PANEM ET CIRCENSES
THE GLOBAL SPORTS BUSINESS
INTERCULTURAL SPORTS AND SOCCER MANAGEMENT
TEN DIMENSIONS OF GLOBAL SPORTS MANAGEMENT
1. THE NATION AS THE DOMINANT FORCE: THE CULTURAL AMBIVALENCE INHERENT IN THE OLYMPIC GAMES AND IN GLOBAL SPORTS
2. THE SOCIO-HISTORICAL ASPECT
3. THE CULTURAL IMPERATIVE OF GLOBAL SPORTS
4. SOCCER FROM AN ECONOMIC AND A POLITICAL STANDPOINT
5. SOCCER FROM A SOCIOPSYCHOLOGICAL PERSPECTIVE
6. CULTURAL STRATEGY, TACTICS AND STYLES OF SOCCER
7. THE WESTERN CULTURAL BIAS WITH REGARD TO THE CULITVATION OF HUMAN BODY, MIND AND SPIRIT AND COMPLEMENTARY APPROACHES TO HUMAN INTEGRITY AND WHOLENESS
8. ORIENT AND OCCIDENT: EAST-WEST SYNERGY
9. A UNIVERSAL CULTURE OF COMMUNICATION FOR THE GLOBAL ERA
10 A UNIVERSAL TOOL FOR INTERNATIONAL DIVERSITY MANAGEMENT: THE TRANSCULTURAL PROFILER
CULTURALLY INTEGRATIVE GLOBAL SPORTS MANAGEMENT
VISHUA CHAYTANA: THE FORMULATION OF A GLOBAL CONSCIOUSNESS-BASED 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. Three Dozen Inter-/Transcultural Management Instruments
English Transcultural Management Dictionary
Panem et Circenses
The Global Sports Business Culture
Intercultural Sports- and Soccer Management
Ten Dimensions of Global Sports Management
1. The Nation As The Historically Dominant Force: The Cultural Ambivalence Inherent In The Olympic Games And In Global Sports
“Nationalism Means War.”
(Late French President François Mitterrand’s dictum in Moscow)
Around 1780 Bentham coined the term „international“ with the meaning of relations between sovereign nations. But these are vague notions, because the making of nations occurred with differing speeds and meanings.
While Great Britain and France, for example, have realized their national unity earlier, nations like Germany took longer to realize this objective. Therefore, in the case of the older nations, the term nation refers to the nation in the political sense, while in the latter the term nation refers, in the absence of political unification, to a more cultural unity defined by common language and cultural heritage. As a consequence in English and French one refers to the international economy, trade or politics by using the adjective international, while in Germany one uses the terms world economy or world politics instead for the same purpose. So, on the one hand the term nation has a primarily political connotation, on the other hand it has a more cultural one. In the case of Germany, the political unification of the nation may - after reunification - approach its formal completion, while the cultural unification may be said to be still in progress, which may be due to German occupation and cultural conditioning by the Western Allies in the former Federal Republic of Germany and by Eastern Socialist cultural conditioning in the former German Democratic Republic. It is a form of two competing nationalism in a third nation. Since the emergence of nation states the vagueness of the term nation and therefore the nature of international relations has changed its meaning over time. There is continuity, however, with regard to the axiomatic of intracultural and intercultural conflict that it has caused throughout its history and still continues to cause.
In Africa, for example, the constitution of nations highlights a conflict between tribal forces and interests that compete with the colonial legacy and the meaning of nation. Closer to us in Eastern Europe, the diverse cultures of former Yugoslavia have been emancipating themselves and claim their status of sovereign nations to this very day at high human price they are ready to pay for their prime collective value of national sovereignty and cultural identity.
The power-based logic of the constitution of nations that ignored in particular their cultural dimension as it has happened in the case of colonial imperialism or on ideological/cultural grounds as in former Tito’s Yugoslavia or in the case of the former Soviet Union seems to come to an end in our age, in particular due to the end of the world’s ideological bipolarization and due to the political emancipation of cultures. Significantly the centrifugal tendencies of some 130 peoples held together by the former Soviet Empire sealed the break-up of that empire. Centrifugal-centripetal national tendencies were among the chief causes that ended the historical empires like the Roman Empire, the colonial empires as well as the former Soviet empire. The very logic of the formation of nations seems to contain the seed of their ending. The emergent players define their own understanding of their interpretation of the term nation and sovereign nation. Often this happens on a cultural basis and it is frequently connected to economic motives.
