Cultural Differences and International Business Cooperation
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Publish date: 2014-04-30
Gospodarka Narodowa 2014;270(2):125–152
The aim of the article is to analyse some aspects of international cooperation of companies operating in different cultural environments. Polish companies collaborating with partners from China and Germany were taken as examples in the research. The article reviews theoretical concepts concerning business relationships and the typologies of national cultures most often used in comparative analyses in the field. Next the results of earlier research on the national cultures of Poland, China and Germany are presented to prove that the three countries belong to different cultures. Literature studies helped to formulate several hypotheses based on the question whether business relationships depend on the country of origin of the parties involved and on the direction of the cooperation (export/import). The hypotheses were next verified in the field research of the sample of 280 companies with a CATI technique. Later the research results are a subject to a more general discussion. On the basis of the discussion, among others, some suggestions as to further research in the field are presented in the final part of the article. Only some of the hypotheses on the relationships between certain aspects of the companies’ cooperation and their cultural background were confirmed. Substantial differences in the business relationships of the Polish companies with their Chinese and German counterparts apply only to the risk and the flexibility. The exporters differ from the importers in the perceived similarity to the partner. To conclude, both the country of origin and the direction of their operations are the factors diversifying the business relationships to a limited degree.