Projects / Programmes source: ARIS

Cross-cultural differences and stereotypisation: an advantage or disadvantage in a political and economic cooperation among ex-Yugoslavia member states

Research activity

Code Science Field Subfield
5.06.02  Social sciences  Political science  International relations 

Code Science Field
S170  Social sciences  Political and administrative sciences 

Code Science Field
5.06  Social Sciences  Political science 
Cross-cultural differences, stereotypes, former Yugoslavia, political and economic cooperation
Evaluation (rules)
source: COBISS
Researchers (13)
no. Code Name and surname Research area Role Period No. of publicationsNo. of publications
1.  25455  PhD Ana Bojinović Fenko  Political science  Researcher  2013 - 2015  266 
2.  33023  PhD Danijel Crnčec  Political science  Researcher  2014  68 
3.  18890  Judita Goričar    Technical associate  2014 
4.  19075  PhD Andreja Jaklič  Political science  Researcher  2013 - 2015  442 
5.  32353  Jasna Jugovič    Technical associate  2015 
6.  04487  PhD Milan Jurše  Economics  Researcher  2013 - 2015  734 
7.  19107  PhD Romana Korez-Vide  Economics  Researcher  2013 - 2015  346 
8.  33095  PhD Marko Lovec  Political science  Researcher  2013 - 2015  339 
9.  31103  PhD Jure Požgan  Political science  Researcher  2014  94 
10.  28924  PhD Matevž Rašković  Economics  Researcher  2015  505 
11.  09610  PhD Marjan Svetličič  Political science  Researcher  2013 - 2015  819 
12.  11995  PhD Zlatko Šabič  Political science  Researcher  2013 - 2015  365 
13.  27579  PhD Boštjan Udovič  Political science  Head  2013 - 2015  508 
Organisations (2)
no. Code Research organisation City Registration number No. of publicationsNo. of publications
1.  0582  University of Ljubljana, Faculty of Social Sciences  Ljubljana  1626957  40,409 
2.  0585  University of Maribor, Faculty of Economics and Business  Maribor  5089638001  23,105 
Cross-cultural differences represent one of the most “overlooked” aspects, influencing not only international business, but also relations between states. This phenomenon is partially elaborated in the scientific literature, acknowledging the fact that “culture” is one of the key factors that determines the dispositions of behavioural patterns of individuals, companies, societies and states (in their interactions) (Craig in Douglas, 2006; Buckley in Lessard, 2005; Zukin in DiMaggio, 1990; Smelser in Swedberg, 2005; Polanyi, 1957; Granovetter, 1985).   Despite the grounded importance of culture, cross-cultural interactions provide evidence of psychic distance paradox, meaning that organizations/individuals devote more attention to a bigger cross-cultural difference, while neglecting a cross-cultural difference between cultural environments of higher nearness (neighbouring states, states with common history, language etc.).   A good example for studying the physic distance paradox represent the states of ex Yugoslavia, which for Slovenia is one of the key regions in attaining its foreign policy and economic goals. Studies have shown that actors in these states too often do not take into account the differences arisen in the region due to developments during the last 20 years (also as a consequence of transition process and accession to the EU). Thus, the actors often still rely upon a simplified image of the Balkans and ground their decision-making by resorting to stereotyping.   During the last few years, understanding of the static stereotypical assumption of “comparative advantage of home ground” (contrary to the idea of liability of foreignness; Zaheer, 1995, 2002; Zaheer and Mosakowski, 1997) has shown discernible effect on deteriorating position of Slovenian enterprises in the Balkans, also because this understanding is often placed in the concept of administrative legacy of the past. This phenomenon is problematic also in a wider context of Slovenian foreign policy, i.e. its strategy of regional leadership and mediation between the region and the EU.   The main goal of the project is to design a research-comparative framework for identification, comparison and analysis of relevant dimensions of cross-cultural differences (including stereotypes and difference in psychological distances) among actors of international (economic) relations in the area of ex Yugoslavia. On a such basis the project will: (i) enrich the theory of cross-cultural differences relevance for international (economic) relations, (ii) formulate appropriate models for attaining foreign policy goals, (iii) contribute to effective internationalization of Slovenian companies in the region by overcoming cross-cultural differences in business and in foreign policy choices, decisions and policies.   The project consists of the following preparatory and implementation phases:   1. Theoretical framework: (a) analysis and synthesis of appropriate models and typologies on definition of intercultural differences; (b) conceptualization of models explaining influence on intercultural differences upon key aspects of international (economic) relations with special attention to antecedents and determinants.   2. Methodological framework: (a) comparative analysis of existing methodological approaches to the problematique and empirical analysis; design of methodological research plan, formulation of research questions and hypothesis; (b) operationalization of model constructs, design of measurements, gathering and analysis of data.   3. Preparation of results and their dissemination: (a) presentation, elaboration and comparison of results; (b) pooling of indexes of dimension of cultural distance; (c) formulation of so called diagnostic instrumentarium and composition of suggestions for improvement of strategies of Slovenian political and economic relations with other states from ex Yugoslavia, including areas of education (for decision-makers’ and actors in foreign
Significance for science
In terms of scientific contribution and advancing science, we believe the project offers a three-fold contribution. First, we applied and cross-validated existing theoretical models developed in the west in a unique non-western research setting. From our results, we attempt to construct “composite indices”, suitable for the region of Western Balkans. Second, we do not find evidence of any general social/cultural determinants, but rather a strong importance of the “time component” in the manifestation of national character and stereotypes. Thirdly, our results will enrich existing analyses in the field of international business and international relations pertaining to the Western Balkans region. This region has been fairly neglected in the recent decade, following growing interest in the region after Yugoslavia’s turbulent disintegration in the beginning of the 1990s.
Significance for the country
The obtained results are important in terms of Slovenia's development, because: (a) They provide a starting point for analyzing mistakes made by Slovenia in the Western Balkans region. (b) They provide the basis for forming policies aimed at strengthening Slovenia’s cooperation with the Western Balkans. (c) They point to some sources of mistakes, arising from Slovenia’s socio-economic system, and which influence Slovenia’s perception and behavior in the Western Balkans region (e.g. insensitivity to local languages). (d) They provide guidelines for the formulation of political decisions and policies, as well as development aid (tied to positive public diplomacy in the region). (e) They provide a spring board for further, more specific studies, which would also include other relevant stakeholders.
Most important scientific results Annual report 2013, 2014, final report, complete report on dLib.si
Most important socioeconomically and culturally relevant results Annual report 2013, 2014, final report, complete report on dLib.si
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