یادگیری سازمانی در شرکت های تابعه شرکت های چند ملیتی در روسیه
|کد مقاله||سال انتشار||تعداد صفحات مقاله انگلیسی||ترجمه فارسی|
|3912||2003||16 صفحه PDF||سفارش دهید|
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Publisher : Elsevier - Science Direct (الزویر - ساینس دایرکت)
Journal : Journal of World Business, Volume 38, Issue 3, August 2003, Pages 262–277
More than ten years after the break-up of the Soviet economy, Russia, which continues to undergo long-term change, still represents a very complex business environment. Subsidiaries of multinational companies (MNCs) operating in this environment can adapt successfully only by means of organizational learning. Learning processes should materialize as the mutual exchange of knowledge between expatriates and local employees. However, learning is complicated in a cross-cultural setting. This study examines barriers to learning and discusses management tools to enhance learning, using comprehensive case study data. In-depth personal interviews were conducted with 35 expatriate managers and 36 Russian employees working at 22 different subsidiaries of MNCs in Moscow and the Moscow Region.
A growing number of multinational companies (MNCs) are entering the Russian market, particularly with the aim of exploiting the enormous market potential (Ahrend, 2000). After relatively low inflows of foreign direct investment (FDI) in recent last years compared to Central European countries, FDI into Russia is expected to increase in the future (Transition Newsletter, 2001). However, Russia represents a complex business environment, undergoing a transformation process that affects its political, economic, and sociocultural systems. Considerable progress in important areas of reform is still necessary (OECD, 2002). There has been an increasing interest in management research related to CEE countries (Michailova & Liuhto, 2000). With regard to Russia, existing studies within international management research focus on MNC strategies (McCarthy & Puffer, 1999), cultural traits of Russian managers (e.g., Bakacsi, Sandor, Andras, & Viktor, 2002), expatriate adjustment (Suutari, 1998), human resource management issues (e.g., Fey & Björkman, 2001), corporate culture (Fey & Denison, 2000), organizational change (Michailova, 2001), and participation and empowerment (Michailova, 2002). Studies about cross-cultural managerial learning in CEE countries cover the importance of language skills and sensitivity to cultural issues as prerequisites for knowledge transfers (Villinger, 1996). Husted and Michailova (2002a) examined the knowledge sharing behavior of Russian employees in companies with foreign participation. Following the distinction between knowledge transmitters and receivers (Szulanski, 1996), they identified various barriers to knowledge sharing. While the transmission of knowledge was found to be restrained by a lack of incentives for knowledge sharing, departmental thinking and acting, and fear of admitting mistakes, receiving knowledge was found to be complicated by the reinforcement of the not-invented-here syndrome and the lack of absorptive capacity (Cohen & Levinthal, 1990). The primacy of hierarchical status and physical distance were factors influencing both knowledge transmitters and receivers. Most of these barriers are reflected in the empirical findings of this study. The central questions to be addressed in this paper are: what are the specific features of organizational learning processes between expatriates and Russian employees in the subsidiaries of MNCs operating in Russia, and which management tools may be used to support mutual knowledge exchange? In answering these questions, our intention is to apply existing organizational learning theory to a particular cross-cultural context. The theory of organizational learning has mainly been developed from a culture-free perspective. Few attempts have been made to examine learning processes in a cross-cultural setting. Organizational learning cannot be separated from the sociocultural context within which it takes place and the distinct sociocultural context of the learning agents concerned. This paper therefore sets out to contribute a cross-cultural perspective, thereby testing the applicability of accepted theoretical ideas of organizational learning. Russia represents, we believe, a learning context which is well-suited to demonstrate potential difficulties in implementing Western ideas of learning, as capitalism was introduced to this country only recently.
نتیجه گیری انگلیسی
The empirical findings confirm that intangible resources tied to expatriates and local employees are complementary in nature. On the basis of their combination, competitive advantages can be created. Likewise, barriers to learning may be attributed to both groups. Organizational learning provides useful categories for the analysis of these barriers. Strategic models of organizational learning, however, have been developed mainly in the West and therefore reflect Western assumptions about the social role of knowledge and the commonly desired ways of handling knowledge. Therefore, in analyzing the barriers to these cross-cultural knowledge transfers, one must combine elements from organizational learning theory with elements from international and intercultural management science. The sociocultural contextuality of learning must not be ignored. Russia represents not only a unique business environment, but also a specific cultural context shaping attitudes and norms that affect learning behavior. The empirical findings presented in this paper underline that many barriers to learning result from culturally embedded forms of dealing with knowledge. They should make management practitioners aware of potential obstacles to learning. Different management tools may be used to overcome barriers to learning. Ideally, the implementation of management tools should be carried out with the support of the parent company in order to underline the overall importance of learning and to increase the chance of their practical realization, even against individual interests. The current use of well-known organizational and leadership tools and human resources management instruments varied considerably between subsidiaries of MNCs in Russia; overall, the level of use of these instruments must be characterized as insufficient. The applicability of Western concepts of organizational learning is limited. Basic assumptions underlying learning behavior are not transferable, and learning-related management experiences in the past are not of the same nature. The consequences may be highlighted with regard to Pawlowsky’s (2001) framework of organizational learning. It is important, for example, to understand the impact of culturally-based barriers on the phases of learning. Due to some of these barriers (e.g., different ideas of control) learning is inhibited at the stage of knowledge transfer already before integration of knowledge can take place. Also, the role of different types of learning may vary in a cross-cultural context, with second-order learning blocked if uncertainty avoidance and an unwillingness to question existing rules prevail among some learning agents. Furthermore, if the understanding of learning levels is different, organizational learning may be blocked (e.g., with regard to the understanding of how a team should function). Even if some barriers to learning appear similar to those in Western countries (e.g., a strong departmental focus), the historical and cultural roots to these barriers must be understood in order to find appropriate instruments to overcome them. Last, but not least, the differentiation of types of knowledge and modes of knowledge transfer may vary cross-culturally, in particular the role of socialization as a transfer mode differs significantly. The existing knowledge gap among Russian employees refers more to tacit knowledge than to explicit knowledge. Accordingly, transfer mechanisms relying on close interaction, context-related communication and socialization are most important—as illustrated by the role of observational learning, for example. However, these transfer mechanisms are difficult to put into practice. Further empirical research on mutual learning processes between expatriates and Russian employees is necessary, taking into account the changes in Russian culture in the course of the overall transformation process and possible effects on management attitudes. Different characteristics of Russian employees, such as age, type of education, and ethnic or regional background, may be used as differentiating variables. Furthermore, research on the differences in organizational learning between subsidiaries on the one hand and joint ventures on the other could help to further specify learning processes. In addition, learning processes between parent companies and subsidiaries should be examined more closely from a cross-cultural point of view. Organizational learning and cross-cultural management theories must be more closely integrated in the future. One example is to examine the effects of culturally-bound and socially mediated learning styles (Hollinshead & Michailova, 2001 and Kolb, 1984) on organizational learning processes. The differences in learning styles may be seen either as a source of cultural synergy or as an impediment to learning (Specker, 2002). Another example refers to further theoretical types of knowledge, such as for example axiomatic knowledge (“know why”), which could be drawn upon to analyze cross-cultural learning phenomena. Generally, research on organizational learning would profit from greater interdisciplinary approaches.