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A Systematic Review Of The Impact Of Culture On International Management: The Study Of Uks Mncs

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A Systematic Review Of The Impact Of Culture On International Management: The Study Of Uks Mncs

1. Introduction

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1.1 Background of the research

In the early 2000s the majority of the firms on the UK sector focus on foreign commerce and an expansion which is furthermore subject to a rise in the average in the 1990s. However, economies are analysing to become more transparent with the aid of connectivity, trade, technology and financial growth. International management is recognized as an international sector that is primarily divided into two issues of strategic management and intercultural management. Culture is dictated by the fact that various nations are different according to their standards and philosophy includes conviction. It is responsible for influencing nation-wide technology transition. It also explores ideology and its governmental ties as behaviour displayed by the management of corporations. Global culture differences have a significant impact on foreign business success.

International management is an integral component of an international business. Which covers foreign commerce, international marketing and international finance international trade (Hechavarri, 2016). International management is a multi-national enterprise decision-making mechanism which is the decision to prepare, organize, direct and manage in a multicultural sector (Kummer and Schmiedel, 2016). This line emphasises the importance of culture in performing activities, such as the cross-cultural expertise, cross-cultural processes in organisations, technological transition, etc. Luo and Zhang (2016) represented the administration of organizations exceeding the borders of a world of Multinational Management. The area of international management is very recent and it is rapidly changing. Different researchers have researched this discipline through improved globalisation. When the transnational companies (TNCs) were involved in FDIs in the 1990s, their interests improved in this region. However, these changes in the global economy have generated a number of problems which should be called and affect the growth of international management, so this subject focuses on the significance of culture in the international management.

1.2 Problem Statement

In this case, problems related to cross-cultural contact are investigated, and it becomes impossible for community to transfer messages. If, on the other hand, cultural communication is mismanaged, it may contribute to distrust, confusion, and misunderstanding among those involved in an organization. Issues pertaining to social order, as well as judgments reached by the company’s management because they are considered significant (Luo and Zhang, 2016). MNCs working in the UK employ people with a variety of ethnic backgrounds, but these companies must be aware of the disparities as well as the beauty of the UK community. In order to make choices that would have an effect on the company’s clients, an actual international management practice and a positive working environment must be inducted.

1.3 Research Questions

Primary Question

What effects the culture make on the management within UK’s MNCs?

Secondary questions

  • What is the impact of workplace cultural differences in transfer of technology?
  • What impact cross-cultural management makes on the operations business?
  • What is the relationship between employee values and leadership behaviour?

1.4 Aims and Objectives

Aims

This study aims to analyse factors that are related with both materials with its non-material role of culture and create an effect on international management.

Objectives

Primary purpose of this study is to analyse impact of culture on international management.

Hence, objectives are:

  • To determines emerging cultural differences transmission of technology in UK.
  • To analyse cross-cultural management practice of UK and its impact within business operations.
  • To examine relationship that is associated with employee’s values within work and leadership behaviours of management in firms.

1.5 Research structure

This research consists of five chapters, Chapter 1 reflects on the initial section of the research. This provides the background to the thesis, the analysis problem statement and associated conditions in the other areas of the study design. Chapter two focuses on the literature study; certain publications on the subject, as well as the parameters used, are examined (Luthans and Doh, 2018). The third chapter of this paper reflects on the methodology of the study, and the fourth chapter involves evaluating, describing and interpreting data collected. The fifth chapter deals with the results and finally the sixth chapter deals with the work, conclusion and contribution to understanding.

1.6 Research Significance

The study results are intended to illustrate the position played by culture in achieving successful international management. In addition to the view of learning, it will give students from institutions that focus on this field a broader understanding of the need to understand the cultures of UK MNCs, including most of them in other countries, employees and employers in different organisations, especially UK MNCs’ staff and managers (Luo and Zhang, 2016). This study provides organisations with simplified awareness of the different features of the culturally selected variables and thus identifies the different fields that are influenced by those variables.

2. Literature review

2.1 Elaboration on the concept of culture

Language, faith, cuisine, social practices, literature, and the arts are all examples of cultural traits and knowledge of a particular community of citizens. Community is described as shared habits of behaviour and experiences, cognitive structures, and comprehension that are acquired via socialization. As a result, it can be thought of as the creation of a collective identity aided by social patterns that are exclusive to the group. The cognitive plan, or self-construal style, that people use to think of themselves and their relationships with others, is one of the most important forms in which cultural values, behaviours, and philosophies affect psychological processes. Culture has an impact on both what we perceive and how we see it.

In today’s business world, cultural diversity is increasingly relevant. These groups are included in this criterion, which include ethnicity, regional origin, civilization, gender, age, functional or educational background, physical and cognitive capacity, language, behaviours, attitude, cultural background, economic division, company occupancy, and sexual orientation. When a multinational business (MNC) exists in a global sector, it must be prepared to understand all possible shifts in the global economy and interact and adjust the company’s uniqueness to suit the environment as per Asatiani, (2021). The effect of religious, cultural, cultural, and social institutions on individuals, how they conduct their lives, and the decisions they make is referred to as culture. Marketing is still conducted in a culturally influenced setting. Companies who want to sell their goods in foreign countries must be aware of the cultural differences that exist in their target markets.

