Comparative Cross Cultural Study of Indian Managers' Perspectives On Doing International Business in Bedouin And Guanxi Culture

Comparative Cross Cultural Study of Indian Managers' Perspectives On Doing International Business in Bedouin And Guanxi Culture

Som Sekhar Bhattacharyya (National Institute of Industrial Engineering, Mumbai, India)
Copyright: © 2019 |Pages: 21
DOI: 10.4018/IJABIM.2019070101
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The purpose of this research article is to comparatively study Indian firms' international cultural challenges of doing business in Bedouin and Chinese business cultures. In this research, the author based on in-depth exploratory qualitative personal interview with 22 Indian international business experts and explores the cultural nuances of international business operations. Specifically, the author content analyses and prepare a comparative analysis (similarities and dissimilarities) of Indian business culture with Bedouin and Chinese business culture. This article thus contributes to international business strategy (IBS) literature centric to Indian firms from a cultural dimension. Comparative analysis on Trompenaar's cultural dimensions, Hofstede's cultural dimensions, CAGE distances and EPRG aspects highlight the challenges of doing business for Indian business managers in Bedouin and Chinese business culture. This would help Indian business managers to take steps to improve international business expansion in China and The Gulf countries. This is one of the first comparative analysis of Indian firms' international expansion difficulties in Bedouin and Chinese business culture.
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International business expansion has been a hall mark of strategic management literature (Miller, 1992). When firms reach a dominant or healthy (read reservoir of slack resources) position in domestic market the natural tendency is to expand beyond the domestic market to foreign shores (Luo & Tung, 2007; Oviatt & McDougall, 2005). Literature is abound with studies on how North American, Western European and Japanese firms internationalized (Hackett, 1976; Glaister, 1998; Bartlett & Ghoshal, 2000; Glaister, 1996; Yang, Jiang, Kang & Ke, 2009). Contextually, the expansion of emerging economy firms to the developed world has been less studied till the 2000s (Yang, Jiang, Kang & Ke, 2009; Yiu, Lau, & Bruton, 2007; Yamakawa, Peng & Deeds, 2008). Further, research studies on emerging economy firms expanding onto other emerging economies or developing countries has been rarer still (Yiu, Lau, & Bruton, 2007; Yamakawa, Peng & Deeds, 2008). When a firm expands into international markets, the home country culture matters a lot in the way the firm carries out international business operations (Park & Ungson, 1997). Indian firms have expanded internationally in recent times substantially (Elango & Pattnaik, 2007; Athreye & Kapur, 2009; Gaur & Kumar, 2009; Chittoor, & Ray, 2007).

In this study, the author specifically studies the cultural context of an Indian firm manager while internationalizing business operations into another emerging economy (China) and developing country (Saudi Arabia). Saudi Arabia matters for India because historically both India and Saudi Arabia have shared rich business and trade relationship and a lot of Indians work in Saudi Arabia (Weiner, 1982). China has been a rising economic power in the last three decades. Indian business firms had to expand in China as a part of the internationalization initiative as China is both an important factor input market as well as a consumer market (Gupta and Wang, 2009; Nicholson and Salaber, 2013). Researchers have pointed out that doing business in both Saudi Arabia (Rice, 2004; Budhwar & Debrah, 2013) and China (Ambler, Witzel, & Zou, 2008)) comes with its own set of challenges.

Theoretically, international business managers had looked into both the drivers and challenges of expanding into foreign markets (Calof & Beamish, 1995; Evans, Bridson, Byrom & Medway, 2008). Theoretical lenses of these investigations have been contoured by the notion of managerial cognitive biases (Zahra, Korri, & Yu, 2005), internationalization process (Verbeke, 2013), institutional perspectives (Peng, 2003) and strategic positioning (Jain,1989). One dimension transcending all these theoretical perspective is culture (Peng, Wang & Jiang, 2008). If culture eats strategy for lunch (Goldman & Casey, 2010) then it becomes more compelling to state that culture rules international business strategy (Hofstede, 1994). In this study, with the theoretical base of ‘culture’ the author attempts to explore the internationalization of Indian firms in China and Saudi Arabia.

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