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Through the comparison of your home country and another country of your choice, critically discuss the issues that may challenge international managers from differences in national culture. Suggest actions or strategies that managers can put in place to minimise the impact of the issues you  have identified.



Every organisation has a unique potentiality and cultural differences, which influences the behaviours of the members in the workplace and adapting situations accordingly. Organisational culture is an invisible but has powerful impact on international managers who perform in diverse working condition. It is a way of dictation how they act, behave and perform towards the organisational development maintaining shared values, beliefs and assumptions. Therefore, employees of the company have faced the challenges every day by the way of adaption of structural changes, managerial issues arising from cultural differences. Here in this essay, we are concerned with how “cultural diversity” and related differences with the “behaviours, norms and expectations” of typical groups of employees’ colleagues, or customers affects on decision making of managers.

It is important to assess how the responsible authority of the management holds such changes towards the optimization of the employees’ potentiality. It is a benchmark of the global organisations to maintain the flow of operation rationally so that individual performances at the same time the operations of the management is benefitted. There are many characteristics of organisational culture, which have been followed by the management for enhance the performance standard and increase the value proposition in the global competitive business environment. Culture within organisation enforces towards innovation encouragement to take risks and perform. The culture of the organisation has a great deal of importance on how their decision will affect on the organisational people. Therefore, it is essential to treat their employees with respect and dignity, which definitely excel their performance standard and increase the teamwork orientation. It is the duty of the management to maintain a certain aggressiveness when dealing with companies and outperforming the competition at all costs.

By the above discussion, it is understood that our topic of discussion is how the cultural differences measures the effective managerial performance in a complex operating environment. It is a contradictory issue because we can hardly quantify the performance and evaluate its effectiveness. But in this essay, we are going to analyse the different perspective of cultural differences with the reference of cultural theories and try to find out the solution to mitigate the impact of several managerial issues. In this assignment, two countries- India and England, have been chosen for making it clear the differences of culture and understand work related cultural diversity of both the countries. A method of evaluation will take place to analyse roles and functions of service sector managers by the identification of organisational change as well as the operational changing conditions.


Organisational behaviour tends to influence the human behaviours. The Australians people, characteristically blunt, Japanese tend to be very polite, Indian are soft and emotional where as British are very straight-forward and focussed on their profession (Bellini et al. 2013). “Patterns of global diversity” and its implication have been studied from a range of perspectives, by psychologists, sociologists, anthropologists, and political scientists (Alvesson 2012).


A brief background description of the two national cultures:

Before the evaluation of two different culture of nation, it is important to know their background description and understand the cultural diversity, which normally followed in organisations placed in India and England. There are many attributes have been followed by the Indian organisations which depicts different psychology, attitude, beliefs, experiences and values at the workplace. The Indian managers have been facing many managerial issues such as individual differences, multiculturalism management, cross-country differences, organisational as well as multicultural conflicts and cultural differences (Bartikowski and Walsh 2015). So, the organisational culture has been changing rapidly in India which may have both positive and negative affects at the workplace (Ang and Van Dyne 2015). A developing economy like India is trying to achieve its pinnacle of advancement by increasing its productivity appreciably. Raising operational productivity is an important aspect of the management, which ensures whether an economy can encourage capital spending by the way of, enhance input material that compliments labour, increase capital and many more factors. Indian working organisations are not self-contained. The Indian managers are conceived as instruments of nation’s building. Organisations are much more open to societal forces. Therefore, the background of the Indian organisations have been postulating towards a desirable direction for organisational culture at the workplace.

Many Indian scholars have been defined that the values of the organisational culture is a mixed pattern of indigenous and universal values (Beamish 2013). It has been analysed that Indian work culture maintain diversity at workplace since ages. Previously, the Indian managers were not aware the fact that works diversity could influence the individual behavioural aspects and increase the work performances. Nowadays it is incorporated in the management system to get customer loyalty, high employee motivation and increase productivity by the tight management control system within the organisational culture (Bellini et al. 2013). In India, employees have a habit to work for ten hours. As far as the work culture in India is concerned, the first thing, which comes in mind, is the organisational hierarchy normally maintained within organisations. The relationship between the boss and subordinates is very formal and may dominate a little bit. But there are large organisations in India where a level of informality and an open culture have been maintained with the influence of western culture (Carroll and Buchholtz 2014). For example, it has been found that the CEO of Mahindra Group suggests work diversity and talent acquisition are important for accelerate performance of employees. India has lately identified such facts but implement it into the business successfully at the later stage.