Culture is defined as the mental and physical expression of human products. It can be represented as a sum that is subject to absolute values, laws, and techniques. It does, therefore, aim at behaviours as well as group standards, as core components mainly include vocabulary according to Anderson, (2020). Culture is assessed as dynamic since no culture can be stable or undefinable; it is assessed as sensitive to evolving physical environments. Even if cultural variations within countries–or between areas within the same country–appear insignificant, advertisers who disregard them run the risk of failing to enforce their initiatives. Culture is complex, and thoroughly comprehending its effect requires a considerable amount of time, commitment, and knowledge.

While various aspects of a community may give the impression of similarities, advertisers must delve deeper to ensure that they fully recognize the individuals and cultures in which they operate. As per the statement of Ramachandran, Chong and Ismail, (2011), even if all parties use the same language, there is no certainty that their interpretations would be identical. Some dimensions of culture that involve specific attention from global marketers are business norms, language, customs and taboos, religious beliefs and celebrations, values, time, and punctuality.

In order to revenue benefit from cultural awareness, marketers must know about the individuals and communities they are approaching for marketing and industry. The effect of religious, cultural, cultural, and social institutions on individuals, how they conduct their lives, and the decisions they make is referred to as culture as per the statement of Fox and King, (2020). Marketing is still conducted in a culturally influenced setting. Companies who want to sell their goods in foreign countries must be aware of the cultural differences that exist in their target markets. Even if cultural variations within countries–or between areas within the same country–appear insignificant, advertisers who disregard them run the risk of failing to enforce their initiatives.

2.2 Evaluation of Cultural differences and their effects on international management practices

Cultural differences in the appearance, acceptability, and suitability of social detachment and separation exemplify the difficulties of coping with people who are socially withdrawn and excluded in psychiatric environments as per Stahl, (2017). Researchers are starting to consider cultural distinctions, e.g., reserved, shy behaviour seems superficially close to social isolation, but they vary significantly. This distinction can illustrate the need to promote different principles and characteristics in collectivist compared with more individualistic cultures. Thus, while both societies respect social skills, the essence of the skill differs. Caution is needed in generalizing from surveys of European-American communities to the people and families from diverse backgrounds.

As per the statement of Devasia, (2020) clinical professionals should avoid imposing their own cultural beliefs on the families for which they are interacting and cultural distinctions are both real and important. Clients’ concerns, as well as coping patterns, evaluation, and intervention approaches that would be effective, can be influenced by cultural differences. Cultural disparities that could be linked to challenges and possible responses must be considered during an individualized appraisal as per Sarala, Vaara and Junni, (2019). Culturally responsive practice necessitates an understanding of various groups’ values and historical experiences, as well as how these disparities can affect behaviour, motivation, and perceptions of the helping method. Different groups can favour different problem-solving methods and hold different views about what causes problems. Different people have different expectations of behaviour. It’s important to consider cultural variations that might be misinterpreted as pathology. It’s vital to determine the degree of acculturation (the method of transitioning to a new or different culture). Which can have an effect on the dropout rate, degree of tension, attitude toward clinicians, as well as the required procedure and priorities. It would be beneficial to provide awareness of the difficulties that people of various generations encounter as well as their favourite coping types.

Cultural gaps have an impact on foreign management, and they may also have an influence on technology transition according to Backmann et al., (2020). Ideology involves a partnership with corporate government affairs, in addition to managerial attitudes. It has a significant impact on people’s thoughts and behaviour, as well as having a negative impact on business-related practices. Cultural “effect on foreign management,” on the other hand, relies largely on attitudes and actions that are close.

  • Stability vs. Innovation: The society of many countries encourages peace as well as opposition to transition.
  • Short-term horizons vs. Long-term horizons: Few societies put a heavy focus on short-term horizons, which are related to short-term targets such as benefits and performance.

2.3 Elaborating the concept of international management

International management is a crucial environment for any great scholar of management. Companies of all types are no longer restricted to manufacturing and exporting their services and products in their home countries as per Luthans and Doh, (2018). Globalization is causing a worldwide phenomenon because of which countries are being more intertwined and trade boundaries between nations are vanishing. In today’s world, businesses are encouraged to explore foreign markets in order to remain successful, and as a result, they are more willing to do business anywhere on the globe. Several main forces are promoting globalization, and enterprises who wish to thrive in this climate must consider the main elements that are taking the business community closer together.

The first factor of globalization is the reduction of trade barriers according to Helms, (2021). The first and most significant aspect is the elimination of trade barriers by trade deals, which are agreements between countries to reduce cross-border trade barriers and facilitate economic integration as per Ferraro, (2021). To appreciate the significance of trade deals, it’s important to remember that countries have long used tariffs to defend their domestic markets and businesses. Tariffs are duties that are tacked directly to the quality of purchased commodities from other nations. Imposing tariffs on manufactured products offer domestic producers a pricing edge that defends them against international competition since these tariffs are typically carried through to the consumer in the form of higher prices.

