ECMLG'13: Culture and conflict in MNCs
Selected views on the organisational culture of multinational corporiations
Alena Safrova Drasilova (Masaryk University, Czech Republic) presented her research on conflict and culture in multinational corporations (MNCs). Drasilova surveyed people from 2509 branches of 335 MNCs, in an effort to understand the influence of headquarters culture on the culture of branches located in the Czech Republic. The preliminary results indicated that MNCs headquartered in Europe displayed less conflict at the branch level than companies headquartered elsewhere.
The discussion that followed the paper was extensive—clearly the paper stimulated the interest of the audience. One aspect of the discussion explored the notion of cultural alignment in a category Drasilova described as global (companies that identified themselves as not having a national head office—Bosch being German, or IKEA being Swedish, for example—but rather a pervasive culture in which the characteristics of the brand itself prevails over the location of the country—McDonalds, for example)
It would be very interesting to understand if any linkages between culture/conflict and performance exist, particularly whether the presence or absence of conflict makes any difference. Drasilova said that no work had been undertaken yet, but that this is the next step in the research. I look forward to reading this next phase of work, because I suspect the approach she plans to take may well have parallels to my own work.
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Thoughts on corporate governance, strategy and the craft of board work; our place in the world; and, other things that catch my attention.