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French E-Managers

A Generation in the Making

Mette Zølner

In the spring of 2000, the Financial Times eagerly predicted that the world would be piloted by a new global generation of managers who, having been educated at business schools, share similar ideas and values.1 To this generation belong managers in start-up companies that provide goods and services online. These e-managers work with and on the Internet, which reaches worldwide instantly and redefines our concepts of time and place. Since emanagers have the whole world as their “playground,” they are likely to replace traditional nation-based feelings of belonging with new values and identities. French magazines went even further than the Financial Times, stating that since e-managers speak English and have adopted the American way of doing business, they would eventually Americanize French society.2 Or, rather, e-managers would turn France into a society that mirrored the stereotypes of American society that have been prevalent in France.