestations. And the Paralympics represent a culture by itself. Indeed, it means that a high level of diversity management skills, in particular international diversity management skills is required at many levels.
As sports, including soccer - like business - have assumed continental, intercontinental and global dimensions, multiculturalism its he rule and no longer the exception and therefore requires intercultural skills at the levels of supranational strategic management, at the level of international strategic management of actors and clubs participating in the events as well as within clubs. Last but not least clubs have to successfully manage their increasingly multicultural active human resources in a given culture general and professional cultural context. Due to imperatives of global competition the clubs tend to be in competitive environments that are comparable to other internationally operating organizations, with the nuance that their gold may be less in the heads of the human resources as it is said with regard to today’s knowledge economy, but rather in their sports-specific professional endowment. But due to globalization, mercantilization and multiculturalization of sports culturally diverse mindsets and skill sets also require management that is one-pointedly target-oriented. And this requirement raises the cultural question at the more operative level of soccer which also needs a systematic culturally aware approach with regard to cultural strategies, tactics and styles within teams and between teams.
If a team wants to be internationally successful its management as well as the players should have cultural self-awareness as well as other-awareness, along with associated cultural knowledge and skills. Intra-team as well as inter-team cultural profiling involving relevant parameters for culture analysis in general and professional culture analysis in particular, should inform strategic, tactical, technical and stylistic planning by trainers, managers and players alike
Synergistic professional and general culture integration of a teams' natural and desirable diversity is an essential precondition for a team’s ability to access its highest potentiality that ensures best sports practice with regard to its performance as well as the clubs' overall economic, financial and socio-cultural success.
3. Soccer from an economic/political standpoint
Soccer has changed in the process of professionalization and globalization from its original rationale of a personally and socially healthy leisure time activity to assume the form of globally operating transnational organisations, coordinated at a supranational level by supranational institutions like FIFA and UEFA, in order to promote their economic, social as well as cultural aims.
Clubs and their human resources (players, coaches and manager…) are sought after at a global scale in order to increase competitiveness. It is accompanied by multimillion transfers and investments by oligarchs and billionaires. In this respect top clubs can be likened to transnational and metanational organisations and even to small states who seek to pursue parochially-ethnocentric and nationalist economic interests. Strategic advantage consists in successful prospection of innovative resources (talents) worldwide and the speed with which they can be monetized.
The Ancient Roman adage panem et circenses for the pacification and the control of the masses has been magnified by the competitive logic of cultural and economic competitiveness supported and sustained by global organisations and top clubs to assume quasi political features that allow completing the classical dictum
Politics is the continuation of war by other means
by its present day translation as
Soccer is the continuation of politics by other means
This is what one may conclude form various national cultural responses by participants of the European Championships 2012. National economic policy within the context of the EU is translated and equated to the European Soccer Championship. The financial EURO and the soccer EURO are amalgamated. They are seen as two aspects of the same national competition in the absence of supranational financial, fiscal and political integration. In the meantime the national rationale prevails at the expense of the supranational. It manifests for example as the following media echo from Southern Europe before the quarter final match of Greece vs. Germany: „We want Merkel! “ – not in the sense of admiration of the German chancellor but rather in the sense of the desire to defeat Germany in the sports arena as a response to the perceived Greek defeat and humiliation by Germany in the economic and financial arena in view of the stabilization of the EURO. It may be interpreted as a clash of economic cultural values about standards of economic and financial stability, of a prioritization of more short-term oriented quality of life versus longer-term stability and predictability in the sense of healthy budgets and spending.
At the origin of the financial and economic conflict there is a clash of cultural value preferences manifesting in the economic domain. And this only secondarily economic/financial conflict translates as a political issue. And this political issue is dealt with in turn culturally within the European sports context: The same cultural issues are being translated backward and forward to changing battlefields awaiting a supranational cultural identity that works on integrative rather differentiative and disintegrative premises. It is about cultural values harmonization; culture change in the EU that conditions political/economic/financial solutions. The call for Chancellor Merkel by the media. “Bringt uns Merkel (Bring us Merkel) reminds of St. John the Baptist in the sense that the daughter of Herodias, who the latter liked very much, wished to be given the head of St. John as suggested by her mother. Herodias’s promise to grant his daughter any desire let to the sacrifice of St. John as reported by the Scripture.
That historical, biblical episode seems to be reenacted metaphorically 2000 years later. In both cases the apple of discord is of cultural nature in the sense of contradictory cultural worldviews that cannot be integrated and call for the annihilation, physically or symbolically, of what is considered a contrary position to one’s own cultural interests; it is a time enduring syndrome based on a culture clash that cannot be reconciled due to the seeming incompatibility of attitudes, values and beliefs systems that is shifted here and there as in a psychological labyrinth without finding an exit. Culture management would be about showing the exit of the values clash prison of man. Sports could be one of those activities that in addition to heating up the prison and escalating its conflict processes can help opening the door of that prison in order to gain freedom at last.
So far one might already conclude that soccer culture is as a fractal replication of culture. Its socio-political and economic aspects confirm in particular the business culture rationale that underlies the various choices by soccer management. And the diversity rationale in the various socio-cultural environments can only by harmonized if integrative culture change can be brought about at fundamental values level. This would entail a more specifically culture-transcendent culture-integrative transcultural approach that is complementary to the more differentiative intercultural approach. Yet, in games terms, that would be the meaning of playing the whole game of culture sustainably, rather than only competitively.
Strategic players‘ attitudes - those displayed by top clubs - indicate that those have polycentric and geocentric attitudes while the national cultures in which they operate still display ethnocentric attitudes. This culture clash of strategic attitudes also promotes the emergence of the substitution of battlefields. Sports professionals have moved beyond ethnocentric attitudes due to the imperatives prevailing in globally competitive sports environments, while they still serve or rather are instrumentalized by ethnocentric attitudes. Here a culture change towards an alignment of strategic attitudes can lift the conflict laden ethnocentric siege of sports that maintains and prolongs the ersatz battlefields and it can help sports to return to its roots of an integrative and integrating human activity.
In that sense sports can be reengineered form a cultural weapon to a cultural integrator in our global era; from a national cultural sword into a global cultural plough that conditions the planetary humus for a human family instead of the sword that only cuts natural human ties of transcultural affinity and understanding and that ultimately cuts a hole in the common ship of humanity on the sea of time that may think that ship in the turbulent waves of untamed cultural identifications. Imperative culture change in the interest of mankind consists of that of the cultural sword into the cultural plough, here and now. And the European Soccer Championships or the Upcoming Olympic Games are belated starting points for the management of the imperative culture change process. UEFA, FIFA and IOC should be aware of the global cultural stakes inherent in their transnational sports culture management institutions that are vehicle that carry mankind either backward into the past or forward into the future. It greatly depends on how culture is managed.
If one endows sports in general and soccer in particular with political empowerment, in particular by the presence of national leaders and statesmen among the spectators, one has to be aware of the globally mediated message of an implicit amalgamation of the political and the sports environments and functions. The perception of sports as the continuation of politics by other means may be reinforced. Its compensatory function for the ventilation of engrained intercultural wounds may be underlined. It is that perception which promotes, beyond a natural need of cultivating and expressing human cultural identities, the shift, the substitution and the maintenance of obsolete battle fields in the third millennium. A purposeful disconnect of sports and culture policy could therefore allow transcending the John the Baptist syndrome of destructively reinforcing national cultural animosities. Thus the sports EURO may be instrumental as a catalyzer rather than as a relay and reinforcement of culturally diverse preferences within the context of the economic EURO.
