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June 25 , 2007

Multinationals and Cross-Cultural Management

The Transfer of Knowledge within Multinational Corporations


Globalisation makes our world appear smaller: it is easier to connect, communicate and do business with people all over the world. But cultural differences remain and challenge globalized knowledge communication and transfer. This book examines cross-cultural management within multinational enterprises (MNEs), focusing in particular on how cultural differences influence the transfer of knowledge between different units within individual corporations.

Based on detailed empirical analysis of 267 companies in Germany and Japan, it considers the relative effectiveness of inter-cultural and intra-cultural knowledge transfer; identifies the factors that inhibit or facilitate successful knowledge transfer; and suggests how management processes of MNEs can be improved. It demonstrates that although cultural differences do not necessarily influence the selection and transmission of knowledge overseas, they do have a strong impact on how that knowledge is received, integrated and put into practice locally.

The book shows how knowledge is accepted differently in Europe and Asia and which factors have the strongest impact on efficient knowledge transfer. It suggests that to improve cross-cultural management MNEs should focus less on upgrading the technology that allows knowledge transfer, and more on the capabilities and beliefs of individual employees.

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