On the other hand, we can see a very different work culture in the British work environment. There are seventy five per cent of British jobs are in service industries like restaurants, hotels, computer, shopping and finances (Koopmans and Schaeffer 2014). It is one of the fastest growing economies in the world. The usual working time allotted for each employee is eight hours and a five-day week. The work culture is not so dominating by the upper management of companies and communication a transparency is maintained for resolve all the managerial issues within the organisation. So, managers respect confidentiality as well as the comprehensive discussion of matters to handle difficult situations (Cavusgil et al. 2014). The British organisations are more actively involved into their corporate social responsibilities at the workplace and maintained the work-life balance, human rights and employments. The UK has subscribed to the goals of United Nation and many business leaders have actively perform towards achieving such goals (Laitin, Moortgat and Robinson 2012).

Generally, the time-keeping management for business arrangements has a special place in the British work culture (Dent and Whitehead 2013). Therefore, managers have been maintained their punctuality while attending meetings and employees are keep it in mind at the time of execution of their responsibilities. In addition, conventional business etiquettes at the UK organisations are huge demand in the world of business where reflections of people behaviour are completely professional at the same time maintained sophistication while dealing with other people of the organization. It is an ideal scenario, for the growth of the business as well as the made changes individual growth perspectives in the England business. Therefore, values and knowledge of attitudes can be a remarkable importance if managers or employees wish to communicate with their counterparts effectively (Dickson et al. 2012). On the other hand, the British business leaders in the previous years have faced many managerial issues regarding ignorance of cultural barriers, which hindered the communication process and had detrimental effects in the business economy of the country.


A critical overview of national culture with the help of cultural theories and assessing cultural diversity of the chosen two countries:

Organisations have specific purpose and survival goals (Diller 2014). Therefore, all the organisational changes within the workplace maintained by the management must enforce towards the achieving such goals. National or international cultural changes must follow strategic concept for implementation while making such changes towards handling the managerial issues and decision-making approaches (Dunning 2012). In the organisational theory literature, culture is often considered as an undefined immanent characteristic of any society whether in India or British business world. The relevance of such theoretical concepts must be examined before the use of it into the business processes of the organisation.

There are conventionally three different approaches we are going to discussion here at the cultural perspectives:

The psychological level which have a main focus on the Individual’s norms, attitudes, behaviour from a particular culture (Forsgren and Johanson 2014). And another is the level of institution, which looks at group or “national culture” embedded in multiple institutions. Culture and related nationality tend to coincide, although nations encompass a huge variety of “institutions, belief, religion, behavioural patterns and subcultures” which can be found within individual countries (Fullan 2014). The only way to understand its wide variety of cultural diversity is with the help of characterization of distinct cultural groups through the discussion of the multiple dimensions of culture on psychological perspective.

