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The Use of Strategic Metaphors in Intercultural Business Communication

Author

Listed:
  • Sophie Cacciaguidi-Fahy

    (National University of Ireland, Galway)

  • James Cunningham

    (National University of Ireland, Galway)

Abstract

This paper contends that the use of strategic metaphors can help deliver the effective intercultural business communication necessary for global success. Using the Renault-Nissan Alliance as an example, the authors argue that an appropriate metaphor can help provide the global glue which captures the essence of the organisation’s activities, encapsulates its strategic intent, incorporates the national and global cultures, and portrays its ethical and business stance. Indeed, as is the case in the Renault-Nissan Alliance, the appropriate use of metaphor allowed the firm to bind a diverse group of stakeholders to a common goal by using the inherent ambiguity and multiplicity of meaning of the metaphor to overcome Asian and Western intercultural differences and at the same time maximise goal congruence.

Suggested Citation

  • Sophie Cacciaguidi-Fahy & James Cunningham, 2007. "The Use of Strategic Metaphors in Intercultural Business Communication," Managing Global Transitions, University of Primorska, Faculty of Management Koper, vol. 5(2), pages 133-155.
  • Handle: RePEc:mgt:youmgt:v:5:y:2007:i:2:p:133-155
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    File URL: http://www.fm-kp.si/zalozba/ISSN/1581-6311/5_133-155.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Nancy J Adler & John L Graham, 1989. "Cross-Cultural Interaction: The International Comparison Fallacy?," Journal of International Business Studies, Palgrave Macmillan;Academy of International Business, vol. 20(3), pages 515-537, September.
    2. Marjorie A Lyles & Jane E Salk, 1996. "Knowledge Acquisition from Foreign Parents in International Joint Ventures: An Empirical Examination in the Hungarian Context," Journal of International Business Studies, Palgrave Macmillan;Academy of International Business, vol. 27(4), pages 877-903, December.
    3. Kumar, Rajesh & Andersen, Poul Houman, 2000. "Inter firm diversity and the management of meaning in international strategic alliances," International Business Review, Elsevier, vol. 9(2), pages 237-252, April.
    4. Hunt, Shelby D. & Menon, Anil, 1995. "Metaphors and competitive advantage: Evaluating the use of metaphors in theories of competitive strategy," Journal of Business Research, Elsevier, vol. 33(2), pages 81-90, June.
    5. Nielsen, Bo Bernhard, 2001. "Trust and Learning in International Strategic Alliances," Working Papers 8-2001, Copenhagen Business School, Department of International Economics and Management.
    6. Arvind Parkhe, 1991. "Interfirm Diversity, Organizational Learning, and Longevity in Global Strategic Alliances," Journal of International Business Studies, Palgrave Macmillan;Academy of International Business, vol. 22(4), pages 579-601, December.
    7. T. K. Das, 2002. "The Dynamics of Alliance Conditions in the Alliance Development Process," Journal of Management Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 39(5), pages 725-746, July.
    8. Marjorie A Lyles & Jane E Salk, 1996. "Knowledge Acquisition from Foreign Parents in International Joint Ventures: An Empirical Examination in the Hungarian Context," Journal of International Business Studies, Palgrave Macmillan;Academy of International Business, vol. 27(5), pages 877-903, December.
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Alasdair Marshall & Melanie Ashleigh & Denise Baden & Udechukwu Ojiako & Marco Guidi, 2015. "Corporate Psychopathy: Can ‘Search and Destroy’ and ‘Hearts and Minds’ Military Metaphors Inspire HRM Solutions?," Journal of Business Ethics, Springer, vol. 128(3), pages 495-504, May.
    2. König, Andreas & Fehn, Angela & Puck, Jonas & Graf-Vlachy, Lorenz, 2017. "Primary or complex? Towards a theory of metaphorical strategy communication in MNCs," Journal of World Business, Elsevier, vol. 52(2), pages 270-285.
    3. Cezar SCARLAT & Elizabeth J. ROZELL & Wesley A. SCROGGINS, 2011. "Characteristics of the Romanian Entrepreneurial Prototype," REVISTA DE MANAGEMENT COMPARAT INTERNATIONAL/REVIEW OF INTERNATIONAL COMPARATIVE MANAGEMENT, Faculty of Management, Academy of Economic Studies, Bucharest, Romania, vol. 12(1), pages 84-96, March.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    intercultural business communication; strategic metaphors; alliance relationships;

    JEL classification:

    • M12 - Business Administration and Business Economics; Marketing; Accounting; Personnel Economics - - Business Administration - - - Personnel Management; Executives; Executive Compensation
    • M14 - Business Administration and Business Economics; Marketing; Accounting; Personnel Economics - - Business Administration - - - Corporate Culture; Diversity; Social Responsibility

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