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  • 标题:Culture an overused term and international joint ventures: a review of the literature and a case study.
  • 作者:Barger, Bonita B.
  • 期刊名称:Journal of Organizational Culture, Communications and Conflict
  • 印刷版ISSN:1544-0508
  • 出版年度:2007
  • 期号:July
  • 语种:English
  • 出版社:The DreamCatchers Group, LLC
  • 摘要:AOL TIME WARNER, Compac and HP, Enron and Anderson, and September 11, 2001. What do all of these have in common? A confluence of culture. Today, culture is an overused to term. What is culture? This literature review of culture and the accompanying exploratory case study of a newly formed international joint venture provide definition and boundaries for the discussion of culture and the role of culture in alliances. We have seen that the concepts of national and organizational culture play an increasingly dominant role as businesses manage in a global arena. Cross national and cultural research linking management practices to cultural differences and providing viable plans and strategies for successful management are in their infancy.
  • 关键词:Corporate culture;Strategic alliances (Business)

Culture an overused term and international joint ventures: a review of the literature and a case study.


Barger, Bonita B.


ABSTRACT

AOL TIME WARNER, Compac and HP, Enron and Anderson, and September 11, 2001. What do all of these have in common? A confluence of culture. Today, culture is an overused to term. What is culture? This literature review of culture and the accompanying exploratory case study of a newly formed international joint venture provide definition and boundaries for the discussion of culture and the role of culture in alliances. We have seen that the concepts of national and organizational culture play an increasingly dominant role as businesses manage in a global arena. Cross national and cultural research linking management practices to cultural differences and providing viable plans and strategies for successful management are in their infancy.

Key Words: Culture, Strategic Alliances, International Joint Venture, Literature Review of Culture

INTRODUCTION

As we approach the next century, a major issue facing business corporations is their ability to compete in a global marketplace. Expansion into global markets is creating tremendous change in how corporations do business. The old paradigms of organizational structure, management, and competition are no longer functional, given the nature of pressures created by globalization. The opening of the communist bloc countries, GATT, NAFTA, and September 11, 2001, have created new business opportunities. Innovative approaches and strategies are needed in this changing global environment of opportunities.

In order to adapt to a changing global economy, many corporations are forming cooperative business ventures that use the resources of two or more companies. These new ventures, called strategic alliances, are a type of cooperative agreement that has become increasingly popular. Strategic alliances vary in organizational structure, type, and purpose. They are seen as ways to increase resources, learning opportunities, and market share.

International joint ventures (IJV), one type of strategic alliance, are business enterprises owned by two or more companies that share resources and skills (Pekar & Allio, 1994). These enterprises have been increasingly used to create cross-border or cross-national cooperative business ventures (Geringer & Woodcock, 1989). International joint ventures, legal entities with one partner firm outside of the country where the joint venture resides, are widely used as a means of direct foreign investment (Inkpen & Beamish, 1997). Numerous websites such as http://jvseek.com-Joint Venture Opportunities present the potential investor with opportunities for co-development projects ranging from 250 thousand to 1 billion in Asia, America, Africa and Europe, are updated daily.

Although, international joint ventures are increasingly popular with "the number of cross-border deals in 2000 over 4 times the number in 1997: 9200 transactions vs. 2100 (Levy, 2001), their success rate is low. Estimates suggest as high as 60% of all alliances end in failure (Harrigan, 1988; Parkhe, 1991; Cullen, 2002). Numerous articles such as "New Opportunities versus Old Mistakes" (Fasol, 1999) highlight the benefits and risks of strategic alliances.

The impact of globalization and creating ventures across national boundaries requires an understanding of culture. This is especially true in the management of IVJs. It is conjectured that national origin and organizational culture play a significant role in the successful management of IVJs (Cyr, 1994). It is also hypothesized that culture can influence the timing of entry of ventures, their investment preferences, and performance (Li, Lam, & Qian, 2001). The bringing together of two established parent corporate cultures with different believes, values, and norms located in a country with a different national origin from one of the parent cultures is bound to create tension, misunderstandings, and opportunities for learning.

To re-explore the overused term of culture further in alliances, a brief overview of how scholars have defined culture over time is given. In addition, a review of the literature highlights national and organizational culture. International joint ventures and the role of culture are revisited from the literature. Case study findings from an IVJ is highlighted to explore the role of culture in one newly formed joint venture.

