Cross-cultural network management: case study in connecting young Barents -network
Tiina Idström (2013)
The purpose of this thesis is to examine the reflections of cultural diversity on network management. The theoretical background of the research is in theories of cultural diversity and network management. As the basic theory of national cultures, I have used Hofstede’s cultural dimensions which are power–distance, individualism–collectivism, masculinity–femininity and avoidance of uncertainty. The main researchers on the field of network management are Agranoff and McGuire with their theory about collaborative management activities.
The research was conducted in a cross-cultural Connecting Young Barents –network which operates in the Barents region between Norway, Finland and Russia. The network is aiming at preventing youth outflow from the northern areas in the Barents region. The network consists of the steering group which organizes the activities and the youngsters who participate in them. Network management is often said to be different from traditional hierarchical management activities. Besides, cultural diversity is often seen to complicate management even more. Combining these two issues we can state that cross-cultural network management is challenging. Through this piece of research, I have examined how cultural diversity appears in regard to network management.
According to the empirical material and results of this study, the reflections of cultural diversity on network management are versatile. It was clear that it causes many disadvantages concerning for example language and communication. Also the organizational and socio-economical factors were seen to have affects. However, according to the results the challenges and negative factors weren’t seen as the most significant causes of cultural diversity. Most of all, cultural diversity was seen as a source of inspiration, innovation and learning.