The administration of corporate activities of an enterprise that services markets and works in more than one country are classified as foreign management. Its requires expertise and skills that go beyond traditional industry standards, such as experience with the local sector and competitive environments, the financial and legal climate, the capacity to execute multicurrency transactions, and cross-border management according to Foss and Pedersen, (2019). This concept emphasizes the necessity for much more specialized skills than those required for managing across national boundaries. It necessitates a thorough understanding of the surrounding environment as well as the capacity to adjust. International management, like strategic management and management philosophies, may be thought of as spanning many functional fields such as communications, finance, and people/organization.

Exporting sporadically to other countries; using a more defined export strategy; having international agents, partners, or even a direct sales force in a number of countries; also having supply and/or production facilities overseas; businesses may even make acquisitions abroad, which is a whole new ball game with its own set of risks. International management is concerned with the preparing, organizing, directing, and managing of individuals employed inside an enterprise on a multinational scale in order to accomplish the organization’s aims and objectives as per Ioan et al., (2019). Activities of Multi-National Companies in the United Kingdom are connected to several countries. Along with foreign revenues, there is a combination of nationalities among the company’s managers and shareholders. It is a collection of strategies for implementing management practices in a variety of contexts, including political, economic, and cultural ones.

2.4 Evidencing the role of culture in international management

Culture is an important term in international management scholarship, both for research that focuses on managing cultural differences among individuals in organizations and for research that compares organizations in different geographic settings as per Shenkar, (2021). Culture is thought to be essential for organizational structures because it affects management efficiency and how organizations respond to their surroundings. Given the alleged effect of culture on organizational structures, both at the micro-level of human actions and the macro-level of organizational adaptation, foreign management researchers have worked hard to establish a culture science.

Culture is the lifeblood of a healthy community, manifesting itself in the different forms people around the globe share relations, rejoice, recall the past, amuse ourselves, and envision the future. The artistic expression lets people identify themselves while still helping to view the universe through the perspectives of others as per Khan et al., (2021). Global market transactions cover not just geographical lines but also ethnic divisions. Culture has a significant impact on how people perceive, interact, and act. The way workers communicate in their workplace is influenced by their culture. Staff members who work in an environment of a positive atmosphere are more driven and obedient to their bosses. Furthermore, the workplace community encourages workers to form stable partnerships. It further contributes to the promotion of fair organizational rivalry.

It also has an effect on the types of transactions they conduct and the manner in which they conduct them. Differences in culture between business executives, such as those between a Chinese public sector plant manager in Shanghai and a Canadian division director of a family business in Toronto, can build obstacles that stymie or fully stymie the negotiation method as per Luthans and Doh, (2018). Because of the great complexity of the world’s societies, no diplomat, no matter how qualified or seasoned, will completely comprehend all of the cultures that might be encountered. By incorporating this process of cultural variation into the foreign business agreements, individuals will be able to properly consider their partners and foresee potential misunderstandings.

Culture has an effect on a number of systems that are correlated with multinational management. Terrorism, which has resulted in an increase in racial conflict, as well as gender inequality, is to blame for cities being increasingly opaque and volatile in the future. As a result, the events of September 11th, 2001, are regulated as a cultural concern that must take precedence over political considerations according to Soares, Farhangmehr and Shoham, (2007).  Corporations seeking to internationalize must deal with a number of legal and cultural challenges during the planning period, and reflecting on their plans helps in market entry. It is essential to consider the advantages of cultural diversity in order to run a company on a global scale.

Material culture and technology: Material culture emerges from technology when it presents evolving societal requirements that aid in the recognition of economic operation as per Wilkinson, (2019). However, the internet is regarded as a highly useful and functional medium that allows for the transmission of a large amount of knowledge, even cultural information.

2.5 Assessing diverse theories associated with international management

2.5.1 Analysis on the Hofstede’s framework for cultural assessment

According to Beugelsdijk and Welzel (2018), some historians have tried, in analysing its sub-parts or measurements, to produce an overall image of community. Geert Hofstede is a Dutch scientist who in 70 countries and three continents, namely East Africa, western Africa, Saudi Arabia, has analysed the cultural factor in IBM employees (116,000). He established four dimensions of culture, and later a fifth, which help to understand how and why people from different cultures act as they do. Hofstede has sought to minimize the effects of evolving cultural organizations and has studied the impacts of various national cultures (Beugelsdijk and Welzel, 2018). Studies of Hofstede’s relationship with national cultures and organizational cultures show that national and regional cultural groups are very persistent over time, affecting the behaviours of communities and organizations. The study of Hofstede was criticized for concentrating on just one organization but he countered the critique. Hofstede is well conscious that certain people are surprised to find out how staff of a very unique company such as IBM can be an example for learning about their nation’s culture.

The comprehensive study by Hofstede remains a focus for further analysis. The common dimensions explored by Hofstede were (1) power distance, (2) the avoidance of uncertainty, (3) individualism and (4) masculinity; (5) the time orientation recently applied was added to better explain the cultures’ long- to short-term orientations. The countries of East Asia were considered to be longer-term, whilst the US and the UK were found to be comparatively short-term. These time guidelines are also essential to the comprehension of culture.

