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Article
Publication date: 26 April 2013

E.G. Ochieng, A.D.F. Price, X. Ruan, C.O. Egbu and D. Moore

The purpose of this paper is to examine challenges faced by senior construction managers in managing cross‐cultural complexity and uncertainty. The rationale was to…

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3341

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to examine challenges faced by senior construction managers in managing cross‐cultural complexity and uncertainty. The rationale was to identify the key strategies that are considered essential for managing cross‐cultural complexity and uncertainty.

Design/methodology/approach

Interviews with 20 senior construction managers, ten in Kenya and ten in the UK, were recorded, transcribed and entered into the qualitative research software NVivo. Validity and reliability were achieved by first assessing the plausibility in terms of already existing knowledge on some of the cultural issues raised by participants. The findings were presented to the participants through workshops and group discussions.

Findings

The emerging key issues suggested that project leaders need to learn how to control their own characteristics and to use them selectively. An effective multicultural construction project team should focus on team output and attributes that characterise a multicultural team as a social entity.

Practical implications

Findings indicate that the role of construction project managers has significantly changed over the past two decades. In order to deal with cross‐cultural uncertainty, project leaders must have superior multicultural and interpersonal skills when managing global multicultural heavy engineering projects.

Originality/value

The research shows that leaders of global construction project teams need a good understanding of their culture, environment and the value of their individual contributions.

Details

Engineering, Construction and Architectural Management, vol. 20 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0969-9988

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Article
Publication date: 18 July 2008

Sungchul Choi and Moontae Kim

The paper seeks to examine cross‐cultural differences in how consumers evaluate “scratch and save” (SAS) promotions (which are characterized by uncertainty of savings…

Abstract

Purpose

The paper seeks to examine cross‐cultural differences in how consumers evaluate “scratch and save” (SAS) promotions (which are characterized by uncertainty of savings outcomes) between Canada and Korea, where the promotion tool is widely used but the countries have different cultural values.

Design/methodology/approach

An experiment was conducted to examine cross‐cultural differences in SAS promotion evaluations between Canada (n=77) and Korea (n=78).

Findings

SAS promotions effectively stimulate favorable shopping intentions in Canada, a country with a low uncertainty avoidance culture, more so than in Korea, a country with a high uncertainty avoidance culture. However, subjects in Korea show consistently higher savings expectations from SAS promotions than subjects in Canada. Thus, the results report that consumers with the highest savings expectations do not necessarily have the highest intention to shop. In addition, in Korea, a SAS promotion with guaranteed minimum savings is found to be very effective due to reduced ambiguity about its outcome.

Research limitations/implications

The study suggests cross‐cultural differences in the applicability of the disjunction effect.

Practical implications

The findings suggest that when SAS promotions are presented in a country with high uncertainty avoidance, retailers should explicitly indicate the value of the guaranteed minimum savings. By promising guaranteed savings, retailers can reduce consumers' relatively high concerns about unknown SAS outcomes, which results in a greater advantage in building favorable perceptions.

Originality/value

Very little work has been undertaken into SAS promotions and no known empirical research has been undertaken into cross‐cultural differences. This paper fills some of the gaps.

Details

Journal of Product & Brand Management, vol. 17 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1061-0421

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Article
Publication date: 20 December 2017

James Baba Abugre

Given the rising expansion of Western multinational companies (MNCs) to the African contexts, the development of expatriates and local employees has become increasingly…

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3596

Abstract

Purpose

Given the rising expansion of Western multinational companies (MNCs) to the African contexts, the development of expatriates and local employees has become increasingly important to the human resource management of these MNCs. This paper aims to provide critical lessons on cross-cultural communication competences for Western expatriates working in the sub-Saharan Africa business environment.

Design/methodology/approach

This paper is a qualitative phenomenology that makes use of lived experiences of senior expatriate staff working in Ghana in the form of direct interviews.

Findings

Results showed that cross-cultural communication competence is very important for Western expatriates’ functioning in sub-Saharan Africa. The findings also established a plethora of cross-cultural communication skills that are essential for Western expatriates’ successful adaptation and work outcomes in Africa.

Practical implications

This research argues that there is the need for the appreciations of the differing cultural patterns of expatriates and local staff, and this provides the underlying assumptions of intercultural and cross-cultural communication in global business.

Originality/value

A critical perspective of international business that has scarcely been studied offers lessons for Western expatriates working in sub-Saharan Africa.

Details

critical perspectives on international business, vol. 14 no. 2/3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1742-2043

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Article
Publication date: 6 November 2009

Edward Godfrey Ochieng and Andrew David Price

The purpose of this paper is to present literature that suggests that project teams comprising members from culturally diverse backgrounds bring fresh ideas and new…

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12563

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to present literature that suggests that project teams comprising members from culturally diverse backgrounds bring fresh ideas and new approaches to problem solving. The challenge, however, is that they also introduce different understandings and expectations regarding team dynamics and integration. The question becomes how a project manager can effectively work and influence a multicultural construction project team, at the same time being attentive to the diversity and creating the structure required for success.

