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role of culture and management development

This paper offers a new perspective on international
al management by examining thein creating international
al expertise, a sense of identity and realizing organizational control. A critical analysis of the culture transmission and management development philosophy and practice of a UK-based transnational reveals how the transmission of culture accomplishes management development objectives, while management development itself serves as a vehicle for the transmission of the desired corporate values. This recursiveness is sustained by a corporate ideology that urges the creation of integrative values and, in turn, is legitimized by the quest for favourable functional and symbolic consequences.

Descriptors: management training and development, culture, ideology, functionalism, symbolism. Reconciling headquarter-subsidiary interests while maintaining a distinct identity continues to be a major challenge for multinational firms, hence the think global/act local paradox. For Ghoshal and Bartlett (1990) this problem can be addressed by effectively handling the network of exchange relationships.

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Other solutions include socialization and the management of expatriates (e.g. Edstrom and Galbraith 1977; Tung 1982); managing relationships between expatriates and host-country subordinates (e.g. Shaw 1990); creating cultural synergy (e.g. Adler 1980); fostering cooperative relationships and developing conflict-resolution mechanisms (e.g. Doz et al. 1981); diffusing ‘best proven practices’ (e.g. Rosenzweig and Singh 1991); reconciling organizational linkages (e.g. Borys and Jemison 1989) and diffusing and leveraging knowledge (e.g. Gupta and Govindarajan 1991; Kamoche 1996). Bartlett and Ghoshal (1989: 187) found that successful transnational firms used management development ‘to build cultural norms, sha pe organizational processes and influence…


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