2.5.2 Contingency Theory

The theory of contingency was put forward by the Austrian psychologist Fred Edward Fiedler in 1964. This approach shows that there should be no exclusive or good practices to solve management challenges. It believes that in another case, a leadership style that is appropriate in a specific situation may not actually succeed even in a similar way (Luthans and Doh, 2018). This definition is based on the complex and unavoidable change of organisations and individual behaviours. Theoretical emphasis should be placed on the fact that management issues should be addressed on the basis of the scenario at this point in time and not to replicate previous activities responses in related cases (McDonnell et al., 2017).

The theory of contingency is studied as a theory of strategy, which offers the right answers to challenges and management problems. It is focused on four acceptable ideas, designs of organizational subsystems structures and a well-designed style. According to Press-Barnathan (2017), these four ideas asserts that there is no generally acceptable practice of organisational management, it also asserts that organisation must meet its environmental challenges by design structure and subsystems. The ideas implies that not only it is essential for the organisation to be fit for the environment but it must also include it in their subsystems as well. Lastly, the theory also induces better satisfaction and well-design style which is effective in its task of work groups.

The theory emphasizes the integration of the world and its subsystems into the operational priority. It further outlines two leadership models, namely task-based and relationship-based. The task refers to the accomplishment of work, and the motive for partnership refers to interpersonal interactions.

According to Srivastava, Singh and Dhir (2020), in the span of decades, the principle of contingencies has persisted as a true and consistent guide to successful leadership, focused on observational studies. The spectrum of leadership awareness has obviously been extended to emphasize the significance of a leader’s own style and the needs of diverse circumstances from a single, best-in-class leadership (e.g. feature approach). Contingency theory also has shown ‘predictive power’ in deciding the form of leadership that is most likely to be efficacious in specific circumstances, which argues that the leaders are not expected to be equally efficient in all cases (Kummer and Schmiedel, 2016). Finally, it provides information on leadership characteristics that may be helpful to organisations, and will ultimately provide an essential form to organizational and multinational management, in creating leadership profiles for human resources planning which would eventually shape the organisational culture and international management in a substantive way.

2.5.3 Dynamic Theories of Internationalization

Internationalization is not a stagnant but a changing process, it appears to demonstrate the prevailing trigger to the presence of multinationals contributing to international management. Over time, companies change their structure, enter new countries and alter their method of operation. Whereas the foregoing theories may be analysed at any moment, change cannot be considered directly over time. Any practices in international management make this paradigm simpler.

The internationalization model phases are embedded in the company’s behavioural theory. These models where the best-known model as depicted in Johanson and Vahlne, (1977)’ paper has shown to work as internationalization method (IP model, also known as the “Uppsala model”) which provides a link between decision-making expertise in the industry and the resource commit in a foreign sector. The key theory is that businesses with low business awareness in a certain international market will want a low market commitment. While on the market, the firm accumulates expertise and therefore it is ready to make additional capital available.

While the IP stage model is extremely plausible, over the years there has been scepticism. The model omits the management strategic decision, the models simplify a dynamic structure and certain operating methods over and MNCs also override some phases in the institutional chain. As a result of this criticism, scholars have more and more noticed the recent pattern of internationalizing firms immediately after they are established (McDonnell et al., 2017). This, of course, challenged the IP model’s designs. In the very early years since their emergence, foreign business (mostly exports), entering many countries at the same time, reached very distant markets and produced a high percentage of their production outside of domestic markets, was gradually seen by businesses, primarily small companies from the IT field, biotechnology or other high-tech industries (Luo and Zhang, 2016). The term “international new ventures,” “international businesses,” “international exporters” or “global start-ups” has been labelled, but the most famous term is “born global.”

Born Global are businesses who aim to gain substantial comparative advantages by using capital and selling output in several countries at the outset.” More specifically, an early source describes Born Global as companies which “have internationalized in the first three years, generating at least 25% of their export revenues. These theories some of the most extensive choices that are found to be practiced by MNCs throughout UK and abroad. Hence, based on the cultural assessments, implications of IP Model is very much influenced by the human behaviour as stated by McDonnell et al. (2017). They asserts that human perceptions, behaviours and cultural feats always shapes how a company proceed with their ventures and thereby stressing that cultural impact does have a significant effect on the international management no matter what dynamic or conceptual theory is in question.

2.6 Literature Gap

This research explores the numerous variables that are created and implemented in relation to the significant influence of culture on international management, with a special emphasis on Multi-National Companies in the United Kingdom. In addition, there is a scarcity of primary literature by authors focusing on the ‘‘effect of culture on international management’’ especially in the United Kingdom (McDonnell et al., 2017). As a consequence, reviewing case studies of Multi-National Companies working in the United Kingdom addresses a void in the literature.

The literature review of the dissertation has been divided into two parts, the first of which will be concerned with various principles, meanings, and financial results of measures. In addition, the relationship concomitant between foreign management and culture is decided in the second one. Thus, for further analysis, additional emphasis on the numerous variables associated with culture and their effects on the organisational functions and international management practices and their consequent outcomes has been followed in this research.