The symbolical spherical ball with its brindle leather conveys the idea of unity as well as diversity and antagonism within global unity. Awareness of and accountability with regard to this ambivalence would also entail historical coherence and awareness when in particular, for example, German national teams play in the region where much of the WWII battlefields were located and where the soil still transpires the blood of friend and foe alike shed through national cultural military excesses of that war. But what applies to Germany in particular applies to other national cultures and teams in general. The visit of a German sports delegation to a concentration camp in Poland could therefore be completed by the commemoration of those wider battlefields, so as to transcend the national cultural faultline at least beyond this world and not to amplify it. The culturally indiscriminate paying of respect to all men that were victims of the sword of culture and its excesses might thus be a symbolical act and a starting point for the learning of culture transcending attitudes and behaviours, of true world and geocentric orientation beyond the business rationale.
Soccer and sports in general must not be a prolongation of those cultural battles and battle fields, though in homeopathic doses, for we know that even those have an impact. The return of the youth as national cultural representatives to where their peers of another generation were sent as soldiers provides a unique historical occasion of cultural reengineering of the planet. Stalingrad (today Volgograd) where hundreds of millions of soldiers and civilians were killed and Chernobyl alike are in the wider region of the soccer locations of the EURO 2012 in Eastern Europe. Both are symbols of unsustainable cultural value preferences in diverse domains. That is their common denominator. And we are leaving out the historical cultural values choice of the opening and the closing of the ideological cultural values choice in the shape of the iron curtain on the world’s stage. They illustrate how cultural choices can truly sink the ship of humanity in its ravaging cultural waves if they are untamed. And the rendezvous of international soccer culture with that culture and its consequences can influence the cultural world of the future.
So much about the globalized, politicized, high profile and top business version of what once was a social exercise of mental and physical restoration and the cultivation of human virtues, which has turned into an affair where 22 multimillionaires kick a leather ball, while countless people are dying of hunger or rare killed during the short time of the match due to the diverse cultural conflicts that simultaneously rage on the face of the earth and that resist rules, codifications and arbiters. Global media play the game as well as the millions. The ruthlessly competitive game is their value preference which is antagonistic to more humane values that are also thinkable and even required if our values are not to sink the ship of mankind on the waves of its pleasure-motivated idiocentric values, collectively and individually.
Based on the age-old principle panem et circenses the masses and their leaders ravel in the anaesthetizing spectacle. If only some of the attention and the resources the spectacle with the ball attracts could be channeled towards the ball of the earth and its state a new chapter of the book of culture could be opened. How can this display of human prowess and resources be civilized so as to bring about culture change towards a sustainable global culture? Brief it can be a wonderful sport as most of the others provided it promotes civilization instead of reversing it. And is it possible to leverage the integrative aspect of the competitive spectacle for the sake of the smooth progress of the ship of mankind on the uncertain waters of human civilization and time? In the meantime we celebrate and cater for both human needs that of cave man and that of space age man, while we hope for their reconciliation in the interest of the survival of man.
Though representing an old idea of amateur sports, much of the said about the professional soccer sports UEFA highlight applies to the upcoming Olympic Games. Depending on an underlying values set they are either promoting cultures of peace or of conflict. This fundamental ethical ambivalence is not spared to the seemingly innocent world of sports either. Intercultural encounters can reinforce cultural antagonisms or help transcending them, depending on how they are managed culturally. Those who want to ride the wave of sports must be careful not to create destructive cultural tidal waves in which they might perish themselves one day
4. Soccer from a socio-psychological perspective
Soccer is a natural complement and extension of walking that is learnt from infancy and the game with the ball can be dated back to ancient cultures. Kicking a ball is a natural physiological reflex in our latitudes and the cultures which have been exposed to European influence such as Latin American ones, where soccer is an element of socialization of boys in particular. It is part of culture in the sense of culture I and culture II alike, i.e. it is supposed to contribute to the ennoblement and edification of the young generation and it embodies a learning process of cultural values. It sums up complementary cultural values of joy, fitness, leisure time activity and human relational experience in the general cultural sense on the one hand as well as social conditioning in the sense of learning cultural attitudes, values and behaviors in the social anthropological cultural sense on the other hand.
It may be argued that soccer in its original meaning allows its young practitioners – just like walking – experiencing their body and its relationships to other human beings and the environment and thereby cultivates natural human endowments and needs. Therefore the medium of the ball in its variable designs is omnipresent in the human social and private environment. The diversity of its forms, shapes, materials and colours is unified by the roundness of its design, which has to comply with certain dimensional and technical norms, while it servers the unique purpose of one’s own personal psychosomatic experience in relationship to others. So, soccer is, in addition to its pleasurable aspects (which may also include the pain involved in losing matches and thereby entail emotional learning) and those of physiological learning, a process of individual and social psychological learning; a school of life and relationship. Relationship being the cause of most human joys and challenges it is a non-negligible human socialization experience. As such it is a natural and desirable human activity and experience as other forms of sport in diverse degrees that contribute to structuring adolescents mentally, physically and relationally as well as their time.
By becoming a team player the adolescent learns to relativize his individualistic self in relationship to teammates and opponents and thereby to society at large. He learns that personal success and group success are interdependent. It is a socialization to socially compatible behaviours that does not exclude personal creativity, individual decision making as well as personal freedom. Yet, at the same time the individually and collectively competitive self is promoted, as the purpose of the collectively enhanced individual performance consists in the victory over another team with similarly competitive values. And this early socialization to competitiveness – in particular in more individualistic and masculine cultures, where winning is not the most important thing but the only thing, as the saying goes - becomes a building block of the human psychological architecture that is replicated in the diverse spheres and walks of life.
While the adolescents learn to transcend their individualism this virtue may be relativized viciously if it is only geared to be used as a weapon for the victory over other teams. This socialized ambivalence is transferred and replicated in subsequent phases of socialization where it is likely to cause more important collateral damages in the social, economic and political domains, unless this conditioned pattern is integrated in complementary human capabilities of human wholeness. Otherwise interpersonal, interorganizational and international competitive behaviours may throw societies of balance by sacrificing everything to their socially reinforced competitive impulses. Unless embedded in an enhanced, integrative human consciousness horizon the virtues of the sports practice promote vice, evident in global crises, based on ruthless competitiveness and relativism. The notion of fairness is a starting point for a complementary integrative mindset to the competitive mindset. The cultivation of complementary transnational, transcultural and geocentric mindsets to the idiocentric and ethnocentric mindsets can integrate the downsides of the sports socialization.
The learning of an integrative mindset can integrate the many pros and cons of amateur and professional sports alike and constitutes the royal path of sports as a civilizing process of mankind rather than its opposite.
5. Strategy, tactics and styles of soccer
National soccer culture is a fractal replication and mirror image of national or societal culture, whether the game is played at local, regional or national levels – in the entire national hierarchy of leagues; there may be intracultural nuances as in general cultural patterns.
Which values underpin soccer? Above all individually and collectively self-assertive egos; in cultural terms, individually and collectively masculine/assertive idiocentrism and ethnocentrism, as well as cultural particularism that pretends to be universalist on the basis of its universalist rules, where winning is all, as it means gains in terms of finance and prestige and suggests power that is translated in other spheres of life. It confirms the above mentioned dictum of its function as a supposedly civilized transposition of battlefields.
The matches as well as all related activities like training and the diverse organizational processes that are systematic and highly structured with regard to timing and contents can be considered professional cultural rituals that are destined to realize and implement underlying cultural values of competition primarily for their own sake.
The world of symbols plays a non-negligible psychological and economic role in the global sports business arena that global business tries to leverage in order to promote players’ image and their sales globally, supported by the global media. National and club emblems constitute symbols that allow identification, individually and collectively. Global corporations seek to connect their brands to that deeply rooted need of human identification. They are ready to make important investments expecting important returns at a global scale by riding the wave of global sports that seems to carry well.