Design/methodology/approach

Using a qualitative methodology, participants of heavy construction engineering projects revealed a number of multi‐dimensional factors that either facilitated or limited the effectiveness of multicultural teamwork. These were synthesised into a framework of eight key dimensions that need to be considered when managing multicultural teams. The identified key dimensions include: leadership style, team selection and composition process, cross‐cultural management of team development process, cross‐cultural communication, cross‐cultural collectivism, cross‐cultural trust, cross‐cultural management and cross‐cultural uncertainty.

Findings

The proposed framework has implications for construction managers who work with multicultural teams and are committed to improving team performance and productivity. The utilisation of the proposed framework would not instantly transform multicultural teams into high‐performing ones; however, it does identify eight key cross‐cultural dimensions, which need to be considered.

Originality/value

Though the benefits of culturally diverse teams have been acknowledged within the industry, the study highlighted that cultural differences among project teams can cause conflict, misunderstanding and poor project performance.

Details

Engineering, Construction and Architectural Management, vol. 16 no. 6
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0969-9988

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Article
Publication date: 1 April 2007

Carolina Gómez and J. Gualberto Cremades

The purpose of this study was to investigate the goal commitment and satisfaction of participants from two different cultures when given a compliance goal versus no goal…

Abstract

The purpose of this study was to investigate the goal commitment and satisfaction of participants from two different cultures when given a compliance goal versus no goal. Using a sample of 104 Mexican and U.S. participants, we found significant differences in uncertainty avoidance but not power distance between the participants of the two cultures. In addition, uncertainty avoidance had a significant effect on both goal commitment and satisfaction regardless of the goal condition. Finally, there was a significant goal by country interaction, which shows that Mexican participants, rather than U.S. participants, were more committed and marginally more satisfied with a compliance goal than no goal. Despite differences between the cultures in uncertainty avoidance and a direct effect of uncertainty avoidance on individual reactions to goals, the interaction was not explained by uncertainty avoidance.

Details

Management Research: Journal of the Iberoamerican Academy of Management, vol. 5 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1536-5433

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Article
Publication date: 1 December 2000

Jette Schramm‐Nielsen

Addresses the cultural dimension of uncertainty avoidance (UA), of US and German staffing decisions – but uses a different viewpoint. Discusses and challenges the hitherto…

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2696

Abstract

Addresses the cultural dimension of uncertainty avoidance (UA), of US and German staffing decisions – but uses a different viewpoint. Discusses and challenges the hitherto accepted meaning of individual positions of countries UA, using Höfstede’s guide. Adumbrates the concept of UA at the two levels of society and organization, linking the two levels. Concludes that low Höfstede UA index does not necessarily mean no or little need for certainty even in France and Denmark.

Details

Cross Cultural Management: An International Journal, vol. 7 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1352-7606

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Article
Publication date: 3 October 2016

Yu Zhou, Lu Lu and Xiaoxi Chang

The purpose of this paper is to examine the impacts of ambidextrous capabilities, explorative capability and exploitative capability on product innovation performance in…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to examine the impacts of ambidextrous capabilities, explorative capability and exploitative capability on product innovation performance in the context of internationalization and cross-cultural environment; and to examine the moderating effects of CEO’s preference of risks and opportunities in the international market on the relationship between ambidextrous capabilities and multinational enterprises’ (MNEs) product innovation performance.

Design/methodology/approach

Data were collected from 189 MNEs located in China, which develop international business through export, outsourcing, foreign equity investment or foreign direct investment. Measurement reliability and validity were examined and hierarchical linear regression was used to test the hypotheses.

Findings

Results indicated that both explorative and exploitative capability are positively related to MNEs’ new product development and commercialization of Chinese MNEs; and CEO’s preference of risks and opportunities in international market plays a significant moderating role in the two phases of product innovation.

Research limitations/implications

This study extends organizational ambidextrous capabilities theory to better understand the effects of explorative capability and exploitative capability on innovation performance in the context of internationalization and national cultural differences. Sample constitution is a possible limitation.

Practical implications

MNEs, especially those from emerging economies, should develop both explorative and exploitative capability to be flexible and competitive in dealing with cultural differences. fully take risks and opportunities should be taken into consideration regarding the international market and national cultural differences, and take an effective contingency strategy, driven by the ambidextrous capabilities toward new product innovation development and commercialization.

Originality/value

An empirical examination of how ambidextrous capabilities impact on Chinese MNEs’ new product development and commercialization connects the organizational ambidexterity theory to the innovation and characteristics of upper echelons.