The Indian organisations are largely welcomed the cross-cultural communication attributes into their business environment. The cultural theory of Professor Geert Hofstede is perfectly aligned in this perspective. The professor has illustrated “national culture” as the “collective programming of the mind which must distinguish the members of one group of category to another.” Based on a cross-cultural psychology, the international managers are successfully recruit people from different cultural background and maintain the work diversity in all level of the organisations. There are six dimensions of national culture have been discussed in the culture theory (Hofstede, 2011). It can be articulated by this theory that “the cultural dimensions represent independent preferences for one state of affair to another that differentiates countries from each other”. Based on this theory, managers can maintain cultural diversity as well. It is very impressive for the global business world that Indian managers are employ talents from all parts of the world without any bias like religion, sexual orientation, ages. Therefore, the fundamental managerial issue like how a society handles inequalities among people within the organisation can be resolved by the application of this theory. People in society emphases a “large degree of Power distance index” by accepting a hierarchical order in which every member has a position and which needs no further clarification ((Dickson et al. 2012). If we can relate this concept by equalising the distribution of employee in this way, the end productivity will surely results better. The freedom at working place is another point, which excels the work performances largely. Hofstede’s cultural change theory explains that “indulgence allows relatively free gratification of natural human drives towards enjoying life and having fun in society”. The same concept can be applied within the organisation also. In fact, India as well as England give a lot of importance and incorporates indulgence dimension into their business management system for motivating their employees at the workplace. The international managers supports Hofstede’s proposition of preferred coordination mechanisms. This study can easily conclude that every culture has unique “preferred mechanism”. It implies that employees from a nation will deliver a better performance if they use their own “preferred management practices”.

The analysis of the seven dimensions culture model of Trompenaars is mainly emphasised preferences and values of the organisation, which are very relevant in the modern business. The organisations can follow one of the following dimensions for the enhance productivity of employees like “Individualism versus communitarianism”, “Specific versus diffuse”, “Neutral verses emotional”, “Achievement versus ascription”, “Universalism versus particularism”, “Sequential time versus synchronous time”, and lastly, “Internal direction versus outer direction”. Based on the appropriateness organisations must evaluate their cultural up gradation at the workplace. This literature contains considerable empirical research on the management-culture relationships. Fons Trompenaars analysed on Hofstede’s thoughts more emphatically by the stereotyping framework and comparing the different national cultures. By the application of this theory, the India and UK organisations can easily understand the mapping approach by identifying where each country or culture is positioned relation to more or others of these dimension. The UK organisations have successfully applied the rules and regulations, regardless of situation. Trompenaars have found that UK can be included among the most Universalist country. But, on the contrary, the Indian managers judging situations and adjusting procedures and rules according to the particular situation. It is called Particularism by Trompenaars. The dimension of Individualism are clearly builds the concept that the rights of individual and values are dominant to those of the collective society. The UK is among the most individualist countries whereas India includes among the most collectivist list.

During the last decade it has been argued that cultural barrier has gradually reduced. Cultural integration has thus been in focus by many business leaders and many researchers have opined differently that the business world, extensively within the business community has become more and more “homogeneous”. However, the people of the organisation give more stress on heterogeneity rather than homogeneity. MNCs are more interested to identify differences whose main feature is that they consist of units located in different parts of the world. It is obvious that multinational firms may not be identical. So, it is difficult for managers to maintain the homogeneous condition at the workplace and MNCs and their subsidiaries often embedded in every heterogeneous environmental condition while dealing with the counterparties. Problems due to cultural differences are a major concern for any kind of organisations no matter where they positioned.


Cultural difference thus becomes the main factor causing a separate line between parties and MNCs which may lead to a communication gap within the organisation. Communication plays a large role while interacting people at workplace and in order get necessary information from their managers or subordinates. Different organisations have different style of dealing the managerial situations. An effective hypothesis is that it is easier to communicate with those people who share the same view. But in reality it is hard to maintain because managerial decisions and handling managerial issues may enforce managers to maintain flexibility at their dealing aspects (Gannon and Pillai 2015). In this context, managers face complexity within the organisation. Conflicts also affected by the difference of the culture as individuals have often maintain diverse approaches to conflict resolution (Galliers and Leidner 2014). On the contrary, each culture has unique contribution to offer and diversity at workplace represents excellence at work by their employees. Therefore, handling issues relating to cultural differences must accomplish with delicacy. Researchers suggested that the variability in communication is the most important factor during acquisitions and mergers. Managers face difficulties in blending two organisations because the system emphasises more on differences rather than mutual understanding which may lead lack of collaboration (Grandori 2012). In addition, it also failed the interdependency and not learned through interdepartmental opportunities.