CULTURE DEFINED

In order to understand the role of culture in IVJ's, consider how culture has been defined. The word culture holds multiple meanings from its Latin roots of "tilling the soil" to the Western usage of being civilized or "cultured" in the arts, music, or finer features of life. Hofstede (1991) refers to these traditional definitions as culture one. Sociologists and anthropologists such as Kluckhohn define culture in terms of patterns. Kluckhohn (1951) states that: "Culture consists in patterned ways of thinking, feeling and reacting, acquired and transmitted mainly by symbols, constituting the distinctive achievements of human groups, including their embodiments in artifacts; the essential core of culture consists of traditional (i.e., historically derived and selected) ideas and especially their attached values" (p. 86).

Hofstede (1991) extends this definition by purporting that culture is learned from one's social environment and is not genetic. He defines this as culture two, using an analogy from current computer technology, stating culture is: "patterns of thinking, feeling, and acting mental programs, or ... 'software of the mind' (p. 4). Culture is always a collective phenomenon ... the collective programming of the mind which distinguishes the members of one group or category from people from another" (p. 5).

Deal and Kennedy (1982) defined culture as the Webster's New Collegiate Dictionary defines it: "The integrated patterns of human behavior that includes thought, speech, action, and artifacts, and depends on man's capacity for learning and transmitting knowledge to succeeding generations" (p. 4). Kotter and Heskett (1992) defined culture as the American Heritage Dictionary defines it: "The totality of socially transmitted behavior patterns, arts, beliefs, institutions, and all other products of human work and thought characteristic of a community or population" (p. 4).

In comparison, Schein (1992), defines the culture of a group as: "a pattern of shared basic assumptions that the group learned as it solved its problems of external adaptation and internal integration, that has worked well enough to be considered valid, and, therefore, to be taught to new members as the correct way to perceive, think, and feel in relation to those problems" (p. 12).

Schein (1994) contends that once these cultural assumptions exist, they function to provide meaning to events, make life predictable, and reduce anxiety. Thus, culture provides meaning and reduces anxiety. Schein (1992) highlights that not every collection of people develop a culture and that enough of a shared history is required for culture to occur (p. 15).

These definitions, while reflecting some differences in terms and perspectives, are united by common themes. The common themes imply a collection of patterns, beliefs, and behaviors that are created and transmitted. Words and concepts such as feeling, thinking, acting, perceiving, and reacting collectively, appear to connect all the definitions that have evolved over time.

LITERATURE REVIEW

The focus of this section is two-fold. First, a literature review of culture is presented as it relates to management in cross-cultural settings. This review is not comprehensive. Rather, it is intended to present a beginning foundation. Second, the concept of culture will be revisited further from the perspective of national origin and organizations, as presented by Hofstede and Schein. Third, the concept of culture as it relates to international joint ventures will be explored from a brief review of literature and findings from a case study of one new venture.

CROSS-CULTURAL AND NATIONAL RESEARCH

"Understanding cultural environments is critical to the success of an organization's operations ..." (DeCenzo & Robbins, 2002, p.6). An examination of twenty-four leading management journals during the decade of the 1970s showed that "less than 5% (4.2%) of research articles focused on organizational behavior issues from a cross-cultural or international perspective" (Adler & Bartholomew, 1992, p. 552). A more recent review of 28,707 articles from October 1985 to September 1990 found that the concept of culture was included 70.6% of the time and that culture "made a difference to the issues studied" (Adler & Bartholomew, 1992, p. 558).

Culture is important and makes a difference in the management of cross-cultural alliances. What follows are four cross-national and cultural studies that asked questions and assessed management variables that may impact successful alliance formation.

England (1975) conducted a study of individual managers' personal values to understand their work behaviors in Japan, the U.S., Korea, India, and Australia over a ten-year period. Values related to decision-making, managerial success, and organizational context were examined. The findings showed that values relate to how managers behave on the job, are stable over time, and vary by context (i.e., labor unions vs. others). Similarities and differences were found within and between cultures. Japanese managers were found to have the most homogeneous values of the five cultures examined (England, 1975).

Hofstede (1980) conducted a five-year study sampling IBM employees in forty countries between 1968 and 1972. Power distance, uncertainty avoidance, individualism, and masculinity were identified as cultural dimensions. Organizations were found to be culture bound (Hofstede, 1980).

