This case study explored how some American firms establish collaborative relationships in China. The study suggests that a firm's success or failure may depend upon human assets—those skills, knowledge, and capabilities which are part of the firm's bundle of resources. The resource-based theory (RBT) theoretical framework outlines relationships between a firms' resources and factors that constitute success in the Chinese market. This qualitative case study examined the lived experiences of expatriates from three American firms operating in China. Study findings suggest that cultural knowledge and demonstrated understanding of the Chinese culture and history may be pivotal to achieving collaborative relationships and long-term sustained performance in China. The study identified specific pre-deployment training for expatriates that may help enhance their success. It also suggests that challenging collaboration are significant differences in communication styles between Chinese and American managers; i.e., one culture may engage in direct, overt dialogue, while the other engages in subtle, implied dialogue that is subject to misinterpretations. Several recommendations for future studies include exploration of other aspects of the resource-based theory and then comparing and contrasting the findings; studying larger Fortune 500 companies over a longer period of time; and the development of a data base to identify American firms whose collaborative initiatives in China have failed and succeeded.
|Subjects||Cultural resources management; Management; International relations|
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