Knowledge Management in the Cross-Cultural Organisation
Paper i proceeding, 2012
For the establishing cross-cultural organisations one central question has been how to balance the desired need for standardisation and still maintain consideration for the specific norms of the cultural context. While focus commonly has been on customs, protocols of communication and interaction, less attention has been given to the creative environment and knowledge management over the cultural and language barriers. In this paper it is indicated that the move to a foreign domain can potentially reduce the platform for a creative exchange between agents of same culture and language constitution, and that the learning organisation should review the lateral move of the workspace from the individuals own language and culture specific context to the standardised organisational context. Moreover, the culture and language context is able to channel creativity when promoting sub-groups priorities, languages and characteristic thought worlds. The implications from an inherent risk of sub-optimising and a distanced organisational identity are also discussed.
Discussion points: Where between independent sub-groups and total integration can we best facilitate for the organisational sub-groups towards creativity and learning in the cross-cultural organisation context? Do the institutional differences between countries require local adaptation of the management concept ‘empowered work teams’?