Are you managing intercultural alliances or need to turn overseas operations around?

International alliances take a variety of shapes and forms. They can range from simple outsourcing arrangements to joint-ventures or mergers and acquisitions. The form itself can have different ramification as to how people within an alliance operate, but all alliances have at least one major issue to solve: How can different corporate cultures work together. Every organisation has a corporate culture in its values, goals and the way people work within those organisations. It is difficult enough to get an alliance or merger even within the same country to work because of ‘cultural’ differences, never mind on an international level.

In international alliances there are really two forms of ‘culture’ operating. There is the corporate or organisational culture of those that have formed the alliance; and on top of that there is the difference in culture on a geographical level. Indeed the difficulties involved due to the cultures at the two levels are huge, and rarely do mergers or alliances work properly. With proper attention to all the cultural aspects, however, it is possible to make alliances work. These factors are key to understand when considering turning overseas operations around – a large number of hidden pitfalls lurk in the background.

Like multi-cultural teams some of the key elements for success include developing a mutual and true understanding of one another’s persectives. Of key importance is also developing and clearly defining common goals. Some of the issues and features that may need to be looked at are:

For details on how this may relate to your organisation's objectives or needs, you may need to refer to an intercultural management specialist. For more information you may wish to contact us.

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