Information Resources Development Challenges in a Cross-Cultural Environment

Information Resources Development Challenges in a Cross-Cultural Environment

Wai K. Law
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-59140-553-5.ch259
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Western management theory considers information the lifeblood of organization. The sharing of information lubricates the interlocking divisions within the organization, promoting the effective achievement of organizational goals with external business partners. However, in many regions of the world, information represents power, and managers often try to accumulate as much of it as they can while denying access to others (Oz, 2002). For others, the disclosure of information is considered a threat to the span of management control (Rocheleau, 1999). In some cases, administrators could be more interested in the scale of the information system and its associated budget, than in the capability and functionality of the system (Kalpic & Boyd, 2000). These are examples of conflicting cultural values in a cross-cultural environment. The introduction of Western management approaches conflicts with regional administrative styles, diminishing the effectiveness of information systems (Shea & Lewis, 1996; Raman & Watson, 1997). Sensitivity to cultural differences has been recognized as an important factor in the successful global deployment of information systems. Minor information management issues potentially resolvable through improved communication in the West often manifest as major challenges in a cross-cultural environment.

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