Details

Cross Cultural & Strategic Management, vol. 23 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2059-5794

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Book part
Publication date: 2 September 2019

Sucharita Belavadi and Michael A. Hogg

Uncertainty-identity theory serves as our guiding theoretical framework to explore subjective uncertainty, especially uncertainty about self and identity, and the ways in…

Abstract

Uncertainty-identity theory serves as our guiding theoretical framework to explore subjective uncertainty, especially uncertainty about self and identity, and the ways in which communication within groups provides valuable social identity information to group members as a means to manage subjective uncertainty.

We review and synthesize research in communication science and social identity theory, specifically uncertainty-identity theory, to compare diverse understandings of uncertainty and the identity-shaping function of communication within groups.

Uncertainty inherent in dyadic interactions has received extensive attention in communication science. However, the identity-defining function of communication that flows within and between groups as a means to resolving uncertainty about subjectively important matters has received little attention in both social psychology and communication science.

We explore how communication that flows from in-group sources (e.g., leaders) serves to shape a shared reality and identity for group members while providing a framework for self-definition. We propose an agenda for future research that would benefit from an articulation of the importance of communication in the shaping and management of identity-uncertainty.

Uncertainty arousing rhetoric by influential in-group sources, such as leaders and the media can have serious implications for intergroup relations, as uncertain individuals seek distinctive and tight-knit groups and autocratic leaders under conditions of heightened uncertainty. The role that communication plays in shaping clear and distinct identities as a panacea for identity-uncertainty has implications for the intragroup normative structure of the group and for intergroup relations.

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Article
Publication date: 27 April 2012

John A. Parnell, Donald L. Lester, Zhang Long and Mehmet Ali Köseoglu

This study aimed to examine the prospective role played by perceived environmental uncertainty in the strategy‐performance linkage among SMEs in China, Turkey, and the USA.

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4228

Abstract

Purpose

This study aimed to examine the prospective role played by perceived environmental uncertainty in the strategy‐performance linkage among SMEs in China, Turkey, and the USA.

Design/methodology/approach

The strategic group level of analysis was employed. Generic strategy, environmental uncertainty, and performance were measured by previously validated scales.

Findings

The combination strategy‐performance linkage was supported in Turkey and the USA. In China, the highest performing strategic group emphasized a focus orientation accompanied by neither cost leadership nor differentiation, and the lowest performing group was comprised of low cost businesses.

Research limitations/implications

This study supported the combination strategy thesis in the USA and Turkey. In China, conceptualizations of strategy appear to be more complex. High performing businesses emphasized a focus strategy, but not necessarily in concert with either cost leadership or differentiation.

Practical implications

Firms in the USA place a great deal of emphasis on uniqueness and individuality, translating into approaches based on differentiation and innovation. However, attempting to control costs and differentiate without a defined niche leaves a firm vulnerable to larger, more experienced competition.

Originality/value

This study addresses the death of strategy‐performance investigations in developing nations. Findings presented run counter to the notion that successful businesses in emerging economies emphasize cost leadership vis‐à‐vis differentiation. Conventional wisdom suggests that high performers tend to perceive greater certainty about their environments. The present analysis not only rejected this finding, but suggests that the opposite might be true.

Details

Management Decision, vol. 50 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0025-1747

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Article
Publication date: 6 May 2011

Charles M. Vance, Gary Sibeck, Yvonne McNulty and Alan Hogenauer

The purpose of this paper is to examine strengths and limitations of current experiential approaches for enhancing international business education, and propose a new…

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781

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to examine strengths and limitations of current experiential approaches for enhancing international business education, and propose a new, particularly cost‐effective approach grounded in the travel and tourism industry and specific context of international cruises.

Design/methodology/approach

This study combines an analysis of current literature with an examination of actual case experience.

Findings

A particularly successful short‐term experiential learning approach was used at a private university in southern California that is focused on the specific international business context of the international cruise industry within travel and tourism. The authors believe that this approach has significant merit to be included as a viable option for helping students develop important international business competencies required to compete in an increasingly global marketplace. With its specific focus on the international cruise industry and experiential travel agency operational design, this approach provides not only the opportunity to learn about general culture and business environments in the areas of travel, but also allows the practical application of many international and domestic business concepts and skills within a specific global industry context.

Research limitations/implications

The present study is limited to a very few experiences and within the international cruise industry. Future applied research in international business education should provide more rigorous analyses for verifying intended student learning outcomes, as well as examine applications within other contexts within the growing field of international travel and tourism.

Practical implications

The approach described here provides practical information for developing similar experiential coursework for enhancing international business education, and is particularly useful for smaller educational institutions that may lack the ability to offer and participate fully in more extensive options such as study abroad and international internships.

Originality/value

The approach described in the paper provides a highly relevant context for international business experiential education that is economical for students and schools alike.

Details

Journal of International Education in Business, vol. 4 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2046-469X

Keywords

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