Heller, Wilpert, Docherty, Fourcade, Fokking, Mays, Roig, Weinshall, and t'Hooft (1981) studied eight countries over a four-year period. The objectives of Heller et al. (1981) were to shed light on decision-making processes, participation, and power sharing, and to link with other research on employee participation, which was the current controversial debate at that time. The assumption that successful managers do not use the same method of decision-making in all circumstances was tested. Across all cultures examined, there were high average employee participation levels, employees described more participation than their managers allowed, successful managers varied decision-making methods to fit the situation, and participation increased in larger work groups and environments of uncertainty (Heller et al., 1981).

Hickson, McMillan and Associates (1981) collected data in the 1960s and 1970s from ten countries. The research tested the general hypothesis that relationships between structural characteristics of work organizations and variables of organization context will be stable across societies. They found that organizational size and parent company size positively correlated with formalization (the extent to which rules, procedures, communications, and instructions are written) and specialization (degree to which activities are divided into mutually exclusive sets) (Hickson & McMillan, 1981). Thus, the larger the organization, the more likely that practices and policies will be written and work activities will be divided among employees.

These cross-national studies of the past two decades present findings that enhance the understanding of cross-national management between countries and cultures. The findings that organizations are culture bound (Hofstede, 1981) and will demonstrate cultural dimensions of power distance, uncertainty avoidance, individualism, and masculinity; that their size will determine the extent of formalization and specialization (Hickson & McMillan, 1981); that managers' values will drive how they behave on the job (England, 1975); and that successful managers do not use the same method of decision making in all circumstances with participation increasing in larger work groups and environments of uncertainty (Heller et al., 1981) have potential application to the management of new alliances. They serve as guideposts for the understanding and exploration of current practices and policies in new alliances.

CROSS-NATIONAL AND ORGANIZATIONAL RESEARCH

The concept of culture is explored further by revisiting the work of Hofstede (1980, 1991) on national and organizational culture and Schein (1992) on organizational culture.

National culture impacts how people think, feel, and act in work-related situations (Hofstede, 1980). In the classic Culture's Consequences and Cultures and Organizations, Hofstede (1980, 1991) presents four main dimensions of culture related to work values: power distance, uncertainty avoidance, individualism/collectivism, and masculinity/femininity.

Hofstede (1991) defines organizational culture as "the collective programming of the mind which distinguishes the members of one organization from another" (p. 180). Organizations are culture bound (Hofstede, 1980). Organizations have roots bound in rituals, myths, fairy tales, stories, and ceremonies (Bolman & Deal, 1991). Organizations are comprised of individuals with differing values. Value differences or in congruencies are often minimized through the human resource management process of selection, recruitment, and performance appraisal. Thus, individual values often reflect the organization's values and the founder's beliefs. These individual values are invisible. They are translated and become visible through organizational norms or ways of doing things. These organizational norms form the foundation for decision-making and the organization's structure and processes for managing human capital. The structures and processes become mechanisms for self-fulfilling prophecies of the individual's perception of reality and reinforce the values of the organization.

Schein (1994) expanded the definition of culture and organizational culture to the global organization. He stated five distinct cultures functioning in the global arena (i.e., country, industry, organizational, organization subcultures, and professional/functional cultures). Country cultures have shared assumptions based on national and ethnic origins. Industry cultures have shared assumptions based on technological and social histories of the industry. Organizational cultures have shared assumptions based on a given organization's own history, while organizational subcultures have shared assumptions based on occupational and sub-group histories. These subgroup histories may be functional, geographically isolated groups, or shared tasks. Professional and functional cultures have shared assumptions based on specifics as they relate to a special function or occupation. Schein (1992) states that all of these cultures are underpinned by levels. The levels that exist within culture are artifacts, values/beliefs, and assumptions.

In general, Schein (1992) contends "culture is deep, wide, and complex" (p. 143). He states that culture is the shared learning of a given group (Schein, 1992). Cultures are comprised of different levels or "the degree to which cultural phenomenon is visible to the observer" (Schein, 1992, p. 16). A group's culture is a set of shared assumptions (Schein, 1992) that are invisible at the surface. These assumptions are supported by espoused values and beliefs in the form of strategies, goals, and philosophies (Schein, 1992, p. 17). On the surface level, they are manifested by artifacts. Artifacts are the visible representations of the organization, such as clothing, physical structure, language, technology, and products (Schein, 1992).