In the US the term nation has a different meaning again, based for example, on the dual logic of Federal States and the Federal Government in Washington. The conflicts between central demands and regional, federal state or cultural forces are a continuous undercurrent that tends to reshape the concrete meaning of the nation in practice.
China’s sensitivity with regard to Taiwan is a significant example of a major global player’s understanding of the meaning of its nation. The One China Policy that encompasses most distant territories and over 5o cultural groups, among which the Tibetans seem to play a more prominent role, is a continuous historical theme in the Kingdom of the Middle that was united in 213 B.C. Without the presence of US forces in the area Taiwan’s independence might be at stake.
UN and NATO missions similarly survey nation building processes in Asia, Africa and Eastern Europe. The notion of the nation and the relationship between nations, i. e.international relations, are a thread that runs through human history. And this fundamental principle still guides European integration policy in our day in this part of the world, where the transfer of national sovereignty – changing the definition of the nation – to a supranational entity with its supranational institutions plays an important role with regard to the continuity of the biggest economy of the planet, whose members have inculturated the national idea with its consequences in other parts of the world. It is a largely a rationalist, fairly abstract concept, based on a power and an acquired formal legal rationale which is only partly supported and underpinned by natural human cultural affiliation, which explains its historical impermanence, wherever it occurs.
Some hundred years after the coinage of the term „international“ the French Baron Pierre de Coubertin, a former student of philology (among other subjects) of the Sorbonne with its millenary international tradition resumed the international idea and translated it to the world of sports. He followed the footsteps of cultural giants of the Sorbonne like Ignatius of Loyola who founded the world spanning order of the Jesuits (SJ) that can also be said to have had its impact on shaping the world in its own way. National and international culture and civilization and their integration and reconciliation require a humus like that of the century old Sorbonne and some outstanding minds. It reminds one of Rudyard Kipling’s Ballad of East and West, where he states that Eastern and Western Civilisations can meet again if strong minds meet. Chapter 8 discusses this issue under the heading of Orient and Occident: East-West Synergy.
Yet, only half a century later the notions of the national and of the interconnected international which is based on the national had led the entire world to the very brink of destruction through two major world wars. The international based on the national had perverted in devastating national and cultural identity struggles that were thought to be solvable by force. The national after all relies on its armies for the definition, protection and enforcement of its national territorial, legal and cultural identity. It involves a logic of conflict which international reconciliation pioneers like Robert Schumann, who promoted the European idea, understood and therefore tried to address at the very root through the promotion and the creation of supranational entities that were meant to integrate rather than further antagonizing nations with its inherent logic of conflict.
The ensuing cold war provided evidence that the national had reached a critical turning point, in spite of the foundation of the United Nations - and related IOs and special agencies – by the Charter of San Francisco in 1948 as well as of the European Iron and Steel Union in 1951 and of the EEC in 1957 that may be said to have pursued similar objectives at the economic and political levels to those pursued by the French Baron Pierre de Coubertin at the cultural level of global sports by reviving the ancient Athenian tradition in 1896. Could the return to the cultural roots of Western Civilisation provide a corrective to the national that defines international relations? But the ideologically magnified notion of the nation antagonized not only nations but entire systems of nations, based on the logic of deterrence.
Mankind collectively organized as nations with their divisive, conflict generating rationale had reached a critical phase in its evolution, where it would either control its collective selves with their unlimited competitive and self-affirmative logic at any price in the shape of nation states or it would be controlled by that creation of its own making based on multiple mutual destruction capabilities. The nation had finally ushered in a form of terror, the so-called equilibrium of terror.
The hope that progressive globalization and continental and regional forms of integration like the EFTA, EU, SEATO, the African Union and later on NAFTA, among other regional forms of integration, would enable mankind to transcend the national rationale that antagonized man was not fulfilled. Sectorial integration frequently tends to only promote national interests at a wider scale. The world peace through world trade assumption by IBM Senior Management only works if economic and monetary integration that complement regional market integration, are consolidated by fiscal and political integration, which transfers divisive national sovereignty to integrative supranational entities and thereby either defuses the antagonizing logic of the nation or simply translates the national syndrome to supranational entities that may then confront other supranational entities at vaster scales and thereby exacerbate the logic of the nation at a wider scale.
