Multi-Cultural Leadership Teams and Organizational Identification in International Joint Ventures
International Journal of Human Resource Management, Vol. 13, No. 2, pp. 320-337, March 2002
18 Pages Posted: 15 Aug 2007
Many international joint ventures (IJVs) fare poorly. An important factor is that members of an IJV top management team (TMT), which generally comprises people from different cultures, often find it difficult to work together. In this paper we argue that social identity theory and organizational identification process can help us understand why this is so. We propose that factionalism in a TMT is a significant hazard posed by member identification with different parents. In addition, identification with both the IJV and a parent firm can lead to significant role conflict for IJV top managers. Factionalism and role conflict in turn can result in poor intra-TMT communications and inefficient decision making. Literature in social identity theory and organizational identification suggests that the relative status and power of parents as well as successes of IJVs can affect TMT members' identification with the IJV or the parent company. Preliminary field interviews provide general support for these propositions. Our analysis suggests that organizational identity and identification can be a valuable tool to facilitate the understanding of TMT functioning and IJV performance.
Keywords: Identification, international joint ventures, top management team, social identity theory
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