The concept of organizations having or being cultures has received much publication within the past thirty years. The concept gained public attention in 1982 following the publication of Corporate Cultures by Deal and Kennedy. Yet in reviewing the literature on organizational cultures, Bolman and Deal (1991) contend that applying culture to organizations is not new. "Several decades ago, Arnold (1938) and Barnard (1938) moved us below the conscious level of organizations to capture a deeper, more powerful force in everyday life. Selznick (1957) and others continued the tradition, but their work failed to capture the full attention of modern theorists or managers, who for many years continued to emphasize the rational properties of organizations" (Bolman & Deal, 1991, p. 267-268). Hofsted (1980) contends that organizations are culture bound. Organizational cultures are composed of structures and processes that become self-fulfilling prophecies of the individuals' perception of reality and reinforce the values of the organization (Hofstede, 1980, 1991).

INTERNATIONAL JOINT VENTURES AND THE ROLE OF CULTURE

The purpose of this section is to explore the concept of culture in international joint ventures. This will be approached by a brief review of literature that relates directly to this topic. In addition, the findings on the role of culture from an explanatory case study of a newly formed venture between a Japanese and American manufacturing firm will be presented.

The role of national origin as it relates to management practices is well documented in the literature. Hofstede (1980, 1991) illuminates the importance of national origin and links it to work-related situations. As we have seen, the concept of culture in organizations is not new. Authors such as Schein (1992) and Deal and Kennedy (1982) have explored the concepts inherent in the topic. The current research findings of Pothukuchi (2002) highlights the differences in national and organizational culture with international joint venture performance.

"IJVs engage at least three organizations-the IJV and parent firms-that serve as potential sources of identity" (Salk & Shenkar, 2001, p. 162). In bringing together two organizational cultures to form a third culture, as in the case of IVJs, the new venture can take on characteristics of one of its parent cultures, or create a unique culture, bringing together elements of both parent cultures (Hofstede, 1991). Schein (1992) contends that "... some recent data on joint ventures between parent companies from different countries show that sometimes the new group forms because one culture comes to dominant the other, or a new group fails to form because neither set of cultural assumptions gives way" (Salk, 1992, p. 96).

"IJVs reside at the confluence of different cultures, including national, corporate, and occupations" (Salk & Shenkar, 2001, p. 163). This confluence of cultures involves the transfer of individuals. By transferring individuals, there is a transfer of organizational and national cultures. The coming together of individuals with different organizational values, history, myths, and beliefs creates opportunities for conflict in customs, use of time, management approaches, language, and ways of working.

"The cultural differences inherent in all forms of international strategic alliances operate at all levels of culture, especially the national, business and organizational levels" (Cullen, 2002, p. 381). The coming together of these cultures involves the transfer of work-related behaviors. These behaviors are influenced by the organizational culture's values, norms, and beliefs. The bringing together of individuals with differences can generate an "us-and-them" situation, leading to conflict and destructive forces that can lead to alliance tension and potential failure.

Current research explores Hofstede's uncertainty avoidance dimension of the investor's culture to cultural distance. "The results show that an investor's cultural aversion to risk may be more influential in explaining the propensity for firms from certain countries to engage in JVs, rather than other cultural factors" (Fisher & Ranasinghe, 2003).

In addition, the literature also suggests ways of dealing with these potential conflicts and destructive forces. Cultural synergy is one way of producing cooperation and collaboration when managing the impact of such cultural diversity (Moran & Harris, 1981; Adler, 1986). "Cultural synergy is an approach to managing the impact of cultural diversity, and allows organizations to solve problems effectively when working within cross-cultural environments" (Adler, 1986, p. 95). Cultural synergy offers a systematic problem-solving approach involving situation description, cultural interpretation, and cultural creativity as a means of working through cultural diversity (Adler, 1986). The literature also recommends creating a cultural profile (Slowinski, 1992), developing a clear vision and norms while acknowledging culture exists and managing it (Slowinski, 1992; Walters, Peters, & Dess, 1994) as strategies for successfully blending cultures.

In general, the literature on IJVs addresses the importance of culture; discusses issues associated with the evaluation, compatibility, and matching of cultures prior to formation of the venture; and addresses principles and approaches for blending cultures as the venture is formed.

A CASE STUDY

Background

The organization chosen for the study was the joint-venture of an American and Japanese company. Joint ventures may be described as the off spring of two parents. The use of marriage as a metaphor for the joining or union of two companies to form a joint-venture is not uncommon in the literature (Lorange, Roos, & Bronn, 1992). The new venture or child embodies the characteristics and features of the parent firms. The parent firm's relationship and responsibilities vary with the new venture based on agreements and contracts cemented in law and good faith.