The above-mentioned two sets of human dimensions reflect basic problems that any societies whether India or UK have to cope with but for which solutions differ. In dealing the issues relating to socio-cultural dimensions like paternalism and fatalism, it can be found that Indian organisations believe in providing guidance, care, protection to the subordinates and the role of subordinates, on the other hand, is to be loyal and separate to the superior (Taras, Steel and Kirkman 2012). But international managers in UK believes in fatalism that it is not possible to control the results of one’s actions and therefore, trying too hard to making long-term plans. In short, there are too many MNCs see the cultural diversity within their operations is the main problematic area rather than a functional opportunity to maintain competitive advantages. International managers normally have been facing several drawbacks at the time of dealing the situation of the cultural changes within the organisation (Jeston and Nelis 2014). Sometimes employees get confused and give slow reaction to internal as well as external changes as systems are designed for stability. In addition, many structural layers in the hierarchy of the organisation make communication less effective (Schneider, Ehrhart and Macey 2013). By the organisational change pattern, the employee of the company may be excluded for the decision-making processes thereby reducing potential to change and adapt quickly. Therefore, there are many problems managers’ needs to solve or minimise the impact of such managerial issues to maintain productivity more effectively.

Strength lies in differences, not in similarities. The national culture is directly influenced the corporate culture of the organisation. Innovation and diversity are both multidimensional terms and the reason for corporate cultural differences (Robbins et al. 2013). By another cultural theory, we can understand more specifically the cultural difference between India and England. The Lewis cultural model has segmented the national culture into three divisions, includes “Linear-actives, Multi-actives and Reactives” (Day and Shannon 2016). Linear-actives dimension can relate with those countries that are doing the “planning, schedule organising, pursuing actions” and do one thing at a time. British managers are fall in this group. They believe in planning on thing at a time and goes with proper planning strategically. The German managers are polite and have restrained body language all the time. The British managers give preferences on written conversation rather than verbal communication or face-to-face interaction (Wild, Wild and Han 2014). Lewis plots countries in multi-actives categories. This group identifies those people who are lively, loquacious and wants to do many things at once. Those managers are planned not as per their time schedule but things are fixed to give relative importance that each appointment brings with it. Italian members fall under this category.

On the other hand, re-actives are those who interested in relationships, but cooler than the above categories. The re-actives people are paying attention what other people saying and not just driving in with their views. Normally, they tend to think with broader perspective and work as per the principles rather than “concrete plans or vague intentions” accordingly. They believe in harmony and would step back and start again if things are not working well. Indian people are fall in this category. The subtle body language and harmonious nature are like to join in confronting or conflicting issues. The Indian managers believed in face-to-face interaction while dealing any managerial issues or take decisions (VandeVijver, Van Hemert and Poortinga 2015). According to Lewis, this segmentation of national norms does not change overnight. The behaviour of people of different cultures exists with clear trends, traditions and sequences.

Diagram 1: The Lewis Triangle Cultural Theory

(Source: Glaveanu and Tanggaard, 2014)

Therefore, the above discussion make understood that “cross-cultural management issues” emerges in different business contexts. Within a firm, for example, business managers from a foreign parent company require to understand that local staff from the host country may require separate organisation structures and system of HRM. Moreover, cross-border joint ventures, buyer-supplier relationships or alliances, relationship between multiple firms also require a “cultural compromise”. Furthermore, businesses to sell successfully to foreign consumers need a substantial sense of cultural adaptations sensitively into services, products, marketing and advertising. The below figure, shown the links between particular context of individuals or groups and business contexts that are influenced by cultural and social norms of a typical region. Having in different cultures, firms take their decision based on where they have evolved and which culture and subculture they encompass. Therefore, it is needs to be understood different organisational culture for the formation of successful partnership or alliances or for merger and acquisition activities.

Marketing Development of product

Figure 1: Cross-culture Business Context

(Source: Kahane Longley and Simmons, 2013)

Discussion on the issues facing managers from the natural cultural difference:

There are many managerial issues are arising due to the difference of the national cultures of different countries. During a recent visit of Tata consultancy Service in India, the detailed study has been analysed. While India is head-quarter, the subsidiaries of the company are situated in different parts of the world. It should be observed that HQ in the study has a divisional management system ( 2016). The operational responsibility for the subsidiaries thus lies upon divisional management that is HQ. Three different functions have been covered by the company- general management, sales and purchasing as three are the core functions and important for the existence of each unit. Four different respondents, operating different functions, have been participated in the study and evaluated whether national cultural differences have caused problems.