3. Research Methodology

3.1 Research Philosophy

For the conduction of the contextual research, the pragmatism research philosophy is being used. Pragmatism is a deconstructive philosophy that promotes the use of mixed techniques in research, "out of the controversial questions of truth and reality" and therefore insists on what functions as evidence with regard to research aspects under study. The idea that researchers can use the analytical and/or theoretical methodology ideally suited to the specific study issue being examined is a research philosophy of Pragmatism. Thereby, in the following study this philosophy is used to assess the relevant and thematic assessments along with a systematic analysis of individual surveys for evaluating their interpersonal perceptions regarding the research subject matter.

3.2 Research Strategy

The research strategy refers to a general plan which is important to research but which allows researchers to plan and carry out their tracking report. In order to conclude this research analysis of data depicted in varied reports, news, case studies and demographic analyses are being evaluated of thematic analysis of key areas as specified in the objectives. Moreover, a concentration over general survey of people of UK employed in renowned MNCs are being approached and questioned regarding their perception of own culture and management of their company. Through evaluation of these data accurate and applicable information are taken into account regarding the effect of local culture on the international management of UK's MNCs.

3.3 Research Approach

Deductive reasoning approach is taken into account in this research since it focuses on more common aspects. It is often focused on a top-down approach based on an informal basis. The deductive research approach evaluates a well-defined hypothesis or phenomenon and decides whether it is true in particular circumstances. The deductive approach is closest to the direction of rationality. The statement continues with a hypothesis and proceeds to a different premise. The tests of this hypothesis include observations which either validate the hypothesis, or deny it. It helps to analyse the effect of culture on international management as principal of theories. However, it looks at four different areas as it works: theory, hypothesis, observation, and confirmation.

3.4 Research Design

Research design is usually clearly described in different ways. Therefore, the design for the study initially refers to the data sources, the compilation method and the data processing, and the ethical concern which is generally properly followed in order essentially to achieve a meaningful result with regard to the research goal. The researchers have followed a mixed methodology design to fulfil the purpose of the study in the following investigations. The approach of study design is mixed, as it gathers knowledge without changing the context, by both quantitative and qualitative approaches. The combination is often called retrospective or association research. The validity and reliability of the result typically remain strong in the mixed research design process, since one may deduce another's weakness. In the mixed design process, the biases are usually minimized.

This technique is used in the research review, when qualitative and quantitative results are merged in the research analysis process. This design typically collects and analyses quantitative data first, then collects and analyses qualitative data. It is clear that all data are not mixed together in this study design process, rather convergence takes place as the results are typically viewed. Analysis has generally been done using a systemic approach for modernity. The approach was commonly used to coordinate both particular and testing practices for the application of environmental work and scientific principles. During the analysis work, all three elements of the proposal including the investigative, data driven and graphics are usually related. This design therefore helps to structure the entire data collection and processing of this research and provides an adequate structure for research analysis.

3.5 Data Collection Process

In order to analyse the effect of culture on international management, secondary data from 1970 to 2019 was obtained from globalization, internalization and other studies and evaluated by means of a thematic analysis. It took note of the fact that it contained study papers released with its related documents in analysis papers. These analysis approaches are thus more economical with respect to primary research and are therefore based on using growing evidence (Kumar, 2019). This analysis is based on data that have already been checked and filtered. Furthermore, a comparative quantitative analysis is also being held by means of survey analysis of 30 individuals who are employed in the MNCs throughout UK. The respondents are identified assessment of employment status on social media platforms such as LinkedIn and emailed digital invitations for the survey. Upon acceptance, the questionnaires are also emailed to the respondents and their responses are recorded in MS Excel and graphical illustrations of the founded data are contextualised in the research.

3.6 Data Analysis

For this study, mixed methodologies are used which primarily include techniques to apply qualitative and quantitative methods. Examination of the knowledge gathered will therefore take place in various qualitative and quantitative data ways (Luo and Zhang, 2016). The review of key theories and modules of information relating to the research objectives followed by pertinent key themes of how culture effects the international management in various ways are focussed in this research. The organization's documentation evaluation is conducted independently by means of themes and case studies which are qualified under a qualitative data examination. Moreover, a survey has been carried out using MS-Excel and has been presented in a lucid manner along with tabular and graphical representations. Besides the focusing on dual analyses and qualitative respects, the consistency of the research has been successfully improved and a comprehensive scale of analysis has been provided.

3.7 Ethical Consideration

The ethics and values review was performed in the thesis in accordance with the research guidelines. The analysis organisations are ethically analysed without using their confidential data to allow the conduct of the research practical and legal. The respondents consented with respect to their views and viewpoints during the compilation of information from the study. The study has ensured that copyrights on both knowledge and data are issued when collecting information and data from magazines, scholastic books and reports. Special attention has been paid to prevent sharing of delicate materials, and the research seeks to safeguard the dignity of human integrity. The primary objective, therefore, of research ethics is to maintain respect and consistency in all research activities of the following study.

