Cognitive style and socialisation: An exploration of learned sources of style in Finland, Poland and the UK



Jeanne Hill, University of Central Lancashire, UK

Prof. Arja Puurula, University of Helsinki, Finland

Dr. Agnieszka Sitko-Lutek, Maria Curie-Sklodowska University, Poland

Dr. Anna Rakowska, Katedra Zarazdzania Politechnika, Poland



One of the continuing debates in the study of cognitive and learning styles is whether these preferences for perceiving, structuring, assimilating and processing information are fixed, innate characteristics or learned behaviour. The extent to which styles are malleable has significant implications for educators, trainers and managers.

This is particularly relevant in the case of international and multinational organisations. While some aspects of the cultural differences that may complicate understandings between managers from different geographical parts of the organisation are commonly acknowledged, there has been less study of the differences in cognitive style, or the way managers think.

This paper reports on preliminary exploratory research offering support for the argument that style can result from cultural socialisation as well as from individual differences. Some explanations of the sources of cultural differences are suggested and will be explored in the next stages of the research. Other papers will elaborate on additional findings relating style to individual characteristics of gender, age, working experience and confidence.


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