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Transferring codes of conduct within a multinational firm: The case of Lebanon

Samer Francois Nakhle (Faculty of Business and Management, University of Balamand, Amioun, Lebanon)
Eric Davoine (Chair HRM and Organization, University of Fribourg, Switzerland)

EuroMed Journal of Business

ISSN: 1450-2194

Article publication date: 5 September 2016




The transfer of organizational practices or management instruments in the multinational firm often requires adaptations to the local context of subsidiaries and is, as such, revealing cultural and institutional particularities. Among the multinational firm’s management instruments, the codes of conduct are closely linked to the values and standards of conduct of the parent company. Being instruments of North American origin, codes of conduct were, in the last 20 years, gradually institutionalized first in North American multinational companies and then more frequently in European multinational companies. Several studies showed the difficulties of implementing these instruments in countries as diverse as France, Germany, Israel and China and stressed the importance of coherence between values, local organizational practices and acceptability of codes by employees of the subsidiaries. The purpose of this paper is to study the specificity of the Lebanese context from a new perspective by showing whether codes of conduct were adapted and by explaining the reasons of these adaptations. This research also highlights the differences between American and European multinational companies regarding the transfer of their codes of conduct.


The study used a multiple case study approach. Interviews were conducted in ten Lebanese subsidiaries of multinational companies, four of North American origin and six of European origin.


The study showed adaptations done to transferred codes of conduct in Lebanese subsidiaries. The study also reveals differences between American and European MNCs.


The study sheds light on host-country factors explaining the adaptation of codes of conducts transferred to Lebanese subsidiaries.



Nakhle, S.F. and Davoine, E. (2016), "Transferring codes of conduct within a multinational firm: The case of Lebanon", EuroMed Journal of Business, Vol. 11 No. 3, pp. 410-428.



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