Multinational Enterprises – Organizational Culture vs. National Culture

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I n t e r n a t i o n a l

J o u r n a l

o f

M a n a g e m e n t

C a s es

Multinational Enterprises
– Organizational Culture vs.
National Culture
Sabine Scheffknecht
Leeds Metropolitan University, UK

This situation brings a lot of advantages (less
dependence on the economy or political situation of
one single country; differentiated marked position;
economy of scale through the size of the business;
use of synergies; etc.) but also comprises the
challenge to combine many different nationalities
and with this also diverse cultures under one roof.

Multinational enterprises are the engine of the
world’s economy. Reason enough to focus exactly
on this kind of organizations within this paper.
Analyzing multinational enterprises it has to be
recognized that such an organization is in fact
not one homogenous company but most often a
conglomerate of companies spread out around the
world. Most of these multinational enterprises try to
establish a common organizational culture within
their companies (e.g. workshops to communicate
the values).

To be able to use the advantages mentioned
above, it is important that not too much energy
within the organization is lost through cultural
barriers. Therefore, many multinational enterprises
try to establish an own organizational culture to
find a common “language” or way to collaborate all
around the world.

Although the efforts are high to create such a
culture there are still national or regional cultural
influences which can not be avoided. Assuming
that the organizational culture or at least the
efforts to establish such a culture are the same
within one international enterprise, differences in
certain behaviour may come from these national

However, it is not possible to fully neglect the
influence of the national / regional culture. Therefore,
although these enterprises often run expensive
programs to establish a common organizational...
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