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How do national cultures impact the operations strategy process?

Camila Lee Park (ESCP Europe, Paris, France)
Ely Laureano Paiva (Fundacao Getulio Vargas, Sao Paulo, Brazil)

International Journal of Operations & Production Management

ISSN: 0144-3577

Article publication date: 27 February 2018

Issue publication date: 18 October 2018




The purpose of this paper is to analyze the extent to which different patterns of cross-functional integration and the operations strategy (OS) process may be explained by national cultures differences.


Perceptual survey data from 105 manufacturing plants in four countries were used to validate the constructs and to test the hypotheses. The plants are located in two Western and two Eastern countries with different industrialization and development backgrounds (Brazil, China, Germany and South Korea). CFA validated the constructs, and ANOVA and t-tests evaluated the differences between levels of four Hofstede’s elements (i.e. power distance, individualism vs collectivism, uncertainty avoidance and long-term vs short-term orientation) on the OS process enablers (i.e. leadership for cross-functional integration and functional integration) and elements (i.e. manufacturing strategy linkage to corporate strategy and formulation of manufacturing strategy).


Results suggest that different OS and OM processes are present in different national cultures. Leadership for cross-functional integration and manufacturing strategy linkage to corporate strategy differ between levels of power distance, individualism vs collectivism and uncertainty avoidance. Functional integration and formulation of manufacturing strategy also present differences according to the degree of individualism vs collectivism and long-term orientation.


Results indicate that national culture is a key aspect for the OS process. Prior studies usually do not consider cultural aspects. Therefore, the OS process varies in different countries and contexts. Managers need to adjust their OS process when they are developing a global OS.



Lee Park, C. and Paiva, E.L. (2018), "How do national cultures impact the operations strategy process?", International Journal of Operations & Production Management, Vol. 38 No. 10, pp. 1937-1963.



Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2018, Emerald Publishing Limited

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