Under the impact of globalization an emerging cultural consciousness has progressively replaced and complemented national consciousness and has thereby increased and intensified international conflicts by intercultural and intracultural ones. And the trend of concomitant globalization and Balkanization is still in progress. Finlandization, exclusion and isolation of political and cultural players and their control and tutelage have become increasingly unrealistic in a technologically- based interdependent world. Therefore hitherto overruled cultural groups with distinct identities try to leverage their cultural identity in order to promote additional national entities based on their cultural (linguistic, territorial and ethnic) identities. The number of sovereign member nation states of the UN General Assemblée therefore tends to increase and thereby the logic and the rationale of the nation which provides historical evidence of needing a corrective in order to be sustainable.
Now the differentiative and exclusive component of the national with its antagonizing intranational and international impact requires a complementary integrative corrective. Transnational and supranational movements and entities emerged in order to balance the centrifugal effects of the national by a centripetal momentum in that was assumed to enable mankind to tame the national whose hubris did not and does not seem to want to accept any limits. The logic of mutual destruction of national entities proved to be impossible. The instauration of a Pax Romana by a super power nation also proved illusory. Mankind is still under the spell of the magnified replication of the rationale of the national by regional and global superpowers that are continuing or constituting themselves and which conflicts with cultural and national forms of emancipation and allied struggles. From the local to the global scale national and cultural identity struggles that follow one social psychological principle and rationale (see further below) continue forming that world’s stage of which all are, willy-nilly, actors.
The French Baron Pierre de Coubertin may be said to have attempted to translate the hot battlefields to the global sports arena and to thereby civilize the natural human need and impulse of competition based identification and identity. Not only intrapersonal, spiritual-mental-physical but also intercultural and international integration were a tenor of the baron's enlightened international agenda. Collective learning entailed in the process would make the hot battlefields obsolete. This might have been Pierre de Cubertin’s pedagogical assumption. However, on the contrary, less than half a century later the efforts in view of the pacification of the world by the control of mankind’s diverse collective selves in the form of nations ended in the summum of national presumptuousness of Verdun and Stalingrad. Wherever man turns his eyes in time and space he encounters evidence of the impact of uncontrolled nationalism that is based on the logic of the nation state.
It appears as if the national motive had also taken control of that which was aimed at civilising and humanizing the national, i. e. of global sports in the Olympic and other global sports contexts. The collective psyche seemed to want to sacrifice everything to the nation and to be ready to enforce its interests without self-limitation. This led to a century of national conflicts at a global scale. The Olympic motto “citius, altius, forties” seems to provide wings to the national motive rather than civilizing it pedagogically. The ideologically-based national sports policy of the Third Reich and of the former German Democratic Republic among other national policies provide ample evidence for national instrumentalization of sports. And the politicization and mercantilization of sports continue within the context of globalization.
Therefore it seems to be imperative to recognize and to promote the complementary integrative function of global sports - of which the Olympics are a unique highlight – to its disintegrative momentum based on the national cultural theme. The integration of the two complementary dimensions of global sports constitutes the rationale of this investigation.
Neither the national nor the competitive human reality can be ignored in man at that time. If they cannot be controlled by themselves they may be integrated and transcended by a wider human awareness, knowledge, related skills and continuous practical learning. The integrity of man and creation are new benchmarks in the process.
From the standpoint of human evolution the national phase of social organization and identification with the related impact referred to above can be looked at as the fifth out of six stages of human phylogenetic evolution that condition his international/intercultural values, attitudes and behaviours:
12 D Transcultural Profiler Level D 4
Evolution: Phylogenetic development stages 1-6/Intercultural Development stages 7-12
1 sensory level: human developmental stage of perception
2 active level: human developmental stage of action
3 affective level: human developmental stage of affection
4 analytic intellectual level: human developmental stage of the intellect
5 synthetic intellectual level: human developmental stage of the Ego and the social group.Here the National emerges.
6 universal level: human developmental stage that goes beyond Ego and synthesis
7 stage 1 denial: unable to identify cultural differences
8 stage 2 defence: recognition of cultural differences but tendency to evaluate other cultures negatively to one’s own
9 stage 3 minimization: recognition of superficial differences (objective culture) such as customs and habits, while holding the view that all cultures are essentially the same
10 stage 4 acceptance: Recognition and appreciation of cultural differences in behavior and values; considering them as logical and coherent solutions in different contexts.
