Does culture explain managerial effectiveness: a qualitative study in Mexico whether culture is influencing differences in managerial effectiveness between Mexican managers and western expatriates

Buter, S.G.H. (2012) Does culture explain managerial effectiveness: a qualitative study in Mexico whether culture is influencing differences in managerial effectiveness between Mexican managers and western expatriates.

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Abstract:In this report a study is presented about how culture is influencing managerial effectiveness. Due to continuing globalization and as a result of increasing international competition more and more companies have started to operate internationally and became multinational companies (MNCs). To maximize the effectiveness of these MNCs, multinational firms ought to investigate whether culture explain differences in managerial effectiveness between expatriates and home country managers (HCMs). This research takes place in Mexico and focuses on western expatriates and home country managers from Mexico. The intention of this study is to find whether culture explains differences in managerial effectiveness between western expatriates in Mexico and host-country managers. The scope of this study is to seek for determinants and is limited to 2 areas and/or actors: the western expatriate manager (e.g. an expatriate manger that leads a team in Mexico, is working in Mexico lat least one year, has more than three year experience in managing employees and is originally from a western country) and the host-country manager (e.g. an originally born Mexican that leads a team in Mexico and has more than three year experience in managing employees in Mexico). The following central research question serves as the basis of this study: To what extent does culture explain differences in managerial effectiveness between western expatriates in Mexico and home-country managers? A research model is proposed to reflect the relationships between managerial effectiveness, culture, the western expatriate and the home country manager. Managerial effectiveness is divided into 5 dimensions (Grosse, 2001) including: managing and leading, interpersonal relationships, knowledge and initiative, success orientation and contextually adept. The research question is examined by means of an analyses of qualitative data that is collected via face-to-face interviews. The analysis is executed using NVIVO 9.0, a qualitative data analysis computer software package where deep levels of analysis on small or large volumes of data are required. NVIVO is designed for qualitative researches . The sample of this study consists of 20 participants. 10 western expatriates that is liven on a temporary base in Mexico longer than one year, should have at least 3 years experience in managing people and should communicate in a sufficient level of English and 10 HCMs that are working in Mexico, with at least 3 years working experience and communicate in a sufficient level of English. The results indicate that the Mexican culture is very different compared to the culture of the western expatriates and that these differences are affecting the managerial effectiveness. The results of the interviews indicate that this can be explained by two factors: the personal culture of the two groups and the cultural history of the responsible countries. Regarding the personal culture, the difference in how the respondents grew up is important. It became clear from the interviews that the HCMs grew up in a more hierarchical environment than the western expatriates. This resulted in a different way of working, HCMs like to work in a hierarchical company structure whereas western expatriates enjoy to work in a flat company structure. Furthermore, there are differences regarding the personal characteristics of the two groups. HCMs consider themselves as relaxed, loyal and creative with a focus on traditions, hospitality and relationships. The western expatriates see themselves as tolerant, straight to the point and analytical with a focus on trust and decision making. III Most of the findings reinforce and extent current knowledge. However this study did not support that Mexicans are indirect and will not give a straight answer (Adler, 1998). Following the results of the interview the HCM is using a more direct approach compared to the western expatriate. Moreover, results are indicative that western managers agree that western managers in Mexico are people that live to work and see leisure time as a reward for hard work (Kras, 1997). Also, the author mentions that it is common to distribute responsibility and authority among their employees. In this study, the western expatriates state that it is unusual to distribute responsibilities and authority among their employees. The results of this study can be used for HCMs, western expatriates and organizations in Mexico (both national and multinational). The HCM and the western expatriate can use this study to reflect their managerial characteristics with the key issues of managerial effectiveness and try to create an ideal mix of these characteristics to be as effective as possible. Organizations in Mexico can profit from this study to seek employees with the key characteristics needed. This study can help them in the choice between a HCM and a western expatriate. This study can be generalized across South-American countries. But since the focus lies on Mexican managers and western expatriates in Mexico, replication of this study in a different South-American country could elucidate on this. Some implications for future research are proposed. This study focused on managers working in different companies, it is also interesting to perform a case study on this subject and to see whether the differences within one company are similar to that of several companies. Second it is also useful for future studies to examine cultural similarities, not cultural differences. Finally, we urge to investigate the same study using female managers and to analyze differences in results compared to this study.
Item Type:Essay (Master)
Clients:
Tecnologico de Monterrey
Faculty:BMS: Behavioural, Management and Social Sciences
Subject:85 business administration, organizational science
Programme:Business Administration MSc (60644)
Link to this item:http://purl.utwente.nl/essays/61445
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