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Summary Cross Cultural Management Chapter 1-11 rn
CrossCultural Management (Rijksuniversiteit Groningen)
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CCM Summary:
Chapter 1: what is the role of a global manager?
Globalization = a process whereby worldwide interconnections in virtually every sphere of
activity are growing. Some of these interconnections lead to integrations other don’t. The
increase in interconnections is the result of shifts that have taken place in technological,
political, and economical spheres.
Four categories of change that illustrate the process of globalization:
1. Growing economic interconnectedness (WTO, free trade)
2. More complex and dynamic work environment (downsizing, privatization)
3. Increased use and sophistication of IT
4. More and different players on the global stage
A global manager’s environment can be divided in economic, legal, political and cultural
Management = managers have formal authority over their organizational unit and this
status divides their activities into interpersonal, informational and decisional role
categories. Global managers face interactions with people who are culturally different.
Limitations in present management articles;
 Only 5% focuses on international studies
 Historical factors are anchored (Parochialism)
Critique on international / cross-cultural research:
 Lack of theoretical base
 Lack of relevance
 Bias towards studying large companies
 Limited to small number of locations
 Parochialism
Methodological issues in Cross-Cultural research:
 Equivalence
 Sampling
 Data collection
 Parochialism
Types of international management research:
 Domestic research (single country)
 Replication research (direct comparison of two countries. Research done in 1
country, copied to other country)
 Indigenous research (varied ways in which managers/organizations behave)
 Comparative research (both similarities/differences, no cultural perspective is
 International research (multinational enterprises, both similarities and differences,
not a cultural element)
 Intercultural research (interactions between culturally different
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Chapter 2: Describing culture (basics)
Culture consists of patterned ways of thinking, feeling and reacting. Acquired and
transferred mainly by artifacts, symbols etc. Essential core is derived from historical events
and especially their attached values.
Features of culture:
 Culture is shared
 Culture is learned
 Culture is systematic and organized (Schein, 3 levels)
Reasons why culture differ:
 Survival
 Language
 Religion
 Climate
 Economy
 Topography
 Economic systems and technology
 Political boundaries
Debates around culture:
 National culture (cultures differ in nations e.g. subcultures & variance is ignored)
 Convergence, divergence & equilibrium
 Organizational versus national culture
National Culture
Organizational Culture
Shared Meanings
Shared Behaviors
Unconditional relationship
Conditional relationship
Born into it
Socialized into it
Totally immersed
Partly involved
According to Hofstede Organ. Culture and nation. Culture differ since people already have
national values when coming into the organization. Furthermore, culture can change due
to acculturation and biculturalism.
Culture and groups have two issues to consider:
 The characteristics of groups can change as members come and go
 Our membership in a cultural group helps to determine how we perceive our
groupmembers as much as how other perceive us.
Ingroup bias = Biased towards own culture, to maintain self-image you favour your own
culture over the other culture  compare yourself to favourable traits of your group
Ethnocentricism: Own cultural group is center of everything, and all other groups are
evaluated referring to own culture.  compare entire groups to your own culture/group
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Culture is not inherited, but is developed over time by the way societies interact with their
physical environment, their social context, and with other societies.
Chapter 3: A comparison of cultures
6 problems where there are cultural solutions : Kluckhohn & Strodtbeck Framework
 Relationships to nature
 Orientation to time
 Beliefs about human nature
 Nature of human activity (controlling etc.)
 Relationships between people (individualistic)
 Conception of space (privacy)
Time orientation
Nature of people
Conception of
These value orientations are not bipolar (when one is highly favored, it does not mean that
the other ones are low favored.)
Intranational consensus= Level of agreement between individuals in a society about the
importance of a particular value dimension
Ecological fallacy = mistake of applying scores at country level to an individual
Schwarz value survey (SVS) = survey conducted to research structure of human values.
Value types = the groups in which values are clustered
SVS: 7 dimensions:
1. Egalitarianism (recognition of people as morally equal)
2. Harmony (fit with environment)
3. Embeddedness (embedded in the collective)
4. Hierarchy (unequal distribution of power is legitimate)
5. Mastery (exploitation of environment)
6. Affective autonomy (pursuit of positive experiences)
7. Intellectual autonomy (independent pursuit of own ideas)
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Value orientation  trompenaar  7 dimensions:
1. Universalism – particularism
Universalism is a belief that what is true and good can be discovered and applied
universally, whereas particularism is a belief that unique circumstances determine
what is right or good.
2. Individualism – collectivism
This dimension concerns the extent to which people plan their action with reference
to individual benefits versus those of the group.
3. Neutral – affective
In neutral cultures, emotion could be held in check, and maintaining an appearance
of self-control is important, whereas in affective cultures, it is natural to express
4. Specific – diffuse
This dimension refers to the extent to which individuals are willing to allow access
to their inner selves to others. In specific cultures, people separate the private part
of their lives from the public, whereas in diffuse cultures, these aspects of the
individual overlap.
