A multiple case study of the organisational acculturation of host country national managers in foreign subsidiaries: the case of Egypt
2014-04-01T14:07:30Z (GMT) by
The present study investigates the phenomenon of organisational acculturation of Egyptian Host Country National middle managers working in three foreign subsidiaries of US, UK, and Swedish MNCs. Host Country National staff (HCNs) are those who work in foreign subsidiaries established in their own countries. HCNs are exposed to the organisational culture of the MNC which is affected by the national culture of the parent company. Accordingly, the concept of cultural adaptation, or organisational acculturation, has been stressed as an essential process for MNCs to deal with problems arising from cultural differences and achieve cross-cultural effectiveness. The topic of the present study is an understudied topic and only few studies addressed the acculturation of HCNs, most of which within the context of Asian-only cultures. The study used a multiple case design and the data were collected using a mixed methods design in which both quantitative and qualitative methods were used. The study was conducted in two phases; the first phase was to compare the work values of the Egyptian middle managers and their UK, US, and Swedish expatriates using a questionnaire on work values, in order to find similarities or differences in work values between the Egyptian managers and their expatriates. To measure the work values of the host national culture, the study used a comparison group of Egyptian middle managers in three local Egyptian firms. In the second phase, in-depth interviews and observation were conducted with a number of Egyptian middle managers who were found to have work values significantly similar to or different from their expatriates work values in the three subsidiaries. This phase was conducted in order to further examine the acculturation phenomenon, and to understand the influence of the Egyptian national culture and the type of control mechanisms used by MNCs on the acculturation process. The results showed that some acculturation effects might have occurred in some work values of Egyptian managers, while other work values might have not been influenced due to the strong effect of the Egyptian national culture. Also, the study found that Egyptians needed both formal bureaucratic and informal cultural mechanisms of control, though with more stress on the formal bureaucratic ones.