In the field of the practice of sports, trainers and players alike could enhance their effectiveness in the international/intercultural sports business arena if they included intercultural research evidence in their strategic planning and tactical implementation. That applies to the management of their own frequently multicultural teams as well as to the encounter with culturally diverse, national and above all international teams. By incorporating the culture variable in the global soccer business at the levels of strategic club management as well as at the level of soccer practice within and between teams best soccer practice can by implemented and based on those data the soccer business can become more predictable with regard to strategy, tactics and styles. The highly emotional sport can become more rational, strategically/tactically projectable and less aleatory.
Based on culture research one may argue that there is a universal physiologically-based soccer skill that is highlighted by the street soccer kid of Brasilian favelas as much as by their peers from other cultures of the world. This universal soccer predisposition and skill applies to the novice as well as to amateurs and professionals alike. Beyond that spatiotemporally independent soccer universalism there is a cultural layer that nuances the universal tendency by culture specific tendencies with regard to values, strategy, tactic and style based on societal cultural preferences that are fractally replicated in sports as well. The soccer sport is a process of cultural values learning as well as an occasion for the practice of these cultural values in later stages of amateur of professional soccer and ultimately it reinforces socially learned behaviours through repetition and refinement. Whether the learned cultural pattern of the game is reversible depends on the cultural skills of the players and possibly on their intercultural experience, which tends to be the rule in the global soccer arena. Any soccer professional likes to play in high profile clubs for a range of reasons covering material and sport-specific motives that encompass intercultural professional learning and synergy. To what extent the choice of an international role model can model a national cultural sports practitioner culturally will depend on the individual amateur or professional.
Above the universal and culturally determined soccer culture layers there is the layer of the singular professional personality of the player. The global prospection of professional player human resources in spe, the search of the promising talent focusses strongly on that unique player personality that makes the difference for teams and clubs operatively and strategically.
The synergistic integration of the three layers of professional culture within and between team players – the optimum management of soccer culture – my trigger the star team effect with its own professional culture and business logic: the world of champions based on the appropriate management and integration of their globally prospected, culturally diverse human resources. Top teams in Europe are highly multicultural. It seems to point to the fact that the inclusion of the culture variable as a strategic asset is a key to higher professional performance rather than ignoring the cultural dimension of soccer and to instead solely focus on technical soccer skills. which obviously does not allow to reap the specific advantages from a judicious management of the culture variable. In other words success cannot exclusively be explained by professional technical skills but rather by the latter plus the culture variable involved in sports in general and in soccer in particular, provided it can be managed for success, i.e. the cultural diversity can be integrated in a coherent superordinate logic of enhanced efficacy. Otherwise it may even backfire. In any case the percentage of international, culturally diverse players in top teams seems to indicate that club performance is positively correlated to the prevalence of players’ cultural diversity; it actually seems of constitute a global sports/soccer success formula.
At an age of globalization and mercantilization of soccer cultural diversity at the professional soccer level is high and seems to eclipse national cultural styles. Instead soccer management and coaches are expected to valorize ethnically and culturally diverse playing styles and to integrate them synergistically in a way that ensures the club’s success, while at national team level more culturally homogeneous styles prevail, although many members of national teams work as expatriate players in the international top clubs, where they are socialized to culturally diverse playing styles, while they contribute their own personal and national cultures' styles to those clubs
In the case of transfers there is cross-fertilization with regard to cultural soccer styles. Receiving clubs expect person and culture-specific impulses to enhance team spirit and performance. And when those stars return to their native teams for major international tournaments they can contribute a vaster stylistic repertoire to benefit their national teams. This intercultural engineering requires cultural sensitivity so as not to distort but rather to enhance styles, for after all they need to speak one soccer language and have to blend into a unique emergent culture for top performance in the global arena. It is the unique edge provided by such cultural engineering that tips the scales of competitions, as it is hardly predictable by opposing teams and therefore, more often than not, effective. The cultural diversity management cycle
3. Stylistic/strategic innovation
(THE EFFECTIVE CULTURAL DIVERSITY MANAGEMENT CYCLE)
is likely to work for organisations and sports clubs alike. Increased prosperity is fed back into the cycle to derive even more benefit from further enhanced diversity so as to reach a maximum of soccer diversity along with a maximum of integration, a 10/10 winning synergy that escapes opponents’ strategy and planning.
International attitudes of corporate strategic mindsets of organisations may be measured by EPG (ethnocentric-polycentric-geocentric) profiling. It can be applied at the strategic level as well as at the level of corporate functions and it can also be applied to global sports organisations and correlated to cultural awareness, policy and strategy. While clubs may have strategic geocentric attitudes due to the need of responding to global sports competition it does not necessarily apply to other strategic and operative functions of the clubs and their sociocultural environments. This discrepancy of attitudes and therefore values results in behaviors that may be more or less conducive to the clubs performance and overall success in the global sports soccer arena. While overidentification with national culture and the composition of ethnically homogeneous (national) team may satisfy ethnocentric national audiences and generate a certain fighting spirit due to its connection with national historical struggles it may also undersell its wider professional capabilities.
Based on the EPG profile incongruence of international attitudes, particularly those of an ethnocentric public and more polycentric and geocentric sports soccer actors and players the politicization of sports and can be explained. It is clear that UEFA’s club-based EL and CL events tend to follow another logic than national teams in the context of UEFA’s EURO or FIFA’s World Championship; the former primarily represent corporate interests the latter represent national interests. And based on those underlying rationales they adopt more ethnocentric or more polycentric and geocentric cultural policies. Cultural practices like symbols, heroes and rituals seem to play a greater role than national cultural values in the context of clubs. They can more easily transcend national sports rationales, while the national sports levels are more determined by national cultural values.
The EPG profile of club managers and coaches and other facilitating staff plays a role with regard to soccer strategy, style, tactics, techniques, i. e. its soccer culture: As the more operative strategic actors develop from ethnocentric, via polycentric to geocentric attitudes their cultural intelligence is bound to increase. Culture ceases to be a blind spot in their perception. They develop equidistant attitudes, where they think internationally first, while they have to localize this value preference with its allied behaviours.
And that has a twofold impact. On the one hand club officials may practice global sourcing of talents irrespective of cultural background, solely on the basis of soccer capabilities and compose their team on the basis of the diversity-creativity-innovation-success rationale mentioned above.
On the other hand competitors may be profiled culturally and not just conventionally, technically etc. The cultural profiling of a culturally homogeneous team is obviously easier, as it involves less cultural variety than a polycentric or geocentrically oriented club. And the comparative cultural profiling of the parties of a match allows taking a superordinate strategic/tactical approach to an upcoming intracultural and in particular international sports challenge. With more strategic information one may approach things more confidently as uncertainty tends to decrease thereby.
The culture specialist (coach or intercultural specialist) can use a cognitive framework for analysis and planning with which he can start in order to sense himself more deeply into those areas of depth of the game that frequently transcend and escape intellectual approaches and that are based on superior initiative, speed of execution, impulse, spontaneity and timing and intuitive connectedness to the team, on pre-rationally-based abilities of capturing and responding to scenarios before they occur and thereby having the edge over the opponent. This is the domain the professionally highly sensitive virtuoso: the top star that therefore is a distant star inaccessible to the ordinary.
National cultural playing style preferences can manifest in individual players and teams in various degrees: Culturally hypernormals manifest their national cultural style strongly, culturally normals manifest them on average and cultural marginals manifest them weekly. It represents a refinement of cultural stereotypes by cultural prototypes and relativizes cultural determinism and the mismanagemtn of the culture variable in intercultural management environments.
Intercultural research by G. Hofstede and Fons Trompenaars and Charles Hampden Turner can provide a cognitive framework for intercultural awareness, analysis and planning if it is appropriately translated to the sports level in general and to the soccer game in particular. A number of so-called dimensions of cultural difference can inform about likely soccer cultural tendencies of coaches, teams and players.