5. Achievement – ascription (determination of status + power)
This dimension is about how status and power are determined in a society. In an
ascription society, status is based on who a person is, whereas in an achievement
society, status is based on what a person does.
6. Time (past vs future orientations)
7. Environment
This dimension refers to the extent to which individuals feel that they themselves
are the primary influence on their lives. Alternatively, the environment is seen as
more powerful than they.
2 more added:
8. Loyal involvement – utilitarian involvement
Representing varying orientations towards group members.
9. Conservatism – Egalitarian commitment
Representing orientations toward obligations of social relationships
Globe study
Global Leadership and Organizational Behavior Effectiveness
First four dimensions hofstede
5 – gender ergallitarism
6- Assertiveness
7 – Humane orientation
8- Future orientation
9- Performance orientation
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Tightness = the extent to which members of a culture agree about what is correct behavior,
believe they must behave exactly according to cultural norms, and believe they will receive
or should give severe criticism for even small deviations from cultural norms.
Vertical dimension  Hofstedes power distance
Horizontal dimension  Individualism vs collectivism
Social axiom = basic truths or promises, or generalized expectations that relate to a wide
range of social behaviors across different contexts. Social axioms are not statements but
more of causal relationships.
Culture as a source of guidance: 8 forces:
 Organization rules and procedures
 Superiors
 Colleagues
 Subordinates
 Staff experts
 Organization’s norms
 Society’s norms
 Own experience + training
Chapter 4: How culture works
Social cognition= the role that our mental representations play in the ways we process
information about people or social events
Cultural norms = acceptable standards of behavior that are shared by members of a
cultural group. Social groups enforce norms when:
 Facilitate group’s survival
 Increase the predictability of a group member’s behavior
 Reduce embarrassment for group members
 Express the central values of the group
Cultural Schemas: Schemas shape what people associate with everything from simple
everyday aspects of life.
 Self-Schema (people tend to have personal traits like I am hungry)
Independent self-schema is typical in western cultures, since they are expected to
think and act as autonomous beings.
Inter-Dependent self-schema is the opposite, since it’s influenced by a larger social
unit (collectivistic cultures).
Scripts are largely unconscious mental representations that shape how we think and act in
a given situation. Scripts are concerned with how a sequence of events will unfold and how
we adjust our actions appropriately.
An individuals behavior is influenced by the cultural norms of society.
Selective avoidance = when confronted with info contrary to our existing views, we tune it
out by diverting our attention elsewhere
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Stereotypes are based on very limited information about others. We use very basic physical
or social evidence (skin tone, nationality) to categorize and to organize information about
Social dominance theory= suggest that within every complex society certain groups are
dominant over others and enjoy privileges. According to this idea, the extent to which any
national group is high status will influence the attitude of other towards it and any
attention to it. Positive use of stereotyping. That use is limited by the amount of accurate
information within the mental pictures, our recognition that there are positive/negative
feelings attached to the culture and the ability to adjust our expectations based on new
Attributions: help us understand and react to our environment by linking the observations
of an event to its causes
Chapter 5: CC dimensions of decision making of management
Prescriptive approaches = what managers should do
Descriptive approaches = what managers actually do
6 steps for making decision:
 Problem definition
 Identify decision criteria
 Weight the criteria
 Generate alternatives
 Evaluate alternatives
 Select
Decision-making styles:
 Vigilance (careful + consideration of alternatives)
 Complacency (ignoring decision or take first option)
 Defensive avoidance (Passing decision off)
 Hyper vigilance (hasty decision  panicking)
Decisions made by an international manager are more complex since his environment also
includes stakeholders with potentially other perspectives. Because of limits to rationality,
mangers rely on heuristics or rules of thumb to guide decision making. The heuristics
simplify the process. Since each manager has different perceptions on things due to
cultural differences and differences in the definition of self-interest, these heuristics
In science, cognition is the set of all mental abilities and processes related to
knowledge: attention, memory and working memory, judgement and
evaluation, reasoning and "computation", problem solving and decision
making, comprehension and production of language, etc. Human cognition is
conscious and unconscious, concrete or abstract, as well as intuitive (like
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knowledge of a language) and conceptual (like a model of a language).
Cognitive processes use existing knowledge and generate new knowledge.
Cognition together with culture limit rational decision making.
Heuristics = rules of thumb (cognitive tools) that people use to simplify decision making 
Availability, Representativeness, Anchoring + adjustment
Chapter 6: CC communication and negotiation of management
Communication = transmitting messages including info etc.
