Summary and Info
Cross-cultural knowledge management, an elusive yet consequential phenomenon, is becoming an increasingly essential factor in organizational practice and policy in the era of globalization. In order to overcome culturally shaped blind spots in conducting research in different settings, this volume highlights how the structuring of roles, interests, and power among different organizational elements, such as teams, departments, and management hierarchies (each comprised of members from different intellectual and professional backgrounds), generates various paradoxes and tensions that bring into play a set of dynamics that have an impact on learning processes. In this context, such questions often arise: How is knowledge shared in the multicultural organization? What problems and issues emerge? How do different mentalities affect people’s responses to new knowledge and new ideas? How can knowledge-sharing processes be improved? Under which conditions do ideas generated by units or groups of different cultural traditions have a chance of being heard and implemented?Such questions translate into an investigation of potential managerial dilemmas that occur when different but equally valid choices create tensions in decision making. The authors draw from experiences working with a wide variety of organizations, and insights from such fields as sociology and psychology, to shed new light on the dynamics of knowledge management in the multicultural enterprise. In so doing, they help to identify both obstacles to successful communication and opportunities to inspire creativity and foster collaboration. The authors note that in order to enable organizations to transfer knowledge effectively, mechanisms for dispute settlement, mediation of cultural conflict, and enforcing agreements need to be in place.