11 stage 5 adaptation: development of communicationskills that facilitate intercultural communication; cybernetic thinking
12 stage 6 integration: internalization of abicultural or multicultural perspective; intercultural facilitator. (section based on Milton Bennett and Dr. Thérèse Brosse).
Thus today’s epochal challenge is very much about the completion of the fifth national stage of phylogenetic evolution
5 synthetic intellectual level: human developmental stage of the Ego and the social group.Here the National emerges.
and the transition towards the sixth universal phase in the above systematization.
6 universal level: human developmental stage that goes beyond Ego and synthesis
Therein the complementary integrative values, attitudes and behaviours would reside that need to be unlocked and leveraged in order to integrate the lopsided national affiliation and identification of the social group with its patterns of conflict across time and space within a more evolved space of nation and culture transcending human awareness and consciousness - the integrity of man and creation - in the interest of the future of mankind. See the following parts of the exposé for a more detailed discussion of this possibility. The 12 dimensions of phylogenetic and interconnected human intercultural evolution listed above represent Level D4 of the culture integrative 12 D master model, the Transcultural Profiler represented in the Chapter 10.
2. 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 study looks at global sports and more specifically at global soccer from historical, cultural, economic, social, strategic/tactical and civilization perspectives. Sports as a global management phenomenon and practice are contextualized in a global transcultural management framework. Its aim is the optimum use of cultural diversity and to create awareness of divisive dimensions in global sports, while it offers a consistent approach to the integration of divisive tendencies in the global world of sports. This will in turn affect other domains of the globalizing world.
3. 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.
4. Soccer From An Economic And A 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 fault line 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
5. 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.
6. 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 Brazilian 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 reaping 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 mismanagement 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 Brazil 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 Chapter 10 more dimensions of cultural difference are addressed, which leads to an integral inter-transcultural management approach and model. Although designed 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.
7. The Western Bias With Regard To The Cultivation Of Human Body, Mind And Spirit And Complementary Approaches To Human Integrity And Wholeness
In the following I would like to explore how the body and the mind can be attuned in an optimum way. It is really not enough to focus on values and behaviours alone, for our human body which has been given to us along with a most definite and definitive design or genetic programming with regard to structures and functions of each atom of the whole is contained in each one of billions of cells. This human body is the primary screen and vehicle through which we interact with our diverse environments and encounter cultural diversity. The body is our primary vehicle of experience and expression, the material support of life. Therefore it is life itself. It is most directly exposed to the outside world, to the struggle with other, sometimes competing forms of life, to the power games, we play, exacerbated by cultural diversity and human ignorance, 'avidya' as the Vedic sages termed it already thousands of years ago summarily. This struggle for survival affects the physical integrity, our structural edifice. And due to the organic interconnectedness of the human biological system as a whole, the energetic and mental structures are affected in turn. Therefore, interferences at one level have repercussions on all other levels. The games between cultures, groups and individuals can undermine and attempt to deprive the other(s) from their legitimate rights, appropriate 'otherness' instead of respecting it, owning it but not legitimately possessing it. A form of neo-cannibalism! This predator instinct is obviously neither ethical nor legal. Interference with others' legitimate rights, the extreme form of which is cannibalism, more modern forms may be mobbing or more subtle symbolical, implicit attempts, to wield power over others to one's advantage. This is a universal issue. Culture simple provides more fuel and exacerbates the universal problem. In Eastern psychology, the mind is material. So, mind and body are a continuum governed by similar laws. In that sense the notion of mental software makes no sense, because it is a limited concept, a fragment of the whole which as a fragment cannot account for the whole. An interaction is a total interaction, whose impact we are obviously trying to contain if it negatively affects our structural identity, impacting all systems, soma, energy and psyche. The corruption of their interconnected integrity is actually the real problem, no matter in what subsystem of the body it starts. So, we really have to look at all the biological systems in their integrity. The assumption that some mental software runs the human hardware is extremely culture-contingent and of the beginning of the computer age one-dimensionality. While we respectfully acknowledge the pioneering work, we now have to take further steps.
