The Influence of Culture on Successful Cooperation
Edited by Jan Ulijn, Geert Duysters and Elise Meijer
Chapter 5: Cultural Differences and Homogeneity in Strategic Alliances: The Case of Trimo Trebnje (Slovenia) and Trimo VSK (Russia)
Metka Tekavčič, Vlado Dimovski, Darja Peljhan and Miha Škerlavaj INTRODUCTION Strategic alliances are a necessity for organizations to be successful: to survive in the dynamic surroundings of today, organizations need to give integrated and flexible solutions to consumers that can better be realized by cooperating with partners (Hagedoorn and Duysters, 2002). The label ‘strategic alliance’ has been used to denote a variety of interfirm relationships: from loose cooperation of independent partners, across joint ventures, acquisitions, towards mergers as the tightest form (Osborn and Hagedoorn, 1997). Despite abundance of their forms, strategic alliances often fail (Duysters et al, 1999; Kauser and Shaw, 2004). Cultural misfit has been recognized as one of the main reasons for such results (Duysters and Heimericks, 2004). Culture can be studied at various levels: national, professional and organizational (Hofstede, 1980, 1990; Ulijn and Weggeman, 2001). This chapter addresses the importance of cultural fit at the organizational level in the case of a Slovenian company from the construction industry and its Russian greenfield investment Trimo VSK (Russia), which has been established as a joint venture with Russian partners. Trimo Trebnje d.d. (Slovenia, hereafter Trimo) holds a 51 per cent stake in Trimo VSK and its Russian partners hold 49 per cent. Trimo was aware that in order to operate well within the Russian market, it was necessary to have a local, reputable partner, with particular knowledge of local conditions and market customs. Both companies are presented in more detail in the next section. Just as each individual...
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