4. Findings and Data Presentation

4.1 Qualitative Theoretical Analysis

In order to evident the effect of culture on the international management and evident their practicalities on wider MNC references, evaluation on the series of themes relating to research questions supported by key MNC cases are contextualized in the following:

Theme 1: Cultural differences in workplace and transfer of technology

According to the research of Nguyen and Nguyen (2012), the presence of cultural difference creates significant changes in the negotiating processes of the organisation which consequently shapes how the diffusion of innovation works in that particular organisation. The cultural variance for instance influences how the management negotiates the implementation of technology with the workers (Wu and Ji, 2019). Three key stresses that are likely influenced in the manner are number of negotiators and their context of negotiation, number of negotiation and what the represents, relative balance among the parties of powers and lastly the sequence, frequency and complexities of issues that are being faced.

Nevertheless, Castro and Sáiz (2020) have also defined that Implementation of the technological advances of an enterprise by the adoption of new manufacturing methods and design improvements that take account of those techniques depends on the degree of cosmopolitanism found in the organisation. Evolutionary strategic innovations are focused on the presumption that the introduction and application of this technology are quite contingent on a combination of pre-existing goals and conflict-based relationships within the receiver organisation; even though the output characteristics of an advanced technologies are impressive (either process-or person-based) (Kedia and Bhagat, 1988).

These conflicts are more systemic and normal in a cosmopolitan organization, which ensures the effectiveness of the innovative initiative. The diversity of goals also succumbs to socio-political considerations, therewith makes it impossible for even or orderly dissemination of local organisations. In a similar sense, it is difficult to achieve innovation in the first place due to the absence of a sophisticated technological foundation among the workers that is, while well documented, must be worth emphasizing (Omelyanenko et al., 2018). In that sense, if the organisation has culture that is much more prone make conflicts regarding significant change or face difficulties on adopting to new technological integrations then it would be highly troubling for the organisation to ensure adequate transfer of technology. This is scenario is largely prevalent with the case of Tesco, in which the organisation faced substantive problem in its delivery processes in 2017 (Ben et al, 1988). The issues began with disproportionate delivery and inadequate order placement which led to significant consumer unrest for the company. Upon further investigation it has been assessed that the cause behind the issue is tech fault in the use of latest SAP software implanted by the company at the beginning of 2017 (Bouranta et al., 2019). The report suggested that the issue raised primarily because of inadequate handling of the technology by staffs and initial resistance to technological change programs by them. The inspections reveals that the uncertainty and avoidance criteria of staffs that time was largely higher which have led to significant discomfort among staffs regarding the acceptance of new technological modifications of the company and consequently led to disarrays (Heller, 2017). The theme of this case is a very substantive regarding impact of culture on international management and can be defined as a broader evidence to the assertion.

Theme 2: Cross-cultural management and business operations

Cultural influences have a big business effect. Culture affects employees' best management according to their objectives and values. It also has an effect on practical areas of marketing, sales and distribution. The analysis and decision of a company can affect the preferential penetration of a new market. The Case of Unilever’s cross-cultural strategy here can specifically referred. According to that case, Unilever used extensive cross-cultural integration for decentralizing its operations worldwide (Phillips and Moutinho, 2018). In order to do this, the business resorted to knit together a common organisational culture by hiring people of different nationalities with similar values and interests. According to the reports, it is said that the business became extensively successful that its executives can recognize each other on airport even with experience of only one meeting (Omoikhudu, 2017). The management of the company asserted that having the like-minded people with similar zeal helped the business to accumulate experience and knowledge from diverse backgrounds and integrate them into one liner culture. It resulted into building informal networks and facilitating different experiences to hone the organisational operations and processes. With this the company is able to develop better relation with its stakeholders of both abroad and domestic. This case is thus a prime evidence to the impact of cross-cultural management on the operations of the businesses.

Theme 3: Employee values and leadership behaviour

Every employee affects the organisation, but management is by far the most important and direct influence on the culture of the business, which is based on staff motivation, the climate, the community and the performance of the company and its customers. The management influence employees' morale and whether errors are seen as learning opportunities or errors that harm an employee's self-worth. Leadership promotes the culture base in order to enable its workers to accomplish the purpose of the organization and to understand how essential each commitment is to achieve strategic goals. This theme is much prevalent with the case of Marks and Spencer’s strategic leadership (Srivastava, Singh and Dhir, 2020). The organisational culture at M&S makes emphasis over family values, royalty, paternalism and community which defines the employees of the business to be more inclusive, open to innovation and consumer-supportive. This is possible due the company’s exclusive practice of transformational leadership which channels these qualities and perceptions throughout the workplace in aims of motivation and support (Liu et al., 2020). This evidently creates an epitome on the company’s customer support dynamics where workers are driven to be more focused towards ensuring quality, reliability and explicitness in their values. These cultural and leadership dynamics of the business further evident the integral relations between company’s employee values and leadership behaviour in a substantial manner.

4.2 Quantitative Survey Analysis

In this section, 30 individuals associated with renowned UK MNCs are approached and presented specific objective-oriented questions. The respondents who are approached are largely are in employment with the multinational UK brands such as Tesco, Marks and Spencer, Unilever, L’Oreal etc. However, due to the ethical of identity disclosure, the background information and specifications of employment of each respondents are left unexplained in this research in aims of keeping the anonymity of the respondents. Nevertheless, the responses are further represented in the following:

Q1. Impact of culture differences on the transfer of technology

1. The application of parent company strategies in your practices have had a beneficial impact on all your activities in diverse cultural environment?

