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Organizational Culture And Effectiveness: Can American Theory Be Applied In Russia?


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  • Carl F. Fey


  • Daniel R. Denison


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    This paper examines the link between organizational culture and effectiveness for foreign-owned firms operating in Russia. Beginning with a model of organizational culture developed in the USA, the paper presents a multi-method analysis of culture and effectiveness in a transition economy. We argue that effectiveness in Russia relies more on adaptability and flexibility than in the USA. Furthermore, the legacy of the communist era forces firms in Russia to deal with a workforce with a unique time perspective and a unique set of sub-cultures that often undermine attempts at coordination and integration. We first explore these ideas using survey data on 179 foreign-owned firms operating in Russia and compare the results to those obtained for firms in the USA. We then present four case studies designed to ground the results in the Russian context, and to document cultural dynamics not captured by the model.

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    Bibliographic Info

    Paper provided by William Davidson Institute at the University of Michigan in its series William Davidson Institute Working Papers Series with number 2003-598.

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    Length: 45 pages
    Date of creation: 01 May 2003
    Date of revision:
    Handle: RePEc:wdi:papers:2003-598

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    Keywords: Organizational Culture; Effectiveness; Russia; Transition Economies;

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    1. Shekshnia, Stanislav, 1998. "Western multinationals' human resource practices in Russia," European Management Journal, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 16(4), pages 460-465, August.
    2. Fey, Carl, 1995. "Important design characteristics for Russian -- Foreign joint ventures," European Management Journal, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 13(4), pages 405-415, December.
    3. J Michael Geringer & Louis Hebert, 1989. "Control and Performance of International Joint Ventures," Journal of International Business Studies, Palgrave Macmillan, vol. 20(2), pages 235-254, June.
    4. Puffer, Sheila M. & McCarthy, Daniel J. & Naumov, Alexander I., 1997. "Russian managers' beliefs about work: Beyond the stereotypes," Journal of World Business, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 32(3), pages 258-276, October.
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    Cited by:
    1. Koveshnikov, Alexei & Barner-Rasmussen, Wilhelm & Ehrnrooth, Mats & Mäkelä, Kristiina, 2012. "A framework of successful organizational practices in Western multinational companies operating in Russia," Journal of World Business, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 47(3), pages 371-382.
    2. Tsai, Ming-Tien & Huang, Yen-Chih & Ma, Rong, 2009. "Antecedents and consequences of global responsiveness: An empirical examination of MNCs in the global sourcing context," International Business Review, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 18(6), pages 617-629, December.
    3. Ignacio Gómez Roldán & Rafael Guillermo Ricardo Bray, 2009. "Similarities and differences existing in cultural profiles of colombian organizations of higher and lower performance," REVISTA FACULTAD DE CIENCIAS ECONÓMICAS, UNIVERSIDAD MILITAR NUEVA GRANADA, UNIVERSIDAD MILITAR NUEVA GRANADA.
    4. Maaja Vadi & Triin Kask & Keit Lõhmus, 2006. "Estonians’ views on Germans’ and Russians’ negotiation behavior: the entrepreneurial perspective," University of Tartu - Faculty of Economics and Business Administration, Faculty of Economics and Business Administration, University of Tartu (Estonia), in: Entrepreneurship in Estonia: policies, practices, education and research, volume 28, chapter 10, pages 194-216 Faculty of Economics and Business Administration, University of Tartu (Estonia).
    5. McCarthy, Daniel J. & Puffer, Sheila M., 2003. "Corporate governance in Russia: a framework for analysis," Journal of World Business, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 38(4), pages 397-415, November.
    6. Bonavia, Tomas & Prado, Vicente & Barberá, David, 2009. "Adaptación al castellano y estructura factorial del «Denison Organizational Culture Survey»
      [Spanish adaptation and factor structure of the «Denison Organizational Culture Survey»]
      ," MPRA Paper 34120, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    7. Kwantes, Catherine T. & Boglarsky, Cheryl A., 2007. "Perceptions of organizational culture, leadership effectiveness and personal effectiveness across six countries," Journal of International Management, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 13(2), pages 204-230, June.
    8. Zheng, Wei & Yang, Baiyin & McLean, Gary N., 2010. "Linking organizational culture, structure, strategy, and organizational effectiveness: Mediating role of knowledge management," Journal of Business Research, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 63(7), pages 763-771, July.
    9. Manuel Vallejo, 2011. "A model to study the organizational culture of the family firm," Small Business Economics, Springer, Springer, vol. 36(1), pages 47-64, January.
    10. Mathew, Jossy & Ogbonna, Emmanuel & Harris, Lloyd C., 2012. "Culture, employee work outcomes and performance: An empirical analysis of Indian software firms," Journal of World Business, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 47(2), pages 194-203.
    11. Alpay, Güven & Bodur, Muzaffer & YIlmaz, Cengiz & Çetinkaya, Saadet & ArIkan, Laçin, 2008. "Performance implications of institutionalization process in family-owned businesses: Evidence from an emerging economy," Journal of World Business, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 43(4), pages 435-448, October.
    12. Yilmaz, Cengiz & Ergun, Ercan, 2008. "Organizational culture and firm effectiveness: An examination of relative effects of culture traits and the balanced culture hypothesis in an emerging economy," Journal of World Business, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 43(3), pages 290-306, July.


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