Translation of a Western management practice into an emerging market

Virpi Outila (Speaker)

Activity: Talk or presentation typesConference presentation

Description

This paper explores how a Western management practice – employee empowerment – is translated in an emerging market, Russia. Drawing on Scandinavian institutionalism we aim at shedding light on how local actors translate this practice and how its meaning changes when it travels from a Western HQ to a subsidiary in Russia. The case study shows that Russian managers and employees used proverbs in order to make sense of empowerment. They resorted to proverbs as a means to explain their views and express similarities, differences and tensions between Western and Russian understanding of empowerment. Our research finds that in Russia employee empowerment is characterised by managerial control that aims at supporting employees and preventing them from making mistakes, which leads to punishment. This stands in sharp contrast to the Western understanding of employee empowerment. We adopt a novel language-sensitive approach to translation as an on-going process and underscore proverbs in theorizing about empowerment in the tradition of Scandinavian institutionalism.
Period2 Jul 20175 Jul 2017
Event titleANNUAL MEETING OF THE ACADEMY OF INTERNATIONAL BUSINESS
Event typeConference
Degree of RecognitionInternational

Keywords

  • international human resource management
  • cross-cultural management
  • Russia