In order to understand any child or venture, it is helpful to understand the parent cultures. A brief introduction to both parent firms will be presented followed by background on the venture under study and methodology. All companies will remain anonymous with simple fictitious names used that are not meant to represent any existing firms.

American Parent

American Parent is 75 years old with its headquarters located in the United States and is engaged in the design and manufacture of industrial products. Since its birth, it has grown and thrived on one central tenet: serve customers by building high-quality, technically advanced products. This tradition impacts how American Parent treats people, the communities it touches, and its customers.

American Parent is a global company with more than one-half of their operations outside the United States. They are proud of their 25,000 employees and their growing strategic partnerships with strong companies throughout the world. In 1994, five key objectives drove the company. These were a competitive advantage, return on equity, profitable growth, responsible citizenship, and outstanding people. Although the first three objectives clearly address the business focus of the company, there is strong recognition that community and people are the sustaining force as highlighted by responsible citizenship and outstanding people.

Japanese Parent

Japanese Parent has a 70-year history with its roots in Japan. It is also a multinational corporation of more than 180 companies with 36,000 employees worldwide. Throughout its history, Japanese Parent has acquired a large base of technological expertise through manufacturing. Based on current and future projected market demand and with the assistance of technological breakthroughs, Japanese Parent is expanding its capabilities and shifting from hardware to software. These changes have enabled the company to move into such new areas as electronics, robotics, and plastics.

Although the Japanese Parent has expanded to meet the global marketplace in the delivery of products and technologies, they continue to operate as a responsible corporate citizen. They proudly state the establishment of "green funds" to support a wide range of community programs and global environment protection. In addition, they support and encourage their staff's participation in humanitarian projects around the globe.

Although the parent firms speak different national languages, the words they use to describe themselves, their vision and direction are similar. They are also similar in history, size and attention to quality. This commitment to product quality, innovation, people and social responsibility are strong elements that create a natural foundation for marriage and the birth of new ventures.

Ventures--American and Japanese

In 1993, the two parent firms gave birth to their ideas through the formation of twin ventures. The parents entered a unique business agreement, not creating one alliance, but two separate ventures named American Venture and Japanese Venture, located in American and Japan respectively. The purpose of these dual joint ventures as stated in the contract was to "produce world-class (products) for each of the parties." The venture under study was located in the United States and will be referred to as Venture C.

The methodology used in this study is a descriptive case study approach. This is appropriate when limited information is known about an area of study, for theory development and for study of new phenomena (Borg & Gall, 1989). The case study approach supports exploration. It provides rich subjective data that can aid in theory building and empirically testable hypotheses (Borg & Gall, 1989). As a qualitative researcher, I studied processes rather than products, exploring how people make sense of their experiences and their worlds in a new joint venture.

Parkhe (1993) states that current research in International Joint Ventures has not joined to form a theoretical structure. Past research is heavily biased towards multivariate statistical studies that provide hard data derived from large-scale studies with little research having been done employing qualitative or case study methods. Parkhe (1993) proposes a case study methodology when studying unobservable human processes involved in alliance behavior such as learning and presents a multimethod, eclectic program to international joint venture theory development employing multiple data collection methods.

Multiple sources were used to secure data including intercompany documentation, observation, and interviews. As such, I was able to triangulate as a means of developing converging lines of inquiry and identify any elements that were incongruent. Seven informants were interviewed. They provided perceptions and thoughts about the role of culture in the new alliance. The presentation of findings are intermingled with references to the literature that support or contest the findings. Select informant statements are highlighted with quotation marks supporting and enhancing emerging themes. These excerpts offer vivid descriptions of the employees' perspectives. They allow the reader to make personal judgments, interpretations, and generalizations to other alliances, settings and culture.

Role of Culture in a Newly Formed Venture

The role of culture was seen as "big," "major," and "key" by employees at Venture C. Venture employees captured the essence of the definitions used by scholars to describe the impact of culture. Culture was a determinant of "what people think, expect .. [is the basis for how] they make their decisions and judgments." Corporate culture was seen as beneficial. "It allows us to converse with others without having to explain everything."

Clearly, employees drew lines between national and corporate culture in their discussion of culture. Several employees highlighted the two types of culture by stating the differences and influence they had during the start-up phase. One employee clearly stated it as: "You have to know each other's culture. Living in the daily life, they need the American culture. For this business, I don't care about the American culture--I care about the business culture. Then I have to eat and go shop and learn about the American culture. It's important to learn the American culture for my living, but for the business, it's company culture."

