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Cross-Cultural Management: A Case Study Analysis

The 21st century has introduced an evolution of the business environment, in which managers face new challenges. This age is characterized by the intense globalization that renders different parts of the world closer together, thus promoting the diversity of the entrepreneurial landscape. As such, companies and entire industries often become the intersection of various cultures. People of different backgrounds work together in complex environments, which often leads to difficult situations that are to be addressed by an effective manager. In fact, cross-cultural competencies have acquired a vital status in the current environment, which is why this topic deserves additional exploration. The correct implementation of these principles has the potential to yield positive results not only for the internal environment of the company but also for all stakeholders involved. This paper addresses two contemporary case studies that emphasize the benefits of high-quality cross-cultural management in the current managerial setting.

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The first case study depicts the correlation between cross-cultural collaboration and inclusive value chains. Pratono (2020) focuses on the rattan industry as one of the key elements of sustainable economy. Under responsible management, this sphere unites the efforts of companies and stakeholders in terms of providing an inclusive global value chain. However, this objective requires a certain level of cross-cultural competency exhibited by the leadership. The key issue of the key study revolves around the organization of an intercultural environment through the balance of financial and human resources. In other words, managers are required to create a well-functioning mechanism of knowledge and technology transfer. As per Pratono’s (2020) findings, the primary positive course of action consists of establishing equal-term partnerships between advanced and local companies. For example, knowledge and technology transfer between partners from Italy, Germany, and France from one side and Indonesia and Philippines from the other yielded a positive effect. The alternative is the direct acquisition of local businesses with an emphasis on a company’s internal resources. While this may be more time-and-cost-efficient, it impedes the formation of an inclusive value chain, yielding poorer results in the long-term.

The second study addresses the correlation between intercultural project management and stakeholder engagement. Lückmann and Färber (2016) state it remains challenging for managers to see an equal level of cross-cultural stakeholder engagement. Nevertheless, this objective is crucial for the contemporary companies due to the unprecedented level of globalization and diversity. In fact, any project aiming at a global status is expected to show a certain level of cross-cultural management competencies. According to Lückmann and Färber (2016), one of the key negative outcomes of improper cultural management consisted of serious delays in the project execution. The primary course of action implies extending the timeline of the project, allowing for sufficient buffer time. The alternative approach of hastening the completion of the tasks is unlikely to yield sufficient results, as different cultures have varying perceptions of time. Thus, buffer time remains the most efficient method of mitigating cross-cultural differences with the most optimal outcome for all stakeholders.

Ultimately, cross-culturally competent management remains the key to corporate success within the current environment. From one perspective, the contemporary landscape instigates a continuous pursuit of efficiency and profits. Projects are expected to generate increased returns within a shorter timespan, which often leads to disregarding certain intercultural aspects. However, they are not to be ignored if the management seeks success in the long term. Today, a sustained growth of the business is inseparable from culturally-informed, inclusive practices. Managers are required to engage a range of various stakeholders as otherwise their projects are unlikely to have a steady performance. Cross-cultural competencies have them find a common ground, upon which long-lasting, sustainable businesses are built. In the end, an intercultural compromise between profits, efficiency, and inclusiveness helps all parties benefit in the long term.

References

Lückmann, P., & Färber, K. (2016). The impact of cultural differences on project stakeholder engagement: A review of case study research in international project management. Procedia Computer Science, 100, 85–94.

Pratono, A. H. (2020). Cross-cultural collaboration for inclusive global value chain: A case study of rattan industry. International Journal of Emerging Markets, 15(1), 149–170.

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