Culture in business interaction: an individual perspective : empirical studies in Finnish-Russian business relationships (Maria Ivanova-Gongne)
Åbo Akademi, 2014
School of Business and Economics, International Marketing
The main objective of this doctoral dissertation is to reach a holistic and indepth understanding of the intercultural interaction within dyadic business relationships through the perspective of individual managers. The empirical setting is dyadic business relationships between Russian and Finnish firms in construction and engineering industries. The motivation for the study mainly arose from: 1) the lack of business marketing literature considering cultural and individual perspectives; 2) the need to find ways to study intercultural issues in business relationships, other than through the application of models derived from the work of Hofstede (1980).
The study consists of two parts, an introductory essay containing the research objectives, theoretical foundations, methodological choices, limitations and contributions, and original research articles. The four articles each address a sub-objective: 1) to develop an understanding of intercultural business relationships development, cultural adaptation, and its role in the development of trust (Article 1); 2) to develop an appropriate methodological framework for studying business interaction from a cultural and individual perspective (Article 2); 3) to develop an understanding of the role of culture in individual manager’s sensemaking of interaction events in business relationships (Article 3); and 4) to develop an appropriate theoretical framework for studying interactive intercultural business relationships in international industrial markets (Article 4).
The ontological and epistemological foundations are built on the interpretivist/ social constructivist view of reality. Interaction, in this study, is seen as being conducted between individuals, who are the key representative actors of their firms. In turn, culture is regarded both as an independent context existing prior to the individuals’ participation in it, and as knowledge incorporated by the individuals, who use it in sensemaking and interaction across cultures. The methods applied in the articles are: an interpretive qualitative study (Article 1), a literature review and conceptual analysis (Article 2), a structural analysis of the narratives and a metaphor analysis (Article 3), and a literature review and conceptual analysis (Article 4).
The main contributions are the following. First, it contributes to business marketing literature by developing the theoretical, conceptual, and methodological underpinning of IMP theories in relation to culture. Second, the thesis contributes to the growing literature on managerial sensemaking in industrial markets by looking at it from a cultural perspective, as well as emphasizing the importance of figurative language in cultural sensemaking.
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Tagit: Liiketoimintakulttuuri, Työelämä