We have to look at the entire continuum of man, one pole being the angel, the other the ape, as the poet would frame it, in order to reconcile and transcend this metaphor of the overall human condition. In an intercultural overlap situation cultural patterns tend to assert and reinforce themselves through cultural networking and agenda-contingent alliances (le jeu des alliances). Having the other interactants shoulder the load of the interfacing process requires less effort. When naturally evolved cultural patterns are imposed different rhythms, the individual or collective entities get out of tune, the 'structures-functions' fit equation is impaired. Stress occurs, and if corruption sets in survival reflexes appear, resulting in culture clash, which, unmanaged, can escalate. The recognition and the respect of the difference are the first sensible steps to prevent this process. Gradual adaptation should set in leading to forms of reconciliation, thus preserving the various identities involved. Identity, continuity and stability - highlighted by the capacity to adapt, the capability of neutralizing disturbances from within or without, and of maintaining the organism's overall integrity - are an imperative of life. Integrity and non-integrity cannot be reconciled, being or not being are not a dilemma, no continuum, with no perspective of reconciliation. Talking about stability, integrity and enhanced performance I would like to contrast and integrate an Eastern physiological approach with a Western psychological approach and show how they can be reconciled:
Let's start with the HUMAN PYRAMID, the ideal human configuration in East Asia, notably in Japan, while we keep in mind that it is a metaphor. Symbolisms should not be taken literally and the literal should not be taken symbolically. What does this human pyramid look like in the Asian tradition in particular. It forms a triangle, sitting on a reliable, stable, broad base and pointing upward vertically. It symbolizes the human architecture, grounded on the best possible basis. It does not only refer to the outer structure, the anatomy and physiology, outer structures and functions, but also to what is largely neglected in Western approaches, namely the inner structure, the energetic structure. While Japan has championed this ideal man, it finds its corollary across cultures, in the Siddhasana or Lotus position or the perfect posture of the Vedic and yogic traditions of South Asia, the kneeling in the Christian tradition and so forth. Coordinated sitting on chairs is displayed in Ancient cultures like Egypt. Differences in cultural values and anatomies lead to different approaches to the same quest. It requires some deeper awareness to discern what is beyond the form, to perceive the Gestalt, to use a Western term. The Japanese might conceptualize it in terms of taiheki (polarization of vital energy) or 'seitai' (physical coordination) on which this posture has a decisive influence. In both the East Asian Human Pyramid ideal as well as in the South Asian Lotus or Siddhasana (perfect posture) ideal there are inner and outer structures involved, anatomic and energetic structures, an energetic anatomy, so to speak. Laya Yoga and the Shakta Vedanta of the Indian Vedic tradition as well as Zazen in the Japanese Zen Buddhist tradition, Chang in the Chinese tradition deal with the issue more specifically.
However, it must be stated emphatically that any experimentation by non-experts is dangerous.
As a matter of fact all cultures and in particular the religions and more specifically their esoteric rather than their exoteric branches have raised the question of the conditioning of the physical terrain in view of mental deconditioning. For millennia cultures have been aware of the interconnectedness of the spiritual-psycho-somatic continuum of man as a whole and that the whole had to be accounted for rather than its fragments. For if we want to understand mental programmes we have to understand the mind and the latter can be understood more fully if we consider its entire biological context, the terrain as a whole. It is more complex than a specialist approach but it allows us to contextualize the search in a new way.
We want to ask, how the diverse members of the body, inner and outer, can be configured so as to reduce the weight of conditioning, including cultural conditioning, how the body, the heart and mind can be configured, so as to reduce conditioning and thereby open up a new chapter in the quest for cultural intelligence (CQ), which could be applied practically to leadership across cultures and leverage transcultural intelligence. It is yet another perspective on the mosaic of perceptions of culture in order to perceive the bigger picture.
Let's return to the Human Pyramid, an East Asian master model of man: any system should have a maximum stability, to assure its continuity and stability. Considering the three possible states of stability, namely, stability, metastability and instability, it is surely stability, which offers the optimum conditions for continuity and effectiveness. This highest possible integration and consolidation clearly satisfies a Japanese value preference of high level safety and reliability, an ideal terrain for sensing and intuition. While the Indian Siddhasana prepares the terrain ideally for the spiritual journey, which is an Indian metaphysical value preference, the Japanese ideal on the other hand translates a more physical value preference. And, with regard to both architectures, the inner and the outer, the energetic as well as the biological, to use a broader term, strive to align and reinforce their maximum stability and dynamism by themselves and synergize at the highest somato-energetic consolidation and integration. The two configurations, the Human Pyramid as well as the Perfect Posture of the two Asian traditions of India and Japan involve two triangle structures: a horizontal one that forms the base with the two knees and the buttocks. On this base triangle a vertical triangle is formed by the vertical axis of the backbone with the trunk, with the head on top, thus forming a pyramid, the Human Pyramid. The structure and dynamics involved in this posture consolidate the entire human edifice physiologically and energetically. While physiology and energy are coordinated and integrated, the mind is stilled and stabilized in turn, due to the mind-body interconnectedness. In this 'ventrocentric' (term by I. Tsuda) approach the entire psychosomatic system is coordinated and stilled. The waves of the mind subside, tension goes. When the noise of the mind with all its conditionings is quiet, cultural conditioning is no more. It is in a state of potentiality. The cultural impact decreases proportionally to the increase of the stilling of the mind. Thus managing the mind in a bottom up approach, culture and cultural programming can be managed effectively. So, there is also a physiological approach to the management of culture.
