טכניון מכון טכנולוגי לישראל
הטכניון מכון טכנולוגי לישראל - בית הספר ללימודי מוסמכים  
Ph.D Thesis
Ph.D StudentShokef Efrat
SubjectGlobal Work Culture: Developing a New Measure of
Organizational Culture of Multinational
Organizations
DepartmentDepartment of Industrial Engineering and Management
Supervisors Professor Emeritus Miriam Erez
Professor Emeritus Uzi De Haan
Full Thesis textFull thesis text - English Version


Abstract

Multinational Organizations (MNO) adapt the values they perceive are instrumental to their survival. This shared value system creates a new macro cultural layer of global work culture (Erez & Gati, 2004) defined as the shared understanding of the visible rules, regulations, and behaviors, and the deeper values and ethics of the global work context (Shokef & Erez, 2006). Along with ecological models of culture (Berry et al., 1992), we identified the characteristics of the global work environment and derived the cultural values expected to facilitate the adaptation of individuals and organizations to it. We propose that the organizational culture of MNOs should emphasize the task-related values of: competitive performance orientation, quality, customer orientation, and innovation and change; relation-related values of interdependence and trust; and people-related values of people orientation, openness to diversity, and organizational social responsibility. We suggest that high agreement on the content of values, based on (a) level of measurement equivalence, (b) rank importance, and (c) distance in ranks among countries, defines it as ‘global’, namely, shared across employees from different countries, and that lower agreement indicates that a value is more influenced by national characteristics.

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We supported our theoretical model with two empirical studies. The first was conducted in four subsidiaries of one large MNO, located in Israel, Italy, Singapore, and South-Korea. Participants in the second study were MBA students, from Israel, Hong-Kong, and the USA, working in both local and global organizations. Based on our finding we suggest that the values of customer orientation, competitive performance orientation, and outcome orientation can be considered as ‘global’ values. The values of openness to diversity and trust also obtained fairly high agreement, compared to other relation- and people-related values and should thus also be considered as ‘global’. Finally, the values of interdependence, organizational social responsibility, and particularly, people orientation are influenced by local national characteristics. Hence, higher levels of adaptability and responsiveness are required from MNOs in regards to these values.

We further support the validity of the proposed typology by showing that individuals working in ‘global’ organizations (vs. ‘international’ and ‘local’ organizations), and individuals holding a strong global identity, reflecting their sense of belonging to groups in the global work environment, attribute greater importance to the proposed values, indicating that these values are indeed perceived to facilitate the adaptation of MNOs to the global context, by those exposed to this environment, thus validating our proposed typology.