Among these dimensions of cultural difference that serve as parameters for culture analysis, whose specifications provide an initial anchoring for club strategists and operatives are those:
1. Uncertainty avoidance index (UAI): translating as the management of certainty
2. Power distanced index (PDI): translating as the management of power
3. Individualism (IND): translating as the management of relationships
4. Masculinity (MAS): translating as the management of oneself: Tough approach to life as opposed the quest for quality of life and relational cooperation
5. Inner-directed versus outer-directed (IN-OUT): translating as the management of the self with-regard to the environment
(FIVE DIMENSIONS FOR INTERCULTURAL SOCCER ANALYSIS)
(Internet and literature-based country cultural statistical data (country culture rankings) are available and can be located on diverse websites. It’s up to the interested sports and soccer interculturalist to access these data for his culture analysis.)
While multicultural teams may constitute emergent complex cultural environments that are difficult to predict easily, certain cultural tendencies, such as the following, may be inferred from the above dimensional national cultural rankings by the Anglo-Dutch culture researchers. Yet they need to be applied judiciously guided by the soccer expert’s experiential professionalism.
UAI country culture rankings allow predicting whether own or opponent individual players or teams – that can both be profiled – tend to display primarily defensive or offensive attitudes and styles.
In country soccer cultures with a high UAI index value the defense is prioritized. It is better to prevent a goal against the own team than achieving one against the opponent team. Yet the cultural preference for defense entails that complementary team functions may not be valued and developed to the same extent, as overall available resources and energies are distributed either in one way or another. This cultural predisposition reveals potential strengths and weaknesses in the own and opponent teams and their players, as well as coaches and even mangers alike. The cultural preferences even extend to the public. All tend to be moved by the cultural predisposition with its nuances. The awareness by strategists of culturally-determined structural weaknesses in the offensive function compared to the defensive function obviously puts the strategy of counterattack in the limelight. So, the cultural emphasis on the defense is like the foundation of a building that determines its structural design. Thus a high UAI cultural value preference centers and structures its strategy/technique/tactic and style around its natural defensive tendency. This soccer cultural preference obviously allows predicting behaviours and to plan and respond accordingly. In addition to the public, which is said to be the twelfth player that can impact outcomes there is an invisible hand guiding all actors' and players’ behavior which we may call culture. If a team can use the three capabilities for success it is more likely to win.
A low UAI preference as in England or Brasil may be connected to a more seductive type of soccer to the public but no longer be the winning formula in our days where winning is not the most imporatant but the only thing. This distribution of operative energy boasting artistry and virtuosity at the expense of high level certainty and predictability may offer weaknesses the culturally aware strategist may engineer to his advantage. Any playing style is a distribution of resources in a field and based on that distribution interconnected dynamics are determinants of the unfolding game.
The complete team or player, however, is the one that synergizes not only the universal, the cultural and the individual personality levels of culture but also the diverse cultural preferences. After all any culture member has access to all cultural tendencies and preferences. It is about becoming whole and complete, to reconcile and synergize cultural approaches and the whole is always superior to its diverse components. In that way superior capabilities are connected to the art of wholeness that transcend linear, rational logic and draw on additional human capabilities that enhance the former.
One may assume that culture-comparative profiling may allow sports strategists engineering cultural tendencies to their advantage that can tip the sport’s strategic “battlefield.” The general cultural tendency based on country culture rankings needs to be translated to the sport, connected to professional and functional cultures of the sport and refined for strategic/tactical application, while cultural learning over time occurs.
As all people are supposed to have cultural tendencies complementary tendencies that enhance own ones are admired. If they can be integrated in one team or person the complete player or team, the star or star team is born. The process is a matter of culture management among other factors. Star culture?
Similarly, I invite the soccer strategist to explore the power PD dimension with regard to its sport impact. We can translate PD attitudinally and behaviourally as power or social distance and the cultural tendency to hierarchization and centralization in the case of higher power distance cultures as opposed to lower power distance cultures, where these tendencies are weak and flatter hierarches and egalitarianism prevails.
The high power distance end of the PD dimension of cultural difference prototypically rather than stereotypically means that individuals and groups, players and teams have a preference for centralized, hierarchized scenarios centered on leader personalities. In such a scenario all players achieve optimum performance. There is a mutual need of dependence between higher ones and lower ones in the hierarchy. The leader personality supervises and coordinates more or less implicitly or explicitly strategy and operations on the field. Changes of strategy and tactics and their implementation are contingent on his directions. He logically is the right arm of the coach to whom superordinate strategic/tactical management is incumbent. It is the opposite pole of egalitarian, low power distance cultural values, attitudes and behaviours that can do without centralized authority in a cooperative way that presupposes a different set of relational and communication capabilities compared to the former. Intuitively or explicitly aware culture strategists will try to defuse the highly structured threat by neutralizing the central figure, whereby they hope to undermine the entire team’s performance as it relies on its ordering and coordinating central command. - The culture strategist will have to explore how the cultural value preference impacts all facets of the game.
The following dimension of culture difference is highly specific for team sports and even non culture specialists should have an intuitive awareness of its impact on team performance. I am referring to IND or more completely the values continuum individualism-communitarianism/collectivism (terminology changes by authors). The reconciliation of this values continuum, or the players‘ or team’s positioning on this continuum determines to what extent the team squares individual and collective performance to result in a superior performance-geared integration and reconciliation of the team and the individual. The two enhance each other if they can be managed integratively and synergistically. Individualist cultures also have the individual performer card up their sleeve, whereas collectivist cultures do not have a cult of outstanding individual performers. Here the team may be called sole individual performer. Cultural awareness of how relationships are managed will enable culture strategists to devise appropriate strategies within and between teams. The degree of integration of complementary values of individualism and communitarianism – in a word, of the I versus the we - might by one of the single most important cultural parameters that determine success in the global team sports arena.
MAS, more specifically the values continuum masculinity versus femininity stands for a range of options with regard to the management of oneself and attitudes towards life and the environment: tough and self-assertive versus soft, cooperative, relationship and quality of life oriented. One can notice it intuitively when a team tries to ruthlessly impose itself physically and stylistically by all means. Then umpires have a tough job. This style may be winning and self-defeating as well. When opponent sports strategists and tacticians, however, also have intuition transcending analytical awareness of masculine value preferences they can find ways of defusing this strategic approach. Feminine cooperative teams frequently respond defensively and try to operate from the defense to turn around the aggressive energies generated by the opponent against the latter. This is a strategy likable to budo, where one rather guides the opponent’s energy instead of responding in the same style.
MAS styles are goal-oriented in every sense of the word and may therefore neglect sophistication in processes, while FEM (feminine) styles may be too hesitant. But both may be successful, whether higher MAS Italian preferences or lower MAS more feminine Spanish preferences or Scandinavian styles. The proof that not the a priori orientation but rather the sophistication of its implementation determines outcomes is evident in the fact that Italy and Spain play the UEFA EURO 2012 final this Sunday in June, in Warsaw.
Last but not least inner directed cultures such as East Asian Confucian cultures will seek victory by responding to outside stimuli rather than by imposing their style. The former seek victory through the defense, a defense that encompasses the totality of strategic variables, mental, physical, attitudinal, technical, values... It presumes interrelated wholeness of approaches rather than rational fragmentation of them. They excel in the art of emulation that seeks out superior styles in order to enhance them so as to beat the opponents with their own, however, copied and enhanced styles. Proactively initiating attacks is not a high priority in their cultural repertoire as in the case of inner-directed culture. The leaders are successful until the followers have responded, emulated and enhanced the leaders’ cultural approaches. It is connected to a longer term orientation as opposed to a shorter term inner directed orientation that seeks the shorter term success. Outer directed is connected to the longer-term and to the learning paradigm in time through emulation of winning dynamics in nature and systems.
