Culturally diverse collaborations: a focus on communication and shared understanding

Vangen, Siv (2016). Culturally diverse collaborations: a focus on communication and shared understanding. Public Management Review pp. 1–21.

DOI: https://doi.org/10.1080/14719037.2016.1209234

Abstract

This paper explores communication and shared understanding in culturally diverse collaborations. It draws on empirical research involving a large UK organization that collaborates with many public, private and not-for-profit organizations located in many different countries across Africa, Asia, Europe and the USA. Through analysis located in a ‘culture paradox’, it proposes a multifaceted account of cultural diversity which has implications for how communication and shared understanding in culturally diverse collaborations may be understood and managed. It develops two specific management tensions pertaining to ‘developing cultural sensitivity’ and ‘designing communication processes’. These tensions explicate the complexity of culturally diverse contexts and highlight pertinent trade-offs and compromises that may enhance a collaboration’s ability to yield advantage rather than inertia.

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