Although the partners are from different national cultures, employees would frequently discuss the differences between Parent corporate cultures versus national origin differences between the American and Japanese cultures. Statements comparing and contrasting Parent culture were made based on work practices. One employee compared the differences, highlighting the business planning process: "There is a major difference in the way Parent B approaches business planning than Parent A. Parent A does some planning; if conditions change, they adjust. For Parent B, they plan everything up front, walk down and don't deviate. There is considerable tension as the joint venture has begun operating as Parent A operates."

Another employee clearly highlighted the differences between national origin and corporate culture by talking about the opportunity to influence through work: "People who have come over see it as exciting. They are not coming to change America. Work cultures are different. This is a place to create something unique. They feel that they have an opportunity and a right to influence that culture."

Culture creation, shaping, and changing is documented in the literature. Symbolic artifacts, stories, and rituals are used to shape, change, manipulate, and control culture (Deal & Kennedy, 1982). As Venture C is evolving, employees are forming and influencing the creation of its culture bound to and unique from its Parents. The vision, mission statements, and uniforms are visible signs of the blending of the two corporate cultures. An employee stated other non-visible influencers that could impact the emerging culture are the hiring of competent employees and an open, participative system.

The influence of corporate culture versus national culture in joint ventures was found by Cyr (1994) as well. This is interesting, as the literature previously focused heavily on national cultures (Hofstede, 1980, 1991). Cyr (1994) addresses this and suggests that the "diversity related to national culture may be moderated by complementary and convergence of the corporate culture and strategic orientation of the parents" (p. 449).

Another possible explanation for the stated influence of corporate culture versus national culture is the basic element of time. Employees spend over one-third of their day in the work culture, while their families spend significantly more time in the national culture of the host country. Time spent and familiarity (or lack of familiarity) of the culture in which one works or lives influences individual perceptions.

The successful blending of cultures was seen as one of the critical success or potential failure factors related to human resource management in Venture C. Issues such as cultural incompatibility, lack of trust, negative group dynamics, and personality differences were areas that could negatively impact the blending of the two corporate cultures. While focusing on common goals, "realizing we are on the same boat," understanding differences, and dealing with incompatibilities when they arise versus ignoring them were voiced as means of overcoming potential conflict areas.

The successful blending of cultures depends on people. Self-education and specialized training in culture sensitivity for Venture employees is another means of enhancing the blending of cultures. Austin (1990) contends that this area of Human Resource Management is generally neglected in international firms. Cross-cultural training is one area that desires more attention. "Cultural preparation is preventive medicine; taking it ahead of time can prevent many serious mistakes later. Japanese companies reportedly give special preparation to managers going abroad. During the year before going abroad, they are trained in the language, culture, and business practices of the country. Upon arrival there, the managers are assigned mentors to help them understand the local situation and resolve any problems. In evaluating a manager's performance, the first year in the country is considered one of learning about the local business environment. Cultural competence is learnable" (Austin, 1990, p. 354)

In general, parent corporate cultures were frequently voiced as influencing the start-up of Venture C. This is interesting, given the focus in the literature on the importance of national origin and the difficulties in bridging cultural differences. It is conjectured that during start-up periods, parent work practices are often more predominate and apparent in everyday activities than national origin differences. This focus on "how we do our work" versus "how you do your work" may account for corporate cultures differences being highlighted above national cultural differences. In addition, the resolution of cultural differences, be they corporate or national, were seen as essential for the success of Human Resource Management in the new venture.

SUMMARY

The purpose of this review is to revisit and provide definition and boundaries for the discussion of national and organizational culture and the role of culture international joint ventures. In addition, it provides findings from an exploratory case study of one newly formed venture to enhance the understanding and bringing together of two organizational cultures in IJVs.

It is not intended to be an exhaustive review. It does not address specific issues and points of disagreement in the literature such as the definition of culture, how to measure culture, or if organizations "have or are" cultures. Rather, it provides a general view of culture and the role of culture in international joint ventures.

The concepts of national origin and cultures will play an increasingly dominant role as businesses manage in a global arena. Cross national and cultural researching linking management practices to cultural differences and providing viable plans and strategies for successful management is in its infancy. Further research and learning are required to bridge this knowledge gap.

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Bonita B. Barger, Tennessee Technological University
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