Obliviously these parameters are interactive and have to be viewed in their interconnectedness and interrelatedness. Multifactored profiling of cultural tendencies of all actors and their interfacing can be looked at as a new strategic global sports skill that helps to understand and enhance sports with regard to performance and to manage culture conflicts that may arise in the culturally diverse planetary millennium.
In Part 2 more dimensions of cultural difference are addressed, which leads to an integral inter-transcultural management approach and model. Although desgined initially for global business and global diversity management it can be translated and applied to global sports management as well. After all global business and global sports share a similar logic while cultural diversity management unites them.
Part 2 Culturally Integrative Global Sports Management
Vishua Chaytana – Formulation of a Global Consciousness-Based Global Inter/Transcultural Management Science
1 The completion of the intercultural edifice
When one leaves the land of diversity-based duality knowledgeably one enters the “promised land” of human unity. In hindsight the former can be seen in the latter’s likeness. Both are part of a complete map of culture.
The title „The completion of the intercultural edifice” implies the end of a process; the process of reading the book of culture and to behave and act on the basis of the contents of the book. The contents are either fully understood and the book can be shelved to be reopened occasionally for purposes such as educational ones, for example, or, alternatively, the paradigm contained in the book has been transcended and the contents have become partly or fully obsolete.
The present exposé can be considered as a process of returning for a moment to the old paradigm in order to connect it to the new, supposedly more advanced one. When we look back at the brief history of culture, interculturalism and associated intercultural research that has been inaugurated in the late 20th century, we note that it responds to perceived needs in the world of globalizing business, diplomacy and strategy. Among the first intercultural scholars in the modern sense therefore were theoreticians who were more or less involved in these domains and institutional or organizational environments. One thinks of the American anthropologist Hall and the Dutchmen Hofstede and Trompenaars. The former has been the head of the Foreign Service Institute, whose task consisted in the preparation of US diplomats for international assignments and the two Dutchmen were employed by US or European global corporations such as IBM and the Shell Corporation. With the progress of globalization and information science the field of intercultural research has been pushed further by some scientists who tried to solve the enigma of cultural diversity in more sophisticated ways to further the needs of their institutional or organizational environments. If we try to recapitulate this brief history of intercultural research we can systematize it as follows
A synopsis of modern intercultural studies
illustration not visible in this excerpt
(All these authors have undertaken their research many decades after the appearance of the quantum paradigm; Hofstede, THT and Brannen’s and Salk’s cultural assumptions are increasingly characterized by indeterminism. The table is an approximation.)
It seems to me that the history of intercultural research replicates the lead science paradigms within a more limited temporal horizon that the wider ones in which they have evolved. The development of hard science paradigms took centuries to evolve from a deterministic world view represented by Newton, for example, via quantum physics to the most modern physics of our time. See the lower table above highlighting the progression from determinism, via indeterminism to probabilism with their scholarly representatives and the associated metaphorical translation to assumptions and approaches within the field culture and its management. Of course, this replication of centuries of scientific investigation in the hard sciences could be replicated epistemologically in less than half a century because the fundamental sciences that were dealing with the foundations of existence and nature had done the preparatory work at a fundamental level whose insights could be transposed from natural to social sciences
With the advent of global strategic interests in the late 20th century and on the basis of the foundations laid by natural sciences, man became similarly puzzled by the diversity of man as the diversity of fauna and flora had been puzzling him already centuries earlier, whereupon he undertook research into the outer domain of nature. The biologist and zoologist therefore have finished their classificatory work of nature long ago and provided extensive taxonomies with associated characteristics of the organisms within the field of their interest. Therefore we know, for example, how many variations of particular animals and plants - how many phenotypes of a genotype – have been developing as well as their biological and behavioral profiles along with full information on their ecosystems and the complex interrelations of those organisms and their ecosystems. In other words outer nature, from the aunt to the galaxy, has been mapped rather completely. And the translation of this process of mapping of non-human nature to human nature has been attempted by more external criteria along with a correlation of assumptions about human internal features. But it was progressively abandoned as it was seen to promote racism and fascism.
So, the intercultural process could only be triggered when man was ready - after his inquisitive gaze had completed the outer horizon - to also direct his eyes to the inner horizons of man in order to complete a 360° perception of man. After all one had noticed that man had a cultural, an inner dimension that was part and parcel of his make-up and could not be ignored, as it was seen to determine parts of his behaviour. And when this 360° perception of man is completed the classification of the human species would be completed and fill the reference books as do the books on animals, plants and stars for example. This process is coming to an end in the same way as the processes of classification of the outer world were completed. Then the deeper inquiry in the nature of the information began that determines the live of plants and creates in general. This was the biological paradigm with the genetic highlight and its genetic engineering application which is not yet conclusive for human cultural, ethical as well as technical reasons.
Animals and plants behave according to their genetic information. There is little alternative for them. In the human case, however, things a more complex as man enjoys a greater range of freedom. And as soon as man deals with his own diversity he steps out of the realm of oneness with nature into duality and therefore dialectics between the diverse components of the landscape of human diversity. These dialects are very frequently antagonistic and produce the opposite of what they are intended to produce, which is more duality and dialectics-based antagonisms because man has only classified the distinctive features without also covering complementary human psychological characteristics of concomitantly existing integrative psychological features. In other words he has disassembled for classificatory purposes, without being able to provide the integrative information about human integrative features, within and between men. All he managed to do was to provide approaches to the reconfiguration of cultural profiles to benefit vested interests in the domain of strategy, business and other cross-border activities. The notion of synergy has arisen to consecrate the apogee of this approach, without however being able to cut the Gordon knot of the “missing link”, i.e. the identification and revelation of the whole picture of complementary differentiative-integrative information about man and in particular human psychological culture.
In other words the fundamental information that transcends the process of duality and often antagonizing dialectics of culture, which deals with a return to unity, has been disregarded so far by mainstream interculturalism. And as long as the complementary human characteristics to his diversity characteristics, i. e. his also existing characteristics of integration and return from the state of division and divisiveness of the intercultural approach, are not likewise considered, the mapping of the human cultural mind is not completed. And as long as it is not completed it does not truly reflect the more complete nature of man. And an incomplete information, however well assembled and configured, yields similarly deficitary results.
That which was supposed to solve human diversity challenges seems so be at times part of the problem rather than part of the solution. As long as one remains in the cultural space of duality and diversity one cannot expect anything else but products of duality which are frequently characterized by antagonism, because that is what is contained in the seed of this approach and, however sophisticated the approaches, they cannot transcend their dualistic nature. The state of affairs of the world that coincides with this era of research and the attempts to reconfigure international/intercultural processes based on intercultural research testify to the limited applicability of these approaches in global business and geopolitics… alike.
That does not mean that intercultural approaches are false. A child that is not fully developed is not in any way incorrect either. It has just not fully realized the information of completeness in his make-up. They are a promise. Similarly the intercultural approach is incomplete and a promise of completion. If it is not completed, however, it will not go beyond childlike solutions of playing with diversity rather than dealing with it in a truly complete and therefore much more effective way, in line with the need of our time. They real need of the completion of the intercultural edifice is bound to challenge the complete information about cultural man.
In order to complete the intercultural edifice one has to provide the complementary information about human integrative characteristics along with the divisive characteristics. That completion provides the information for the return from duality to unity. This more complete cultural information provides sustainable cultural solutions. And we can learn from the evolution of science paradigms what steps may to be taken to advance and complete the intercultural edifice. The complete information about cultural man is similarly more effective as the more complete information about nature proved to be more effective in other domains.