To understand a message, the sender and receiver must share common information 
Cultural field = culturally based elements of a person’s background that influence
High/Low context cultures: High context cultures need trust building and relationship
building first. Also lots of implic communication and hand gestures. Low context is the
Differences in communication styles per culture:
 Explicti vs implicit communication
 Direct vs indirect communication
 Silence / verbal overkill (Arab is overkill; lots of words to make point)
Other types of language:
 Slang/jargon
 Euphemisms (prohibited words about sex/body)
 Idioms (unique combined words)
 Proverbs and maxims (short sayings)
Practical considerations of language:
 Language accommodation
 Stylistic accommodation
 Language fluency
Categories of non-verbal communication:
 Tone of voice
 Proxemics (use of personal space)
-Intimate, personal, social and public distance
 Body position /gestures
 Facial expression
 Eye contact
Approaches to understand culture:
 Descriptive
 Cultural dimensions approach
 Holistic (considers both the knowledge structures of participant and the social
context in which the negotiation takes place)
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Moral Philosophy= A set of principles used to decide what is right or wrong
Cultural relativism= moral concepts are legitimate only to the extent that they reflect the
habits and attituted of a given culture
Hypernorms= principles so fundamental to human existence that they transcend religious,
philosophical or cultural differences
Chapter 7: CC motivation and leadership of management:
Content theories = explain motivation in terms of need satisfaction  McClelland: Need of
achievement, affiliation & power
Process theories = explains the choises that people make about there behavior. 3 main
 Equity theory
 Expectancy theory (effort will lead to performance, performance leads to value)
 Goal-setting theory
Western definition of leadership: the ability of indivduals to influence organizations
members toward the accomplishment of goals
Any job has the following 5 characteristics:
 Skill variety
 Task identity
 Task significance
 Autonomy
 Feedback
To be motivating, a job must be perceived as:
 Meaningful
 The worker must feel responsible for outcomes
 Worker must know actual results of work activities.
Western Leadership theories:
 Behavioral theories  2 dimensions of leader behavior  initiating structure
(production oriented and task) and considerations (employee or relationship
orientated). Next to that a leader can be either directive or supportive.
GLOBE leadership features:
 Charismatic/value based
 Team oriented
 Participative
 Humane oriented
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Paternalistic leadership: it involves a hierarchical relationship between the leader and
followers in which the leader, like a parent, provides direction in both the professional and
private lives of the subordinates in exchange for loyalty and defence.
Chapter 8: Group processes
Social loafing = individuals reduce their effort on group tasks
Phases of a group:
 Forming
 Storming
 Norming
 Performing
 Adjourning
In this stage, most team members are positive and polite. Some are anxious, as they haven't
fully understood what work the team will do. Others are simply excited about the task
As leader, you play a dominant role at this stage, because team members' roles and
responsibilities aren't clear.
This stage can last for some time, as people start to work together, and as they make an
effort to get to know their new colleagues.
Next, the team moves into the storming phase, where people start to push against the
boundaries established in the forming stage. This is the stage where many teams fail.
Storming often starts where there is a conflict between team members' natural working
styles. People may work in different ways for all sorts of reasons, but if differing working
styles cause unforeseen problems, they may become frustrated.
Storming can also happen in other situations. For example, team members may challenge
your authority, or jockey for position as their roles are clarified. Or, if you haven't defined
clearly how the team will work, people may feel overwhelmed by their workload, or they
could be uncomfortable with the approach you're using.
Some may question the worth of the team's goal, and they may resist taking on tasks.
Team members who stick with the task at hand may experience stress, particularly as they
don't have the support of established processes, or strong relationships with their
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Gradually, the team moves into the norming stage. This is when people start to resolve
their differences, appreciate colleagues' strengths, and respect your authority as a leader.
Now that your team members know one-another better, they may socialize together, and
they are able to ask each other for help and provide constructive feedback. People develop
a stronger commitment to the team goal, and you start to see good progress towards it.
There is often a prolonged overlap between storming and norming, because, as new tasks
come up, the team may lapse back into behavior from the storming stage.
The team reaches the performing stage when hard work leads, without friction, to the
achievement of the team's goal. The structures and processes that you have set up support
this well.
As leader, you can delegate much of your work, and you can concentrate on developing
team members.
It feels easy to be part of the team at this stage, and people who join or leave won't disrupt
Many teams will reach this stage eventually. For example, project teams exist for only a
fixed period, and even permanent teams may be disbanded through organizational
Team members who like routine, or who have developed close working relationships with
other team members, may find this stage difficult, particularly if their future now looks
Cultural diversity affects group performance in 3 ways:
 Cultural norms; the orientations of the specific cultures represented in the group
toward the functioning of groups
 Cultural diversity; the number of different cultures represented in the group
 Relative cultural distance: the extent to which group members are culturally
different from each other.
Virtual teams tackle the geographical dispersion problem  the challenge of globalization.