As interculturalists, we want to see, whether we can transpose the model of maximum stability and efficiency to the mental level, where our cultural conditioning is supposed to be located. While the former approach to cultural deconditioning is an Eastern approach, starting with the body, technically the 'ventrocentric' approach, the mental approach privileging the neocortical circuits, starting with the mind, may be called a 'cerebrocentric' (term by I. Tsuda) approach corresponding to a more Western tradition.
Indeed, as by now we are used to thinking in triads, we can now construct, with or without the preparation and achievement of an integrated physiological terrain, which is a lifelong undertaking requiring one-pointed effort and Asian patience and perseverance. Western cultures evolve in smaller time horizons and will prefer shorter term, faster achievements. The following model might therefore be more appealing to the Western mind. Let's call it 'cerebrocentric' approach as opposed to 'ventrocentric' approach. Some Eastern approaches symbolically portray the Western approach as a reversed triangle with the base on top and the top at the base, to point out the comparatively lower degree of consolidation of the 'cerebrocentric' approaches, implying instability. As I design this model myself, for my part I would claim a correctly stabilized triangle with the base at the base and the top at the top. Indeed stabilization will be a key quest in this search.
At the psychological level we can identify and design a triangle with the conventional notions of IQ (intellect) at one pole of the base of the mental triangle and EQ (emotional intelligence) at the opposite pole. If the two poles are successfully reconciled, it results in a fairly balanced human being in Western culture terms. Yet, the 'dance' on this continuum is necessarily imperfect. It breeds terrorists, fanatics and dictators, as we know. Therefore it needs enhancing by a third corrective coordinate, which accounts for our relativity, which helps us not to commit grave faux pas in the 'dance of life', not to deviate and to become biased. In order to effectively use our mental and emotional potentialities, we need the third coordinate, CQ (cultural intelligence), to design the top of the triangle, which allows us to integrate, balance and objectify the various forms of intelligence as an IECQ enhanced intelligence model. While it provides a corrective for our cultural relativity and a compass whose needle always points to truth, objectivity and clear perception, it provides much needed structure, balance and direction.
If we now consider IECQ as the angles of a base triangle, we can erect the noetic vertical dimension at its centre with NQ (noetic intelligence) to result in transcultural intelligence:
TCQ (Transcultural intelligence) based on its neurophysiologic integrative status is the absolute centre of integration and control of the various forms of intelligence, the mind.
While the former physiological or ventrocentric model is a quest for the optimum base for control and coordination, the latter psychological or 'cerebrocentric' model symbolizes the quest for the top for optimum integration, deconditioning and growth.
Now that we could integrate physiology and biology through V (ventrocentrism) and the mind through transcultural or noetic intelligence TCQ or NQ (cerebrocentrism) the question arises, whether the two centers, the two pyramids, can be aligned and synergized. Indeed, the psychological and the somatic structures, according to the neurophysiologic law of subordination and integration, referred to repeatedly, find their control level in the superordinate noetic function, which integrates and controls both the subjacent psychological and the somatic level as the holistic enhanced biological noetic-psycho-somatic structure of man which has been the tenor of various exposés. The noetic dimension allowed us to design a vertical triangle and to connect the IECQ (intellectual, emotional, cultural intelligence) base triangle to NQ (or noetic intelligence) resulting in a pyramid. And far from becoming hybrids, it is the solution of the East-West dilemma, the East-West integration in a third creative, scientifically sound way, that integrates and surpasses the potentialities of East and West by themselves alone, and opens up a new chapter of transculturalism, hitherto thought of as an insoluble dilemma.