Based on this question 8 individuals (27%) responded strongly agree, 11 (36%) responded agree, 5 (17%) remained neutral, another 5 (17%) people implied strongly disagree and only 1 individual (3%) said disagree.

2. Does being in a diverse cultural environment and sharing knowledge has helped you to adapt to new technologies more effectively?

Regarding this question, 8 respondents (26%) reacted strongly agree, 5 people (17%) implied agree, another 5 people (17%) remained neutral. 6 people (20%) intended to be disagree and remaining 6 people (20%) remained to be strongly disagree.

3. Does being in on a diverse culture have ever helped you in using advance techniques in carrying out your job?

Regarding this question 30% of respondents which is 9 out of 30 said they strong agree to the question, 7 people (23%) said they agree, 5 (17%) people implied that they intended to remain neutral. 4 individuals (13%) while on the other hand disagreed and the remaining 5 people (17%) stated that they strongly disagree.

Q2. Effect of cross-cultural management practices on business operations

1. Does your personal values affects the decision towards the success of your organisation?

The answers shows a mix view in the question 12 people of 6 to each (20% each) implied the strongly agree and strongly disagree. 8 people (27%) disagree, 5 (17%) remained neutral and last 16% which remaining 5 (17%) individuals stated they agree.

2. Does unethical behaviour in cross-cultural environment affects your manager’s decision?

Concerning to the question asked, at least 12 individuals (40%) of the total population implied that they strongly agree, 8 people (27%) said that they agree, while 2 people (6%) remained neutral there at least 3 people (10%) said they disagree. Lastly, remaining 5 people (17%) said they strongly disagree.

3. Does management uses the defined values in your organisation?

While questioning regarding the defined value of the MNCs, 10 respondents (33%) said they strongly agree, 7 people (23%) said they agrees, 2 people (7%) remained neutral, 3 respondents (10%) disagreed and last 8 individuals (27%) strongly disagreed.

Q3. Effect of relationship between employee work values and leadership behaviour

1. Are you satisfied with the organization's adopted leadership style?

For assessment of employee satisfaction towards leadership behaviour, 13 individuals (43%) implied they strongly agree, 8 individuals (27%) implied they agree, 3 individuals (10%) implied they intend to remain neutral. Lastly, 4 people (13%) stated they disagree and only remaining 2 people (7%) said they strongly disagree.

2. Have your personal values are in accordance with organisational standards?

With regards to the relevance of personal values and organisational standards, almost 11 people (36%) implied that they strongly agree with the question being asked, while 6 people (20%) said they only agree. There are 2 people (7%) who remained neutral whereas other 6 people (20%) resorted to disagree. Lastly, about 5 people (17%) said they strongly disagree.

3. Have your workplace leader’s values, attitudes and commitment inspires you to the work?

In question of assessing the effect of leadership style on employee motivation and values, about 11 respondents (36%) reacted that they strongly agree, while 8 people (27%) implied they agree with the question statement. Thereabout, 5 people (17%) who implied to remain neutral while last 6 people with 3 people to each (10%) implied that they disagree and strongly disagree.

5. Research Discussion

Objective 1: Impact of workplace cultural differences in transfer of technology

As conceptualized from the learning developed from the thematic analysis held in the research practices, cultural difference in the context of the organization induces major shifts in its negotiation processes, thereby affecting how invention diffusion functions within an organization. For example, the cultural variation affects how management negotiates technological adoption with employees. Three main emphases likely to be affected along the direction are the number of delegates and their bargaining background, the number of talks and what they serve, the relative equilibrium between the power groups and finally the sequence, frequency and scope of the issues to be addressed. This particular argument is further evidenced by the case of Tesco’s 2017 innovation issue, where the company faced issues in implementing and properly utilizing of new newly implemented SAP software primarily due to the higher uncertainty and avoidance-oriented culture at its workplace (Liu et al., 2020). Since, employees made significant resistance to such new technological shifts the business suffered extensive issues in its distribution networks. This case evidences the negative effect of cultural variation on technological transfer.

The survey in this regard, entailed substantive practical insights from the wider market context, while asked about how the implication of parental company’s strategies influences the specific individuals in an wide array of culturally diverse environment?, almost 37% respondents reacted with agree and 27% even strongly agreed (Beugelsdijk, Kostova and Roth, 2017). This indication is further contradicted by the second question where it has been seen that respondents showed mixed view in context of sharing knowledge and learning regarding technological transfer in a culturally diverse environment which ranging between 36% people implying they strongly agree while 20% is saying disagree, hence, this much is understandable that cultural variance does makes its influence over the transfer of technology and particularly learnings. Lastly, the question regarding the relationship between leadership values and employee values, almost the majority of 36% implied their conduct in a widely culturally diversified environment is substantially influenced by leadership values and behaviours.

