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Paper info: Understanding international networks through relationships:A cultural perspective


Understanding international networks through relationships:A cultural perspective


Akmal S Hyder

Place of Publication

The paper was published at the 24th IMP-conference in Uppsala, Sweden in 2008.


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Purpose - The aim of this research is to extend the network theory by integrating relationship with cultural differences and trust.Methodology - A thorough literature review has been conducted to propose a culturally based relationship framework. Further data has been collected through face-to-face interviews to exemplify the proposed relationship model in a Swedish-Egyptian context. Findings - Four types of relationships, i.e. formal, informal, direct and indirect, have been presented in combination with culture and trust. The presence and dominance of relationships have been suggested to have direct links with the cultural values of the host country people. Hofstede's 'cultural dimensions' in relation to trust are used to explain the formation of international relationships.Practical implications - To business managers, this research shows how they can build successful networks in the international markets by dealing with relationships from a cultural and trust viewpoint.Originality/value- This study makes a major contribution by extending international network theory through combining relationship, culture and trust. The IMP research has limited focus on the cultural perspective and therefore the role of culture affecting relationships remained unexplored. The present work discusses the role of culture and trust international market and explains how they affect formation and development of relationships in different cultural environments.