The realization of the IENCQ (intellectual, emotional, cultural, transcultural or noetic intelligence) psychological pyramid allows us to integrate time (we live in the eternal present) and space (in the here and now), the finite and the infinite potentialities. Such a formula alone is worthy of the human race at the threshold of the third millennium. Why, how? Through the awareness of the time-conditioning axis in the psychological model you are aware of your entire socialization, biography and conditioning whose product you are in the here and now. This encompasses the finite world of the mind, while the noetic 'macro-dimension' transcends the finite world of time, culture and conditioning. It unlocks the infinite (potentialities) in a consolidated body.
This is the type of intelligence, that processes culture and conditioning correctly and effectively, using it or transcending it at will and as need may be. We can call it IECNQ enhanced intelligence model, a balanced intelligence with a superordinate control that integrates the psychological model and the physiological model in turn.
To simplify let's reduce the pyramids to triangles and the triangles to simple coordinates. As can be seen in the diagram below, the physical intelligence and the mental/emotional intelligence are synergized and integrated and enhanced by noetic intelligence. It constitutes a holistic human intelligence model. Thus the terrain, the psyche and the spirit are perfectly aligned with an absolute command and control function, to manage cultural conditioning at the national, corporate or individual level. You may use this pristine intelligence to manage culture or your spiritual quest alike. Noetic or transcultural intelligence (transcultural in the sense of transcending culture and therefore the mind) is that incorruptible centre that integrates the soma and the psyche while it provides the resources for transcultural management, the most powerful capabilities.
Abbildung in dieser Leseprobe nicht enthalten
A HOLISTIC HUMAN INTELLIGENCE MODEL
8. Orient And Occident
In the following I would like to attempt an answer as to whether and how the cultural distance between East and West can be bridged. Rudyard Kipling in his days said
'Oh, East is East, and West is West, and never the twain shall meet,
Till Earth and Sky stand presently at God's Great Judgement Seat;'
These are the lines which are usually quoted. However, an Indian Maharajah and former Indian Ambassador to Washington D.C. I spoke to a few years ago correctly added the following lines, which are
'But there is neither East nor West, Border, not Breed, nor Birth,
When two strong men stand face to face,
Though they come from the end of the Earth'
and he interpreted the two “strong men” as
When two strong „minds“ meet
In other words, he contradicts or at least relativizes the common quotation of denial, saying that it is indeed possible to meet again to realize a synthesis. As a Maharajah by birth he is surely a reliable representative of the Indian subcontinent and as a former Ambassador of the Indian Government to the United States he is obviously an expert of Western and in particular US societal cultures. Maybe he was one of those 'strong men' referred to by Rudyard Kipling, who can make East and West meet again synergistically, in accordance with the third line in Kipling's verse, because as a transculturally competent, Orient and Occident are reconciled in his own consciousness already.
Of course, the Orient encompasses not only India. There is also China and in particular Japan - on which we will focus in greater detail in this study - with their millennia old cultures and civilisations. I refer to Japan in particular, because Japan, due to centuries of isolation, has maintained a unique form of cultural autonomy, while India and China, through colonialism, have been influenced by Western cultures and civilisation in various degrees. Whereas India is a singularity in the sense that it has successfully managed the continuity of a highly diverse multicultural, multiethnic, multireligious society for centuries, whose educational system presently has to work in 58 languages, Japan is another true cultural singularity, at least its strong traditional undercurrent which still permeates modern high-tech Japan, one of the leading nations of the world, although or precisely because it had to reconcile a most traditional culture with a most modern technical civilisation. Centuries of cultural autonomy of Japan which still have their effect on contemporary 21st century Japan, have led to the notion of 'nihonjinron', a Japanese term, which means that Japan is actually singular to such a degree that it cannot be understood from outside, but only from within. China may be added in the sense that it has traditionally assumed cultural superiority: 'Chung guo', kingdom of the middle, a beacon of civilisation. All three cultures are unique and can be said to be singular in their own way, at least in the sense that their apparent complexity appears truly cryptic and hard to read, particularly for the non-Oriental.
- Quote paper
- D.E.A./UNIV. PARIS I Gebhard Deissler (Author), 2012, OLYMPICS - Global Sports in the Area of Tension between Organisational, National and Supranational Forces, Munich, GRIN Verlag, https://www.grin.com/document/197283