Culturally diverse working group can be positively influenced by:
 Management support
 Group-level rewards
 Work group status
 Training
 Self-Management
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Managing multicultural work groups
 Work group task and structure
 Broad evaluation criteria
 Composition and task requirements
 Common purpose
The effective performance of working groups is influenced by the external or contextual
conditions imposed on the group, the resources of group members, the structure of the
group, the group task, the group process and the composition of the group.
The nature of the task and the structure of the group influence the extent to which the
cultural composition of a group affects its performance.
Key organization factors that influence work group effectiveness are the level of
management support, the extent to which individual rewards come from the group, the
status afforded to the group, the amount of training provided and the extent to which the
organization empowers the group.
Managing multicultural work groups involves trying to find ways to maximize the positive
consequences of both homogeneity and diversity; while at the same time minimizing their
negative consequences.
Chapter 9: International organization challenges – structure & culture
Complexity of an organization is measured in 3 ways:
 Horizontal differentiation (number of different types of jobs in an organization)
 Vertical differentiation (number of levels in the hierarchy)
 Spatial differentiation (geographically dispersed)
Organizations are either mechanistic (centralized, complex, formal) or organic
(decentralized, not complex, informal)
Organizational structures:
 Simple (strategic aspect is dominant)
 Machine bureaucracy (technostructure is dominant)
 Professional bureaucracy (operating core is dominant)
 Divisional (middle line is dominant)
 Adhocracy (support staff is dominant)
Organizational structure theories:
Deterministic theory states that the differences within organizational structures are
explained by unit production, mass production and process production.  Relationship
between strategy and structure. As organizations grow, they substitute formal rules for
direct supervision and the ability to centralize decision making effectively declines.
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A contingency theory is an organizational theory that claims that there is no best way to
organize a corporation, to lead a company, or to make decisions. Instead, the optimal
course of action is contingent (dependent) upon the internal and external situation. A
contingent leader effectively applies their own style of leadership to the right situation
According to ecological theories, which focus on the whole population of organizations,
states that the environment determines organizational structures by selecting out those
organizations do not fit.
Institutional theories focus on the ways that organizations in shared environments come to
adopt structures viewed as appropriate and that are reinforced in interactions with other
organizations. There are two factors influencing the organizational structure. The effect of
environmental agents and the processes within the firm that interpret certain structures as
appropriate. Dimaggio & powell defined three categories of environmental pressure
towards institutional isomorphism (similarities with other organizational structures).
 Coercive isomorphism (patterns of an organization are imposed by an outside
authority e.g. government)
 Normative isomorphism (professional bodies promote ‘proper‘ organizational
 Mimetic isomorphism (organizations copy the structure of firms that have been
successful in dealing with a particular environment).
Two organizational forms that have similar orientations to the family business but that
reflect different societal pressures are the keiretsu/zaibatsu in Japan and the chaebol in
Korea. The Chaebol are massively family runned while the keiretsu is more of a complex
network of interfirm networks.
Two key challenges arise for international organizations. First, international managers
must confront organizational structures that are both similar and different to their own
when interacting with parties. Large organizations are consistently more formalized,
specialized, and less centralized in all countries.
Chapter 10: International Assignment challenges
Perlmutter framework (EPRG)
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How to define success of expat:
- Task performance
 Turnover
 Adjustment: 4 stages
- Honeymoon stage (new excited interested)
- Culture schock (frustration)
- Adjustment (understanding of cultural differences)
- Mastery stage (expat is functionable in new culture)
5 characteristics that are related to success (in order of importance)
- Family situation
- Adaptability
- Job knowledge
- Relational ability
- Openness to other cultures
Factors affecting expatriate success:
 Individual factors
- The ability to manage psychological stress
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The ability to communicate effectively
The ability to establish interpersonal relationships
Foreign Language ability and previous international experience
Nationality of expatriates
Gender of expatriates
Job and organizational factors influencing expats success:
- Expatriate job characteristics
- Expatriate training
Environmental factors influencing expats success:
- Cultural novelty (the extent to which the host country culture is different from
the expats home culture)
- Social support
Repatriation also influences the success
Chapter 11: The challenge of managing across cultures in the future:
As a result of the migration of skilled workers  brain drain  uneven development.
Uneven development also caused by differing costs of labor.
Mangers must take into account the following when addressing the responsibility of
international organizations in developing countries:
- An awareness of the cultural, historical, and institutional dynamics of the
local community
- The necessity of nonintimidating communication with local stakeholders
- The need for the firm to act as a safeguard for the social and economic assets
of the local community.
An MNO provides a unique context in 3 ways:
- Frequency of occurrence
- Functional relationships
- Unique constructs
The characteristics of effective intercultural interaction in a management context can be
summarized as:
- Good personal adjustment
- Good interpersonal relationships with culturally different others
- Completion of task-related goals
Biculturals have a dual pattern of identification with different cultures and have therefore
a simultaneous awareness of being a member of two or more cultures.
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