Objective 2: Impact of cross-cultural management on the operations business

Presented in the context of the thematic analysis it has been assessed that cultural difference has its effects on a massive business context. Employees' best functionalities are guided by their goals and principles. It also has an effect on promotion, pricing, and delivery in the modern environment. Thereby, the integration of cross-cultural practices have wider influences over business practices which is substantially backed by the case of Unilever, where the business develops cross-cultural environment in its business culture to streamline diverse experiences, knowledge and collaboration between people of different background. This in turn has helped the company to leverage its expertise extensively since people of both abroad and domestic cultures are able cohabitate and share their experiences and values and enhance business activities extensively (Beugelsdijk, Ambos and Nell, 2020). This factor is further emphasized by the survey analysis in which it has been seen there is a mixed response from the respondents which depicts at least 20% of response to the strongly agree section while 27% response on the disagree section regarding the question of whether their personal values does makes effect. This insight gives an argumentative view to this theory since the success of their companies or not. There are mixed concepts regarding the whether values of employees make effect on the business operations or not. However, considering the context of literature and case Unilever, it can be asserted that effects of cross-culture and its beneficial impact has its evidence and theory to improve business operations (Meneses and Carneiro, 2019). Furthermore, several other insights from the survey such as the responses on the relevance of unethical behaviour of a cross-cultural environment effects the decision making of the manager. The results asserted that almost 40% of the respondents strongly agreed to the question’s statement implying the direct influence of cross-cultural dynamics and issues to the operations of the business and its management (Phillips and Moutinho, 2018). Lastly, considering the case of Unilever it has also been seen that the company uses its own defined values to manage the international management of its employees, the survey in this context also have shown affirmative response almost 33% implied that their respective MNCs also uses such measures to cope with cross-cultures to channel and co-ordinate their business operations.

Objective 3: Relationship between employee values and leadership behaviour

The thematic analysis in this regard depicts that leadership promotes the cultural basis such that its employees can reach their goal and realize how any commitment is important for the fulfilment of strategic objectives. In this regard, a case consideration over M&S’s strategic leadership prospects have been emphasised. In such aspect, the case elaborated that the transformational leadership of M&S fosters its employee values within a diverse culture instil satisfaction and motivation. The survey in this context, also provides insights where 43% of respondents agrees with the concept that the criteria of their respective company’s leadership styles influences their level of satisfaction and aims of fulfilments (Srivastava, Singh and Dhir, 2020). On further emphasis, the case of M&S also depicts that management of the business influences its employee’s culture by promoting inclusivity, innovative-thinking and consumer compliance. This is done by influencing the personal values of its employees to be more compliant to the company standards, upon taking further observation same phenomenon is also observed in the responses of the surveyors as 36% of them indicating it to be true in their MNCs as well (Beugelsdijk, Kostova and Roth, 2017). This state also further supports the claim of survey regarding the question whether values, attitudes and commitments of the leader inspires the employees or not. The Reponses suggests it to be affirmative as there are majority of responses towards strongly agreement to the statement (almost 36%). Since, it is evident in the case of M&S as well, that the business fosters the values and culture of employees to promote motivation, the indications of the survey results are largely compliant to the research question.

6. Conclusion and Recommendations

6.1 Summarisation of research

Thus, through a broad conceptualisation of the research results and the discussions being made it has being rationalised that the effect of culture on the international management has its impact on more than one way. These involves being influenced by the differentiation of culture, values, cross-cultural environments and behaviours of both employees and leaders. The study thus depicted scenarios of Tesco, Unilever and M&S which evidenced the effects of cultural issues on the transfer of technology, benefits of cross-cultural practices and potentials of instilling the employee values with the leadership behaviour which are all some integral factors, being influenced by wider effects of cultural variance, conjunctions of different values, behaviours. Nevertheless, study through its conceptualisation have shed its light into the impact cultural difference on the transfer of technology which is ascertained to either create issues  through resistance to change or promote it by utilising the opportunity to share knowledge and learning more extensively.

The research also highlighted the effects of cross-cultural practices in which the cases of Unilever proved that its integration ensures greater sharing of knowledge and thereby fosters the operations, the conceptualisation of the survey in this regard also emphasised that individual values and behaviour defines the success of the operations in that term.

Lastly, the research brought its light to the association of employee values and leadership behaviour which is primarily a by-product of cultural variation of the workplace and might change based on condition. The research thereby asserts that not only leadership behaviour is crucial for co-ordinating the workplace culture but also the success of the business depends on how compliant employees are to the organisational standards as well. This feat is eventually dependent on the culture of the workplace and what strategies the organisation takes to cope with such culture. Thus, the cases of MNCs and the surveys taken on grounds of them helped substantially to conclusion of this learning.

6.2 Research Limitations

The research has developed a comprehensive and diverse knowledge on grounds of how culture effects the international management of business, particularly in case of UK MNCs. Although the research presents a greater qualitative depth in its data accumulation and satisfactory quantitative evidences, the research lacks empirical data evaluations and testing of legitimated hypotheses which can be considered as the key limitations of the study.

6.4 Future Research Prospects

For future research prospects, the research can take consideration over its key limitations, in which resorting to empirical data analysis followed by hypothesis testing on the significant effects of how culture effects the management prospects in international context can be emphasised.

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