Multinationals and Cross-Cultural Management
The Transfer of Knowledge within Multinational Corporations
Routledge – 2011 – 170 pages
Globalisation makes our world appear smaller: it is easier to connect, communicate and do business with people all over the world. But cultural differences remain and challenge globalized knowledge communication and transfer. This book examines cross-cultural management within multinational enterprises (MNEs), focusing in particular on how cultural differences influence the transfer of knowledge between different units within individual corporations.
Based on detailed empirical analysis of 267 companies in Germany and Japan, it considers the relative effectiveness of inter-cultural and intra-cultural knowledge transfer; identifies the factors that inhibit or facilitate successful knowledge transfer; and suggests how management processes of MNEs can be improved. It demonstrates that although cultural differences do not necessarily influence the selection and transmission of knowledge overseas, they do have a strong impact on how that knowledge is received, integrated and put into practice locally.
The book shows how knowledge is accepted differently in Europe and Asia and which factors have the strongest impact on efficient knowledge transfer. It suggests that to improve cross-cultural management MNEs should focus less on upgrading the technology that allows knowledge transfer, and more on the capabilities and beliefs of individual employees.
Part I. Theoretical Foundations of Knowledge Management and Transfer in Multinational Corporations 1. The Nature of Knowledge 2. Managing Knowledge within Organizations 3. Western Knowledge Management and Japanese Knowledge Management 4. Knowledge Management in Multinational Corporations 5. Knowledge Transfer Across Cultures Part II. Research Question and Analysis 6. The Research Project 7. Do Knowledge Transfer Processes Differ Between Cultures? 8. Is Knowledge Transfer Between Cultures Less Successful Than Knowledge Transfer within one Culture? 9. Which Factors Influence Cross-cultural Knowledge Transfer? Part III. Effectiveness of Cross-cultural Knowledge Transfer in Multinational Corporations 10. How Successful is Cross-cultural Knowledge Transfer? 11. The Future of Knowledge Management in Multinational Corporations
Parissa Haghirian is Associate Professor of International Management at the Faculty of Liberal Arts at Sophia University in Tokyo, and adjunct professor at Temple University, Japan. Her recent publications include Innovation and Change in Japanese Management and J-Management: Fresh Perspectives on the Japanese Firm in the 21st Century.