It was suggested from the above studies that cultural differences do exist and observed that the relationship of HQ and subsidiaries will be disturbed due to culture change.  Such cultural differences have caused many problems in the relationship with the HQ- global divisional management. The details results are separately shown by segregating four respondent categories.


Div HQ

Sub Managers





Strongly agree







Partially agree







Not sure







Partially disagree







Completely disagree







Table 1: Records of organisational issues facing managers at TCS, India

(Source: created by author)

It can be easily identified that when HQ and subsidiary are operationally dependent on each other they probably interact and communicate more often and meet each other on regular basis. In this context, the propensity for problems to arise due to cultural differences is higher than in cases where subsidiaries are more independent. Having a strong corporate culture within organisation cannot be assumed that national influence is insignificant. Employees have faced actual problem between the two because things are likely to responds in the ways of national culture, not the organisational one (Katan, 2014). Therefore, the main issues arising due to national cultural differences are communication problem and compatible issue. While working behaviours and attitudes are rooted in “national cultural values”, so simply knowing the employee’s nationality is not enough to make perfect predictions about his or her job functioning in an organisation (Ting-Toomey, 2012). Due to different cultural pattern, values, belief, trends, economic background, religion and many other variables, the international managers faces problem regarding the employee’s compatibility. The foreign cultural people are different form their cultural norms, values and basic assumptions in life. Managers have faced difficulties while interaction with other cultural people at the workplace and make them understand the local organisational values (Vaara et al. 2012). Though, the national culture is indeed changing, but often in several directions. For example, Wal-Mart, the leading retail giant found out it difficult, in customising business strategies and customer and employee management systems to match the local UK culture remains an essential condition for building a prosperous international company. Therefore, communication and compatibility issues are main conflicting concerns for the managerial people of organisations. Cultural knowledge inefficiencies or lack of broader perspective at the managerial level of the organisation have also created a lot of issues while dealing international business by the management (Marquardt and Horvath, 2014).

It needs to careful assesses its organisational culture against the regional cultures in the selected countries and regions it is engaged in (Meyer, Mudambi and Narula, 2011). Sometimes, it may require changing or toning down aspects of the organisation’s culture. But it is not the right thing to simply ignore “cultural differences”. For MNCs, some variation in operating practices across locations is basically needed. Once organisations move further towards the variations across locations, complementary moves like indigenization or decentralization of the decision making process can supports company’s ability to be influenced to local conditions (Moran, Abramson and Moran, 2014). So manage organisational culture well is highly recommended for the international managers and it is also important to build cultural understanding and awareness at the workplace. In dealing the issues relating to developing effective international management teams, it appears that the following aspects must taken into consideration:

  • Understand the characteristics and implications of “national cultural differences” within the team (Peretz and Fried, 2012)

  • Think to build awareness and action plans for cultural difference and how they managed (Stromquist and Monkman, 2014)

  • Formulating an effective team where takes the “cultural differences and leverages” towards the work diversity present in an international team (Stahl, Bj and Morris, 2012).

Recommendations for actions and approaches to mitigate the impact of cultural differences issues:

