Understanding the influence of culture and situational factors on the attitudes and behaviours of employees and managers within an international joint venture.

Albishri, N 2017, Understanding the influence of culture and situational factors on the attitudes and behaviours of employees and managers within an international joint venture., Doctor of Philosophy (PhD), Business and Law, RMIT University.


Document type: Thesis
Collection: Theses

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Title Understanding the influence of culture and situational factors on the attitudes and behaviours of employees and managers within an international joint venture.
Author(s) Albishri, N
Year 2017
Abstract International joint ventures (IJVs) are important actors in the globalised economy offering a range of business opportunities from market entry to knowledge transfer. However, the success of IJVs is by no means guaranteed. Indeed, many perform badly or fail altogether. Why they fail has already attracted much scholarly interest although most previous research has focused on financial and operational aspects of IJV performance. This research examines IJV performance through the lens of national culture with the aim of developing an insightful understanding of how cultural differences can influence performance and present additional challenges. The thesis addresses research questions about how our understanding of IJV performance can be clarified by identifying the ultimate and proximate factors contributing to IJV performance; the consequences of cultural distance for IJVs; and what senior IJV management can do to minimise the risk of failure when there is great cultural distance between the two partners. The research comprised a single case study of an IJV between an American and Saudi corporation. The setting was an industrial complex in Saudi Arabia. The methodology was predominantly qualitative with data collected from 40 semi-structured interviews, field observations and documentation. Thematic and frame analysis was applied to the data. There is already an extensive literature pertaining to IJV performance and national culture at both the theoretical level and in empirical studies. That literature is reviewed to deduce an initial framework of ultimate and proximate factors influencing IJV performance with the aim of developing that framework in the light of later empirical case study data. National culture is initially proposed as the ultimate factor contributing to attitudes and behaviours within the case study IJV while trust, commitment and communication are proposed as proximate factors. The empirical data analysis, however, revealed that additional important situational and self-interested factors were contributing to the attitudes and behaviours of employees working in the case study IJV. These additional factors included the role of cultural training, cultural intelligence, biculturalism and multiculturalism, adaptability, religious tolerance and perceptions of inequity – and in particular the tendency of interviewees on both sides of the cultural differences to frame the other side in negative and blaming ways. Regarding national culture, cultural distance - particularly along the Individualist/Collectivist dimension - was found to be presenting many challenges to the case study IJV managers and employees. The thesis concludes by proposing a set of recommendations for senior management who are planning to establish, or to improve the performance of, a high cultural contrast IJV.
Degree Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)
Institution RMIT University
School, Department or Centre Business and Law
Subjects Cultural Theory
Organisational Behaviour
Organisational, Interpersonal and Intercultural Communication
Keyword(s) International Joint Ventures
National Culture
Trust
Commitment
Communication
Saudi Arabia
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Created: Mon, 26 Feb 2018, 13:04:15 EST by Adam Rivett
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