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Cultural Dimensions of Richard D. Lewis Peter Kaminski Magdeburg

Cultural Dimensions of Richard D. Lewis

  • Sonntag, 05 September 2010 00:00
  • geschrieben von  Junghans, Wolfgang

In Richard D. Lewis book “When Cultures Collide - Leading Across Cultures“, three different sorts of culture: Linear-Active Culture (LAC), Multi-Active Culture (MAC) and Reactive Culture (RAC) are described.[1]

In a LAC, people are “task-orientated and highly organized planners”[2] who complete their tasks within a “given fixed time schedule”[3] on which they rely strictly. Further, they do only one activity at once. Additionally, facts, data and logic are stressed. Change is done from the highest to the lowest position of the hierarchy and LACs have a constant necessity for alteration. Further, Lewis mentions that it is planned very detailed, orientated on profits and individuals are the creator of innovation. It has also an impulse to growth and enhancement.[4]

In a MAC, people are orientated on relationships, planning only the important steps of an activity. For them, time schedules are relative which means that it is not necessary to rely on them strictly. Further, several things are done at the same time. Additionally, relations and information gathering using personal networks are stressed. Change is for MACs innovative, involving the reputation of an organization in the society, and will be done if it is exciting and all major issues are clarified. Afterwards, its details are planned. Furthermore, it has a stimulation effect on people and is beneficial for the top managers[5].

In a RAC, people are “human orientated”[6] looking “at general principles”[7] while planning. RACs adapt their reactions to actions of those with whom they interact. Additionally, relations and information gathering using personal networks and facts are stressed. If change happens the best process for a RAC is slow, successive and orientated on the employment. Additionally, the need exists to keep the harmony with other people. Furthermore, RACs believe that in the environment only some new things exist, change should be done only if really necessary and is usually dangerous.[8]

[1] See Kumbruck/Derboven (2005), p. 14.

[2] Kumbruck/Derboven (2005), p. 14.

[3] Kumbruck/Derboven (2005), p. 14.

[4] See Lewis (2006), pp. 33-34, 127.

[5] See Lewis (2006), pp. 34, 127-128.

[6] Kumbruck/Derboven (2005), p. 14.

[7] Lewis (2006), p. 33.

[8] See Lewis (2006), pp. 52, 127-128


Kumbruck, C./Derboven, W. (2005), Interkulturelles Training, Springer Verlag: Heidelberg.

Lewis, R. D. (2006), When Cultures Collide: Leading Across Cultures (3 ed.), Nicholas Brealey Publishing: Bosten, London.

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tags: international management, cultural dimensions, Richard D. Lewis