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Micro-political or inter-cultural conflicts? - An integrating approach

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  • Mense-Petermann, Ursula
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    The article focuses on inner-organizational conflicts arising with respect to processes of organizational transnationalization of multinational companies (MNCs). Two strands of debate are identified and discussed in this respect: one focusing on micro-political, the other one focusing on inter-cultural conflicts. It is argued that an integrative perspective on conflict processes is needed as neither power nor culture can be neglected or put in a secondary position when explaining conflicts in MNCs. Such an integrative framework is developed following Giddens' analytical differentiation of three dimensions of social systems: signification, domination and legitimation. It is argued that it depends on contextual variables framing the process of transnationalization, whether actors conceive of occurring conflicts as being either inter-cultural or micro-political. This theoretical argument is underscored by referring to two case studies from a German MNC in the process of transnationalization.

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    Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Journal of International Management.

    Volume (Year): 12 (2006)
    Issue (Month): 3 (September)
    Pages: 302-317

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    Handle: RePEc:eee:intman:v:12:y:2006:i:3:p:302-317
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    1. Roth, Kendall & Nigh, Douglas, 1992. "The effectiveness of headquarters-subsidiary relationships: The role of coordination, control, and conflict," Journal of Business Research, Elsevier, vol. 25(4), pages 277-301, December.
    2. Joshi, Aparna & Labianca, Giuseppe & Caligiuri, Paula M., 2002. "Getting along long distance: understanding conflict in a multinational team through network analysis," Journal of World Business, Elsevier, vol. 37(4), pages 277-284, January.
    3. Forsgren, Mats, 1990. "Managing the international multi-centre firm: Case studies from Sweden," European Management Journal, Elsevier, vol. 8(2), pages 261-267, June.
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