1 Going global: How to succeed in International Business! (29 pages)

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18 Global Management: A dance with icebergs

Identity: Identity refers to a

person’s self-perception, a sense of

who we are and what we think about ourselves and our own abili-
ties. Who am I? How do I see myself? Am I a self-

confident ‘do-

er’? Am I a leader? Do I know how things work, and can I dele-
gate accordingly? Am I extroverted or am I rather more introvert-
ed? Do I know my own strengths and weaknesses? In the same
way that the internalization of core cultural values are influenced
by childhood experiences, socialization and education, they also
play a decisive role in the formation of an indi

vidual’s identity.

Spirituality: Spirituality refers to the connection with something

that is beyond the physical world. Spiritual belief systems and reli-
gion fall under this rubric as well as social units such as the family,
or socially constructed units such as a company or a country. Do I
feel that I belong to the team or to the company? The Chinese, for
example, feel utmost responsibility first to family and former col-
leagues, and only then, much further below in hierarchy, toward
the company. This of course influences their thinking and behav-
ior. The local Managing Director of a foreign subsidiary in China
will demonstrate clear favoritism in appointing family members and
previous work colleagues when recruiting for lucrative positions,
something that is perceived more as nepotism by indignant West-
ern superiors. From the perspective of the Chinese manager,
however, he is simply following the Chinese tradition of loyalty and
furthermore, acting in the best interest of the company by sur-
rounding himself with a team who he knows and who he can trust.
In Austria, it is also fairly common that managers use their per-
sonal networks, often developed during university, to develop
teams. In English parlance, it is often referred to as cronyism or

‘old boys’ network’. Personal relationships and business rela-

tionships are not entirely separate.

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