At a common perspective, good transactional organisations develop an awareness and favourableness of cultural differences among their employees and managers. Firms may also take steps to adaptation of personal behaviour or business practices to suit the “changing mix of cultures within the firm”, in key markets or in subsidiaries. “Training programs” are take place for understanding the impact of cultural differences issues. Number of firms also practices Job rotation of international managers with their personal experience in several countries. But all these practices are very difficult to assess using any form of cost benefits analysis. The costs are simply identifiable but benefits are very often intangible. For many accomplished international organisations, such as Nestle or Shell, “cultural awareness” is simply accepted as a part of essential part of being global. In other words, the cultural diversity helps to development economic sectors of the nation as well. The industrial development in construction business, for example, has largely benefitted in India. The multinational conglomerate organisation like Larsen & Toubro, provides critical needs in key sectors- “infrastructure, hydrocarbon, power, process industries” by recognising cultural differences and the global customer’s needs in more than thirty countries. The business leaders categorised L&T’s multifaceted businesses by professionalism and high standards of corporate governance which are followed by internal management personnel. The sustainability is embedded into their cultural growth and service efficiencies. Therefore, national cultural difference is the prime success factor for the multinational companies like L&T where large audiences are benefitted with their potential services.

There are list of other effective strategies for managing cultural diversity which are distilled from several researcher’s opinion:

i) Organisations should recognize the diversity. Various national cultures should be identified and need to be understand which elements of standardization and consistency should be promoted. This incorporates differences in “perceptions, interpretations and evaluation” of social situations and people who create them and act within them.

ii) It is important to incorporate diversity issues into recruitment, planning of HRM, strategy, location decisions, partnership and alliances: This helps avoid clashes, conflicts, inefficiency and support cultural awareness.

iii) It is need to be assessed where or to what degree local divisions should be empowered and encouraged to maintain the lead position in expressing and managing diversity.

iv) The application of managerial training season focusing cross-border discussion and interaction is essential to incorporate into the management system for managing cultural diversity.

v) The organisation should aim for a “cultural balance” in specific areas at strategic decision making such as changing brands according to foreign market’s preferences which can be recommended. It ensures appropriate diverse inputs into decision making.

vi) The upper management group or board of directors must match the geographical diversity of the firm’s business such as the company like Unilever and Sony.

vii) The foreign culture must be respected by “accepting their differences” without any prejudice. It is not right to give preferences and to claim that a certain culture like India is perfect, better than British culture.

viii) The cultural diversity must ignore at the time of recruiting people in an organisation. Talent should be the ultimate criteria for employing people into the business rather than cultural parameters like local language proficiencies.

ix) To deal with communication problem in managerial decision making process, the firm must follow a fixed communication language medium and mode of interaction. Firms must respects the regional or local languages but an international language like English must follow to deal all managerial issues. The common mediums like face to face or written or verbal must be select for to handle all communication dealing within organisation.

x) Organisations should handle a regional minority issues or sexual orientation aspects delicately. Otherwise, cultural racism make affects adversely on employee performances and it disturbs the internal balance of the firm.


International managers are believed in globalization. As this globalisation is increasing day by day, “cultural differences” are bound to be found in workplace. It becomes very essential for a manager to deal with “complex managerial issues” arising out of the availability of the “cultural differences” and mould those differences into benefits. The employees and managers in a firm should understand and respect the other cultures prevailing in the workplace. Cultural diversity arises due to difference of pattern, management thinking process, different dealing approaches and managerial decision-making strategies. It is the duty of the management to eradicate the differences and unite them which further ensures the organisational objective seamlessly.

The “cultural differences” in MNCs are taken as positive factors as well, which helps in building synergies. The different pattern of culture influences variety of work deliveries and ranges of performances. In that case, the managers of both the countries like India and England could deal with their employees with sound delegation and coordination. This shapes the firm to sustain their position to “equip the best to fight against the rivals” and get advantages that are more competitive in the long-run. Internal transparency between all employees only possible if clear communication takes place from the managerial front. Language barrier could be a large constrain at the time of dealing clients of international business or negotiation with multinational business leaders. In that case, the employee training sessions at the time of induction will be helpful in understanding better work culture or manage decision making approaches whenever required. But all these steps will be successful if managers acknowledged their importance in an international business process.

National Cultural differences can be mitigated easily by the welcoming cultural diversity at the recruitment phase. The HRM of organisations should not compromise talent requisition by any cultural constraints like region, age, language proficiency, differences of cultural patterns or any other else. If international managers maintain equality and give the same opportunity at the decision making processes or managing organisations, the responsiveness of employees or executives will surely be increased and organisations will get the best result.



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