By now we can specify the title of the treatise by saying that the book of culture that operates in the domain of duality should be closed in order to inaugurate the paradigm shift towards complementary diversity- unity information about man that is supposed to be more in line with today’s world’s needs and human aspirations. There can be nothing new unless the old is put where it belongs, i. e. on the shelves of the archives of time and social science to give way to the new, for duality, dialectics and antagonism, though engineered as complementarity, deny the unity assumptions. Duality and unity are causally connected but they simultaneously exclude each other. However the design of man and hard science paradigms instructs us however how these two are causally connected and how they can be reassembled and reintegrated in a sense making way. Indeed their integration is the break-through to a new paradigm that provides the complete cultural information about man. This completeness provides more complete and sustainable results. So, we are, in a way, using hard science and human science to complete the comprehensive cultural mapping of man, in line with the assumption of the replication of hard science paradigm shifts in social science, within more limited temporal horizons. We are closing Volume 1 of the book of culture and we open Volume 2 which provides the complete informational mapping of cultural man whose provisional wholeness provides more wholistic cultural solutions.
I have developed the five P approach based on metaphors of physiology and physics, of metaphysics, philosophy and psychology to translate and apply complementary scientific paradigms to the furthering of the understanding of culture and to more effective intercultural management. I have described this approach often already and I would like to present it again in a nutshell: The more complete human cultural map which is more likely to light the cultural path of man; the path of diversification as well as its completion by the path of potential integration:
2 Design of a scientifically-based diversity-integrative transcultural profiler
2.1 The state of the intercultural art and science On human relativity in intercultural research
NATO has contributed its share to the liberation of Libya. It is not yet sure, whether, from the western standpoint, that is liberation into the past or into the future, as the introduction of a form of Islamic law has also been announced. Culture and religion are important components of culture indeed and seem to be stronger than presumed attractiveness of western ideology. Exactly a fortnight ago media have been reporting about an escalating demonstration by Coptic Christians in Cairo which has caused a considerable number of victims, which has, however, been trivialized by some media by presenting it as business as usual in this part of the world. And as if I was not enough, the seismic changes of the Arab spring, which also involves Syria and other nations of the Maghreb and the Mashreg, culminates so far in a strong physical earthquake today in Turkey. The Euro crisis and the sword of Damocles of a global financial crisis are again threatening to strike and “Boycott Wall Street” movements in culturally diverse forms question the legitimacy of the global financial system. The gaps between the haves and the have-nots as well as the cultural gaps between players are seemingly widening to such an extent that the geological earth drifts apart as much as the social world. And this fragmentation and antagonizing atomization seems to have its cause in a divisive force in the human psyche which should be looked at in search of a remedy for the ongoing externalization of division with its logic of conflict. It raises the questions of integrative forces in man to counterbalance divisive forces. The spirit of division in many shapes and forms seems to prevail over the spirit of unity, from the local to the global, from the personal to a worldwide scale. Is that the shadow of today’s technologically feasible global integration? However, conditioned separation and division as well as a priori given essential unity of man are both aspects of man. When this complementary reality is lost out of sight dysfunctionalities occur in the organism of humanity. So the question seems to arise how this lopsided prioritization of human anthropological reality can be rebalanced, how the game of the perennial centrifugal and centripetal forces in many garbs can be harmonized and reintegrated. More culturally and abstractly speaking the question arises, how the integration and reconciliation of myriads of singular forms and shapes and types of human diversity on the one hand and their essential unity as members of humanity on the other hand can be realized. The realization of the complementary synergetic function of both aspects of man’s constitution has a naturally conflict preventative impact, because the natural divisive forces are contained by the natural integrative forces. The perception of the whole has a controlling function, an integrative and pacifying impact within and as a consequence also without. Deficits with regard to the perception of this reality as an interdependent whole, which results from socialization as much as cultural conditioning - in fact it is part of fundamental overall human conditioning of man across cultures and civilizations - lead to a structural and functional imbalance of man that is counterproductive to the development of humanity from a diverse human species to a solidary human family with all its diversity. In the following we want to focus our attention on the contribution of intercultural research to the correction of this state of affairs in order to complement presumable deficits in intercultural theory and practice in view of enhanced global management. Not presumptuousness moves and motivates such a lofty perspective but rather the need to address a presumed core issue of human affairs. And unity is not a form of vague idealism but rather a functional aspect of the human.
A parabolic story in which an individual is looking for an object in the light of a lantern can be considered symbolic of mainstream intercultural research. When a passer-by asks the searching individual where exactly he has lost the object, the latter answers that it must have been a little further away, whereupon the puzzled passer- by further asks why he was not looking where he assumes he has lost the object in question. The searcher answered that he was looking here in the light of the lantern because the visibility was better in the light of the lantern.
Some intercultural research does not seem unlike the search of the lost item in our didactic, parabolic anecdote, as there seems to be a tendency to enquire within the known, rather than exploring new horizons that might cast a new, creative light on the object the research. While, for example, quantified sophistication is certainly legitimate and may provide precious insights and meet a human need for formula- like certainty based on specific numbers without ambiguity it does not necessarily mean that the researcher leaves the already charted territory of the known and comes closer to the destination aimed at by the pioneers of true intercultural research, which consists, so to speak, in the realization of a form of cultural Eldorado in the sense that man may reach masterhood in the control of the ambivalence of the culture variable with its divisive as well as its integrative and synergistic potentiality alike in this era of globalization with its increasing cultural challenges across the world as we have seen and said in the few introductory examples that epitomize the state of the world.
A quantum-cultural reading of cultural and intercultural reality suggests that specific data of cultures need to be complemented by the complementary momentum of cultures. It fulfills the metaphorical imperative of the complementarity principle Niels Bohr’s as well as of the insight gained from Heisenberg’s uncertainty principle. Both together allow us to view culture from two complementary angles and to state about the integration of the two optics: On the one hand there is the specific world of cultures with specific cultural data and coordinates based on empirical intercultural research, while the complementary optic is that of their wave dynamic and momentum. In order to integrate the two and to describe culture and its dynamics holistically, one has to leverage a neurophysiological analogy of twofold structural and functional integration. Not doing so means lagging behind scientific paradigms in the sense that the particle approach to cultures, where each culture is attributed a particular numerical position needs to be complemented by its dynamic momentum. The former tends to be more static, is classificatory and divisive per se, while the latter is dynamic and integrative. Both together constitute the more complete cultural reality that performs better globally in business management and politics alike and therefore needs to be leveraged in our time of increasing globalization challenges.
Quantum physics has not only allowed outer space conquest but it can also enable inner space conquest with the totality of its cultural conditioning. In other words the intercultural acquis (research output), as I shall try to show, needs to be complemented by the transcultural approach, which is a metaphorical application of the microphysics paradigm that has been inaugurated as long as a century ago already. Therefore it is high time to translate this epistemological breakthrough discovery as far as possible to the sociocultural domain as well.
The hope that global business, global communications and transportation infrastructure against the backdrop of an even wider scaled space research, in short, that advanced technology would also bring about the cultural integration of the planet and would complete the technically feasible global village socioculturally as well remained unfulfilled so far. On the contrary, rather than peacefully and solidarily, as in olden days but in new forms, draw the vital resources from the common wellsprings of the one village, in a spirit of worldwide interdependence and therefore solidary unity, we are in a process of technological convergence paralleled by cultural divergence. Some indicators for the drifting apart of the world, albeit coupled with the quest for the realization of synergy potentials in transnational management are, for example, that the perceived multicultural threat to the integrity of cultural identity in transnational organizational environments can lead to defensive, ethnocentric attitudes and behaviours that are humanly divisive rather than integrative. In some urban environments there is, in addition to the understandable need of cultural solidarity within foreign cultural environments, a trend to cultural ghettoization, which again is divisive rather than integrative. And in geopolitics and the economy, as one can deduce from the Euro crisis and that of the global financial system for example, there is a trend to undermine the integrative acquis of decades of integration policy by multilayered national cultural interests based divisive behaviours. National and supranational identities need further reconciliation and integration while obviously safeguarding cultural uniqueness as the basis for intercultural synergies, in the interest of a sustainable future at large. The game of the two fundamental forces – as in physics –, those that weld mankind together and those that rip it apart seem to have mankind in their grip as much as the gravitational and the antigravitational pull in nature. And when imbalances become too strong seismic change occurs as much in society as in nature. That leads to cyclical catharsis for the recovery of the balance of centrifugal-centripetal forces in diverse domains and shapes.
