Title: Managing change in transnational companies: does cultural distance matter?

Authors: Kurt Matzler; Andreas Strobl; Ellen Krill

Addresses: Faculty of Economics and Management, Free University of Bozen-Bolzano, Universitätsplatz 1 Piazza Università, Italy ' Department of Strategic Management, Marketing and Tourism, University of Innsbruck, Universitätsstrasse 15, 6020 Innsbruck, Austria ' Department of Strategic Management, Marketing and Tourism, University of Innsbruck, Universitätsstrasse 15, 6020 Innsbruck, Austria

Abstract: Employees' commitment to change is an important prerequisite for change management success. We test how a direct manager's transformational leadership and top management communication impact employees' commitment to change and how, in a transnational organisation, these relationships are moderated by cultural distance. We measure cultural distance using GLOBE (Global Leadership and Organisational Behaviour Effectiveness Research) dimensions. The results of the study in a German technology company (N = 939 employees, operating in 30 countries) show that transformational leadership and top management communication are positively related to affective and normative commitment to change. Cultural distance positively moderates the direct manager's transformational leadership-affective commitment relationship and reduces the influence of top management communication on normative commitment to change.

Keywords: organisational change; transformational leadership; top management communication; cultural distance; GLOBE.

DOI: 10.1504/EJIM.2020.107014

European Journal of International Management, 2020 Vol.14 No.3, pp.494 - 523

Received: 26 Aug 2016
Accepted: 11 May 2017

Published online: 02 Mar 2020 *

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