Cultural dimensions in the establishment of international business relationships: Russian business culture from the perspective of Finnish SMEs
Tiira, Kaisa (2007)
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This study aims to examine the influence of national culture in creating business relationships as part of internationalization process of Finnish SMEs in Russia. Based on theoretical literature view business relationship and network creation in internationalisation process seems to be especially important to SMEs (Laine and Kock 2004). According to Håkansson and Snehota’s (1995) ARA-model business relationships consist of factors in three layers where actor-bonds have most influence (Skaates 2000); actors are crucial for establishment of social capital, which enables the commitment of business partners (Cohen and Prusak 1992). Furthermore influences of national culture to business relationship creation were examined through Hofstedes (1997) cultural dimensions combining alternative cultural dimension-frameworks (for instance Matveev and Nelson 2004). It was discovered that differences in cultural dimensions seem to effect crucially to the success of business relationships creation (Dipper and Harris 1999; Carr 2002) and that Finland and Russia differ significantly in three cultural dimensions (Hofstede 1997; Elenkov 1997). Empirical research was to follow; purpose was to find out do the theoretical propositions respond to the experiences of the Finnish SMEs using comprehensive case study data. Semistructured interviews were conducted with four Finnish SME-managers operating in Russia. As a result, Russian business culture was covered from a Finnish SME point of view. It was found that empirical results supported theoretical presumptions of business relationship, network creation and use of informal relationships in this process having a central meaning to Finnish SMEs success in Russian business.