Half of the wars waged during the past decades were apparently motivated by the struggle for water and land and the two can be subsumed as the competition for food, as both resources together enable the resulting resource of food or in their absence lead to a lack of it and thereby undermine survival. Then the ensuing question of survival may be connected to deeply rooted and at times irrational motives like that of cultural overidentification for the sake of presumed insurance of survival – which may of course backfire and cause destruction of self an others alike – which may be difficult to control. Culture and its management-dependent ambivalence are at risk of becoming a focus of power and identity processes in the competition for food and the survival of cultural groups increasing in number and size that might be tempted to use and play the card of cultural identity in the power game about the access to resources. Culture and survival issues might therefore be at risk of forming a not so holy alliance in view of the future of humanity with its likely challenges. But in spite of this projected negative scenario that involves culture, that latter, if properly and more thoroughly understood can nevertheless also be a potential factor of integration of the planet as a whole. This dichotomy and its effective management in the interest of man is a tenor of this study. Whether culture plays the role of a factor of integration or of disintegration of mankind at its diverse scales and in its multilayered human contexts depends on the depth of its understanding and its management in the light of such enhanced insight with practical relevance.
From this vantage point one may ask whether the cultural question has been posed comprehensively enough, so as to lead to complete answers that involve the root causes of cultural processes whose understanding allows the sustainable management of culture. For, as long as one does not manage to penetrate to the root of culture and understands its rationale in depth one will keep turning in circles and gilding the cage the culture gurus have designed, assuming that one has achieved masterhood over cultural issues, without, however, ever finding the actual key that would allow one to open that golden cage and to access the path towards freedom in the sense of a more comprehensive management and control of the key cultural variable within man’s psychological constitution.
The well-known North American architect Frank Lloyd Wright was framing his architectural design challenge as the need of “cracking the box”, so as to integrate the structure with the environment in a new way. Well the intercultural box and the architectural box may indeed be likened, as both seem to require a wider and better performing contextualization in a wider whole that provides more sense and purpose.
The physical and the psychological definition of space do not lack a certain similarity. They however differ in a subtle way in the sense that the physical edifice had to be integrated into the Arizona desert at the time of Lloyds architectural research, while the psychological structure with its socio-culturally conditioned content has to be taken out of the limited desert of the mind to be reintegrated in the vaster space of human consciousness, so as to uncover the true meaning and logic of culture and to enhance the performance of its management by the wider horizon, that provides access to its governing axiomatic and thereby shows how culture can be recontextualized in a way that reengineers it from a sword into a plough that can help solving the human nutrition issue physically as well as psychologically: the need for healthy cultural identity and food alike.
In other words, the human mind with its conditioned sociocultural content, needs to be relocated in its wider context of the human spirit. This opening and resetting of the limited cage or box will show what the actual meaning of culture is within the context of human evolution. By perceiving the complete picture culture becomes manageable from the widest angle of vision and therefore the greatest sustainability and effectiveness. It becomes a true resource for the future of mankind rather than a potential treat. Practically the cultural and the intercultural will have to be embedded or recontextualized in an inner space that transcends them and which can therefore be called culture transcending human consciousness or transcultural consciousness. The inter-transcultural complementarity with the command, control and integration function of the transcultural with regard to the intercultural, based on a psychophysiological axiomatic can be leveraged for the benefit of man at every level and in every walk of life by global professional manager and common man alike. Finally one may rhetorically ask whether it is not necessary to create a more solid foundation for a structure in terms of scope in order to increase the performance, the bearing power and the capacity of the building, whether the building be physical or psychological in nature. In that sense we will design a bigger and more performing edifice that can house culture and its peaceful management comfortably.
2.2 Enhancing the intercultural art and science Sources, models and the achievement of supreme cultural intelligence
Intercultural theoreticians as well as practitioners sometimes tend to forget, in addition to the contributions of the diverse civilizations of the world to the topic, which we shall review later on, what the sciences of life, matter and energy as well as religion as an all-encompassing time transcending understanding of life can contribute to a complementary epistemological, transcultural perception of cultural diversity and its effective and sustainable management that suffices the global management imperative of our global multicultural age.
The transcultural and transdisciplinary perception and insight, which we shall look at in greater detail in the course of this exposé, are among other readings, last but not least also transpositions of hard scientific evidence, albeit at a metaphorical rather than a concrete level of course. I am referring more specifically to Niels Bohr’s complementarity principle, formulated in 1927 already. It is among quantum physics breakthrough discoveries which have enabled modern high-tech civilization right to space conquest. Not only the management of physical space but also that of psychological space can benefit from such principles, provided they are carefully - with due respect to the specificity to the disciplines - translated to other levels of life and research. Objections against the crossing of disciplines are legitimate and need to be carefully scrutinized in order to prevent confusion. But not attempting the judicious metaphorical translation of fundamental laws of existence, which due to their fundamentality affect everything that is supported by that foundation in nature as a whole, has not been and does not seem to be pardoned by history. On the contrary, the omission has called a form of scientific nemesis on to the world’s stage in the shape of the greatest cultural conflicts of human history. The translation and application of lead-paradigm shifts for an enhanced view of life is not only more appropriate epistemologically but also more ethical, because it is more truthful. And truth is one in which true science and true ethics seem to converge and guide human understanding and action in a new light, the light of truth which is sustainable per se. But it is never too late. Therefore let’s get started hic et nunc, here and now. At least the question needs to be raised in order to be not held accountable by history for an epochal omission.
It is also necessary to correctly read the principles of evolution with their logic of differentiation and integration in view of their translation to the management of cultural diversity. This duality is not to be interpreted antagonistically, guided by the individual and collective ego, but rather as a means of evolution for the purpose of furthering its finality of continuous enhancement. Microphysics as well as neurophysiology seem to illustrate that the principle of complementary dualities can contribute to a more effective conceptualization and description not only of material but also of immaterial expressions and manifestations of life, in particular from an application-oriented standpoint.
In the domain of biology a most determining complementary duality along with its integration comes into being at the very beginning of life itself, to such an extent that is seems to be the actual hallmark and leitmotiv of life per se, with myriads of variations and transpositions of its guiding theme. I am referring to the life enabling, unifying integration of the diverse complementary male and female genetic information in the fertilized ovum. Not heeding this activity of the intelligence of life itself from its very beginning does not permit either the correct understanding of the entire biographical course of this constitutional biological complementary duality. It is always advisable to reconnect to that root cause and compass of life as it adapts to and interacts with the environment in order to understand it anew at the diverse levels of its individual and social outforming. It is the assumed tenor of life and also of culture and therefore of this study. How much the very science of genetics is aware of the critical balances involved in this assumption will finally also decide on its destructiveness or creativity. What authority should the genetic feasibility enthusiasts be accountable to for irreversible manipulations of essential and implacable balances of life that condition its existence or inexistence? Are they apprentis sorciers? Can they be allowed to be such potentially corrupting agents of life? This question would, however, go beyond the scope of this essay, as it involves the question of culture and ethics in general and that of scientific culture and ethics in particular. It involves their duality and therefore seems to require an agent for the sustainable integration of that duality in order to prevent the ambivalence with regard the use of the acquis of genetics and its engineering. It is part of the overall integration of human duality in order to prevent a replication of what has happened with regard of the ambivalent use of quantum physics in the nuclear domain, which has been regretted by the leading scientists.
