Published: 1991

Author: Kati Laine-Sveiby

In international corporations there is a built-in tension between national identity and international ambitions. These are the situations that I have focused on.

Internationality is an essential part of the company image, and the managements are socialised into their role through international management theories. But at the same time future managen internalise the social patterns, the role models etc. of their own home society. This means that in companies there is a certain universal "objectivity" based on the fact that companies as phenomena are international. But this "objectivity" is parallelled by another "objectivity", namely nationally relevant knowledge, based on nationally valid and specific experiences. This tension is present in any cross-cultural contact on managerial level. but there seem to be certain situations where the layer of mutual understanding is thinner than it otherwise would be.