Title: Communication and collaboration in subsidiaries in China – Chinese and expatriate accounts

Authors: Anne-Marie Søderberg; Verner D. Worm

Addresses: Department of Intercultural Communication and Management, Copenhagen Business School, Porcelænshaven 18A, 2000 Frederiksberg, Denmark. ' Asia Research Center, Copenhagen Business School Denmark, Porcelænshaven 24, 2000 Frederiksberg, Denmark

Abstract: The purpose of this article is to explore how Chinese and expatriate managers, working in subsidiaries of five MNCs, communicate and collaborate, what kind of cultural encounters they talk about and give prominence to in their accounts of critical incidents, how they reflect upon them/explain them, and how they cope with perceived similarities and differences to improve cross-cultural communication and collaboration within a global organisation. Using an inductive qualitative methodology and thematic analysis, the study draws on in-depth narrative interviews with 29 expatriate and 39 Chinese managers and experts. The specific value of this paper is that it explores a hitherto under-researched issue and provides insight into well-educated expatriate and Chinese managers| accounts of how they perceive themselves and others in a multicultural work context. In both groups, we find widely travelled, flexible and open-minded people, who are ready and have the capabilities to conduct cross-cultural leadership.

Keywords: cross-cultural communication; cross-cultural collaboration; intercultural effectiveness; cross-cultural learning processes; MNCs; multinational corporations; MNC subsidiaries; China; expatriates; expats; international management; culture.

DOI: 10.1504/EJCCM.2011.042677

European Journal of Cross-Cultural Competence and Management, 2011 Vol.2 No.1, pp.54 - 76

Published online: 11 Oct 2014 *

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