Multi-Cultural Leadership Teams and Organizational Identification in International Joint Ventures

Hong Kong University of Science & Technology Business School Research Paper

International Journal of Human Resource Management, Vol. 13, No. 2, pp. 320-337, March 2002

18 Pages Posted: 15 Aug 2007

See all articles by Jiatao Li

Jiatao Li

Hong Kong University of Science & Technology (HKUST) - Department of Management & Organization

Katherine R. Xin

China Europe International Business School (CEIBS)

Madan Pillutla

London Business School

Abstract

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

Suggested Citation

Li, Jiatao and Xin, Katherine R. and Pillutla, Madan, Multi-Cultural Leadership Teams and Organizational Identification in International Joint Ventures. Hong Kong University of Science & Technology Business School Research Paper; International Journal of Human Resource Management, Vol. 13, No. 2, pp. 320-337, March 2002. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1007167

Jiatao Li (Contact Author)

Hong Kong University of Science & Technology (HKUST) - Department of Management & Organization ( email )

5473
Clear Water Bay, Kowloon
Hong Kong, PRC
852-2358 7757 (Phone)

Katherine R. Xin

China Europe International Business School (CEIBS) ( email )

Shanghai-Hongfeng Road
Shanghai 201206
Shanghai 201206
China

Madan Pillutla

London Business School ( email )

Sussex Place
Regent's Park
London, London NW1 4SA
United Kingdom

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