August 27, 2009
by Alfredo Behrens
The saga of Wile E. Coyote and the Road Runner trying to outsmart each other has turned out to be useful in my research into cultural variation in management styles between Anglophone and Latino leaders. The cartoons are effective at gauging cultural responses because they are globally accessible cultural icons. Because they’re silent, they’re mostly free from language constraints, and they’ve been distributed by Warner Brothers to TV screens across the Americas — and all over the world.
I asked MBA alumni around the world to state which of these two characters they most consistently supported and to explain why. Most Anglophones sided with the Coyote, and most Iberians and their descendants preferred the Road Runner.