A Cultural Perspective
Chapter 11: Cultural variations in technology transfer and knowledge management
Consider the case of the largest automobile company in the world, that is, Toyota, Incorporated of Japan, located near Tokyo. As a truly global company (that is the way they like to be known and promote themselves) it has major manufacturing units in Georgetown and Kentucky in the US, Sao Paulo in Brazil, and in India and France. It has sales offices and R & D centers in numerous countries of the WTO. As we discussed in Chapter 1, managing a global organization of the complexity of Toyota, Inc. is no easy task. Among many operations involved in the management of multinational–global organizations, the management of transferring various types of technologies and organizational knowledge across nations and cultures is of crucial importance. Global companies such as Toyota, Sony, Samsung, Microsoft, Siemens, and Pfizer, Inc. are routinely confronted with questions such as: “How do we create new forms of technologies that are needed in manufacturing subsidiaries in emerging economies like the BRIC countries?” “How do we successfully transfer knowledge created in the central R & D location in Toyota to other subsidiaries located in various countries and continents?” “How do we transfer effective marketing and sales strategies developed in the headquarter country to other growth-oriented markets like India, Brazil, and so on?”
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