Management and Marketing - Research Publications

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    The effect of organisational factors on the transfer of human resource management practices: European and US MNCs and their Greek subsidiaries
    MYLONI, B. ; HARZING, A. ; MIRZA, H. (International Conference on International Human Resource Management, 2005)
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    The language barrier and its implications for HQ-subsidiary relationships
    Harzing, AW ; Feely, AJ (Emerald, 2008-02-08)
    Purpose This paper intends to open up the debate on the influence of language on the way multinational companies manage their subsidiary operations. Design/methodology/approach The authors explain the importance of the field and expose a dearth of prior research. Subsequently, they define the “language barrier” and elaborate on the causes underlying this barrier, drawing on social identity theory. Findings The authors we propose an integrative model that consists of two coupled vicious cycles: the communications cycle – composed of the eight aspects of the language barrier – and the management cycle. Research limitations/implications This contribution to an otherwise ignored field of business study should be considered only a first step in opening up a new research agenda. Specialists in each of the fields touched upon are invited to make a contribution to the debate. Practical implications The management cycle suggests implications of the language barrier for various aspects of the HQ‐subsidiary relationship: strategic decision‐making, organization and personnel selection, global integration strategies, and autonomy and control procedures. Originality/value This paper uses socio‐linguistic theory to define and elaborate on the construct of the language barrier, a construct which is believed will be helpful in furthering research on the impact of language‐difference on multinational management.
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    Arbitrary decisions in ranking studies: A commentary on Xu, Yalcinkaya, and Seggie (2008)
    Harzing, AW (Springer Science and Business Media LLC, 2008-12-01)
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    Geographical distance and the role and management of subsidiaries: The case of subsidiaries down-under
    Harzing, AW ; Noorderhaven, N (Springer Science and Business Media LLC, 2006-06-01)
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    Knowledge-sharing and social interaction within MNEs
    Noorderhaven, N ; Harzing, A-W (PALGRAVE MACMILLAN LTD, 2009-06-01)
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    The role of international assignees' social capital in creating inter-unit intellectual capital: A cross-level model
    Reiche, BS ; Harzing, A-W ; Kraimer, ML (PALGRAVE MACMILLAN LTD, 2009-04-01)
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    Response styles in cross-national survey research: A 26-country study
    Harzing, AW (SAGE Publications, 2006-12-01)
    Studies of attitudes across countries generally rely on a comparison of aggregated mean scores to Likert-scale questions. This presupposes that when people complete a questionnaire, their answers are based on the substantive meaning of the items to which they respond. However, people's responses are also influenced by their response style. Hence, the studies we conduct might simply reflect differences in the way people respond to surveys, rather than picking up real differences in management phenomena across countries. Our 26-country study shows that there are major differences in response styles between countries that both confirm and extend earlier research. Country-level characteristics such as power distance, collectivism, uncertainty avoidance and extraversion all significantly influence response styles such as acquiescence and extreme response styles. Further, English-language questionnaires are shown to elicit a higher level of middle responses, while questionnaires in a respondent's native language result in more extreme response styles. Finally, English-language competence is positively related to extreme response styles and negatively related to middle response styles. We close by discussing implications for cross-national research.
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    Does the use of English-language questionnaires in cross-national research obscure national differences?
    Harzing, AW (SAGE Publications, 2005-12-01)
    Cross-national research is plagued by many obstacles. This article focuses on one of these obstacles: the fact that research in more than one country usually involves respondents with different native languages. We investigated whether the language of the questionnaire influences response patterns. More specifically we tested whether responding in a common language (English) leads to a homogenization of responses across countries, hence obscuring national differences. We tested this hypothesis with a sample of 3419 undergraduate students in 24 countries. Half the students in each country received an English-language questionnaire, while the other half received the same questionnaire in their native language. Three types of questions were included in the questionnaire: questions about cultural norms and values, questions about characteristics of the ideal type of jobs that students would prefer after graduation, and questions about the reasons for choosing particular electives in their studies. Differences across countries were considerably smaller for nearly all questions when the English-language questionnaire was used. Consequences and recommendations for cross-national research and management are discussed.