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Subject Is corporate culture a mechanism facilitating conflict management in multicultural teams?
Antonia Garcia-Cabrera, M del Pino Medina-Brito & Silvia Sosa Cabrera; Universidad de Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, Spain
Outline The increased globalisation of the economy, and the consequent rise in the number of multinational companies operating in that environment, has motivated academics in extending the research developed in the human resources management field to that new setting. The diversity of national cultures in this context has been cited as the variable most capable of influencing the behaviour and attitudes of employees within the multinational company, and consequently the interactions that take place there. More specifically, the national values of each individual tend to prevail in those interactions. This becomes more marked when there are no shared corporate values that provide a communion of interpretative schemes and behavioural outlines that are valid in the context of the multinational company.
Our review of the literature revealed significant agreement about the positive effect of the capacity of communication and cooperation between individuals of different nationalities. In this work, we follow those approaches that conceive conflict as a reality that vitalises all human groups and that believe that the key that generates positive or negative effects is the capability to manage it. In turn, that capability is affected by how the human resources management handles that diversity. These approaches become more noticeable in the context of work-teams, due to the close interrelationship and mutual dependence that occurs among their members.
On the basis of the above arguments, the objective of this work is to analyse of the potential of corporate culture to facilitate conflict management in teams formed of individuals of different nationalities. To that end, we structure the work in three different sections. Firstly, we carry out a theoretical review that develops the previously outlined approach. In the second part of the work, we deal with the methodology used to test the hypotheses. Finally, we present the results of the statistical analyses performed and the conclusions drawn. 
Source Paper presented at the 5th conference on human resource development research and practice across Europe: International, comparative and cross-cultural dimensions of HRD. University of Limerick, 27-28 May 2004 (Abstract; full paper incl. in CD-ROM).
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