The translation of a principle of life and evolution to the sociocultural level, which cannot but also be supported by the very basis of life itself, besides which there is no other to our knowledge - in the interest of humanity and without its corruption by the dynamic of ego and greed - is not more and not less than a logical conclusion and a cultural act, worthy of civilized man.
But the contrary seems to occur, as one may infer from trends of corruption of that condition of existence itself in the shape of attitudes and behaviors of sexual competition, for example, or in the form of interferences with prenatal life. Here, the interdependence and complementary integration of life, its unity, does not always seem to be perceived. Such oblivion and estrangement from the fact of life itself, from its biological truth without alternative is a deviation from the one and only way of life – for there is no body and no life of replacement -. Such is the way, the truth and life which, in the religious optic, is epitomized by Christ, from who all men are images, albeit in myriads of diverse appearances, yet essentially united by the ultimate metaphysical template which is God in the appearance of Christ. In that sense religion is the ultimate panacea and sustainable solution for diversity issues of any kind.
It is necessary to know the corset of cultural conditioning and to also be able to liberate oneself from it when solutions within the known are out of sight. Or, in the golden cage metaphor, it may be necessary to transcend that cage, to free oneself thereof and to cut asunder the Gordian knot of the cultural logic of conflict when all attempts at solving and ending it seem to be exhausted, or, paraphrasing Shakespeare, when all ”cultural remedies are past” and no conventional cultural remedies seem to be left. In that way the culturally conditioned sorrow of man can be mitigated, which leads to the second part of Shakespeare’s stanza, i.e. „the cultural sorrow is over.“ In other words, the phylogenetic human endowment for the transcendence of the socio-cultural, mental space within by the noetic, metamental or transcultural dimension of a wider biologically-based space of consciousness can effect a wisely-integrative solution to all human diversity-related challenges. It appears as if the wisdom of life itself had foreseen from its very dawn that integrative option teleologically as an ever accessible rescue and resource of life for the regulation of its entire course of evolution in order to always be able to recover its integrity within a context of evolutionarily necessary diversification. It appears to be the very game of life that, although it may seem puzzling at the surface, makes sense at a deeper level of understanding. And the understanding compliance with it, based on the perception of the logic as a whole along with its evolutionary rationale, sets man free from diversity-conditioned struggle, as the ways of nature, of life, the very truth of life itself, are unraveled thereby. The complementary perception of the two strands of the game of evolution highlights the essential oneness of life with its dynamic that unveils its enigma to the perceiver. More specifically, culturally speaking, if the complementary transcultural integrative aspect of the intercultural surface view can be operationalized, then cultural sorrow that is due to human cultural astigmatism in the wider sense is truly gone by. Is that not the beginning of the fulfillment of the objective formulated in the heading of the chapter that intends to enhance the art and science of culture?
The transcultural dimension can be supported scientifically by hard and softer social sciences alike, as well as by religion and the diverse epistemologies and philosophies across civilizations, space, time and culture alike. It can enable a supreme cultural device for the management and control of the cultural diversity dimension within mankind at the individual as much as at the social level. When all cultural measures within intercultural frames and spaces of the mind fail, then the art and science integrating and transcending dimension space of pristine consciousness can - as at the source of the spring of a river before it is laden with the debris of its course and free form the cultural sorrow that man has brought about by his own deficitary cultural insight - provide a cryptic remedy. “When remedies are past, the sorrow is over“, provided the transcultural dimension can be operationalized. Otherwise, the cultural dimension remains, in spite of its synergy and creativity potentialities, part of the cause of man’s existential sorrow. - The understanding of the concomitance of the complementary dimensions of singular diversity and essential unity enhances both in a superordinate formula of existence and evolution while it removes its conflict potentiality.
The access and initialization of such a survival mechanism, provided by evolution, through the transcendence of the cultural may be required when the ship of mankind threatens to crash on the rocks of the waves of culture generated by the human mind with its cultural conditioning. It reminds one of George Bernard Shaw foretelling of the imminent First World War in his play “Heartbreak House”, when a he states that nothing happens, except that a ship is crashing on the rocks. And the rocks of nationalism of that epoch are not unlike the (tidal) waves of culture in our time and the foreseeable future. However, the difference between the two eras lies is the fact, that today, if man is willing, he can steer the ship of mankind to the harbour of destination of cultural peace in the safer waters of a true transnational and transcultural dimension that can prevent its being torpedoed by destructive culture waves and reefs and rocks of a culturally unenlightened human mind. Man can heed or ignore the signs of the time. History confronts man in another spiral turn with an analogous challenge. The awareness-based response or non-response has conditioned his destiny then as it does now as it seems. And far from gloom and doom philosophy the challenge also points to solutions instead of irreversible destiny; a shift of the focus of human awareness so as to also encompass, beyond the aspect of surface divisions, complementary essential integrity, solidarity and unity of the human family. One may call it idealism or a fact of existence. Why should existence not be an ideal scenario? Has it not to be one to perform its monumental task? Practically the seemingly insurmountable Himalayas of conflicting diversity profiles are dwarfed to insignificance by an enlightened transcultural mindset. With its development and transcultural awareness the diverse elevations on the cultural map of the world that constitute man’s cultural mental software appear as an interdependent organic tissue of diverse elevations that make up the topography of the world’s terrain, physical, cultural, societal and personal. It is the transcultural software of the mind and consciousness that allows its conflict free navigation. We have to move from specific interculturalism to holistic interculturalism, from symptomatic to holistic interculturalism that sees the entire organism as explanatory of the diverse limbs of the organism. That shift from symptomatic approaches to integrated approaches has been accomplished by branches of medicine and many other sciences. Now it is culture’s turn as well. The transcultural mental software is that complementary add-on that meets the need of the day and the age. It can be likened to the soaring eagle above rugged mountain chains of diverse cultural clusters or to the cybernetic autopilot that navigates man’s cultural routes and destinations based on superordinate information management mechanisms. Transcultural consciousness-based transcultural intelligence provides this cultural autopiloting capability that integrates and transcends human diversity of any shape, form or type in an appropriate way. And the view of the whole is aware of interdependent wholeness in diversity and tends to be naturally ethical. And with that new ethics the lack of ethics-based malfunctioning of our civilization (business, finance, and cultural emancipation of groups as in the Balkans etc…) can be corrected and made sustainable again.
A great number of the wars in recent times were motivated, as has been pointed out already, by the competition for two major resources, namely those of water and land, which amounts to the competition for food, as both resources condition this resulting resource from water and territory.
Culture is ambiguous if its particle aspect is looked at while its wave aspect is excluded and vice versa. A wholistic quantum cultural reading of culture, however, has an impact on future scenarios. The natural trend of the divisive cultural momentum can be counterbalanced by its complementary integrative momentum once it is leveraged. And therein consists a possible remedy for potential cultural conflict.
For, among the future scenarios one can also imagine one from the cultural standpoint, which assumes the shape, that diverse cultural groups might be tempted, due to demographic and ethnocentric processes in a general context of scarceness of resources and precarization, to use culture as a strategic arm for survival, as we have similarly seen in the case of national, racial and religious fundamentalisms during the course of history and more specifically of more recent human history. After all, national racial, ethnic, linguistic and religious identity are part of a still vague notion of culture, of that which constitutes the multifactored singularity of man and societies. Yet, if a complementarity-based notion of culture can underpin a more wholistic understanding of it, its divisive and integrative components are provided with a mechanism of checks and balances that can prevent a getting out of control of cultural processes.
- Quote paper
- D.E.A./UNIV. PARIS I Gebhard Deissler (Author), 2012, Global Sports Management - A Cultural Perspective, Munich, GRIN Verlag, https://www.grin.com/document/196784