Cross-culture compatible leadership strategies for international joint venture success in Botswana Manufacturing Industry
Leadership plays a key role in management’s ability to impact the sustainability of international joint ventures (IJVs). Due to cultural diversity among IJVs’ leaders and partners, these organisations experience cross-cultural challenges that require adaptable leadership qualities and styles to ensure sustainability. The purpose of this study is to present empirical research on cross-cultural compatible leadership strategies for IJVs success in Botswana manufacturing industry, with partners from emerging economies (India, China and South Africa). The main research question was “what are the cross-cultural compatible leadership strategies within Botswana manufacturing IJVs with partners from the emerging markets which fall under the BRICS economies?”. The introduction and background to the problem is discussed in Chapter 1. Leadership in IJVS is discussed in Chapter 2, while cross-culture in IJVS is discussed in Chapter 3. Based on a mixed method approach, a structured questionnaire and semi-structured interviews were used. Data was collected in 48 IJVS in Botswana manufacturing. Four managers from each of the 48 IJVs (total 192) were requested to complete the questionnaire. In an effort to verify and expand the research results and to provide deeper insights, interviews were conducted with IJV managers through purposive sampling. Qualitative data collection stopped at eight participants due to data saturation. Quantitative data indicated how leadership qualities and styles influence IJVs’ cultural values, norms, and artefacts. Grounded theory principles were adopted for qualitative data analysis and yielded six themes: leadership practice, communication, values and norms, planning, knowledge management and employee morale. Research design and methodology are discussed in Chapter 4, while research results and findings are discussed in Chapters 5 and 6. In Chapter 7 the results and findings in this study are discussed, while Chapter 8 deals with the major contributions of the study. The major contributions of this study are: the sustainability of IJVs has been supported by top level expatriate IJV leaders with many years of cross-border experience. There are more male IJV leaders for both Batswana (70.9%) and expatriate (other) groups (86.7%) compared to females for Batswana (22.3%) and expatriate groups (6.7%). The study found that cross-cultural leadership qualities and styles are significantly positively related to IJVs’ cultural values, norms, dimensions and artefacts, thereby enhancing organisational sustainability. Results further confirmed the existence of cross-culture compatible leadership qualities and styles promoting IJVs’ sustainability. Cross culture compatible leadership qualities and cultural values were evident as internal communication, risk taking and inter-functional cooperation are significantly positively related to both Batswana and expatriate IJVs’ leaders’ leadership qualities. Botho is evident among all IJVs’ leaders as they generally demonstrate characteristics of humility, respect, and observance of domestic traditional values. Leaders in Batswana-Indian owned IJVs demonstrate more altruistic and selective social capital values, whereas leaders in Batswana-Chinese owned IJVs demonstrate industrious and harmonious commitment values while leaders of IJVs with Batswana-South African partners are welcoming, hardworking, and mentioned IJVs’ visions as their rallying point. Openness and flexibility, competence and professionalism, internal communication, risk taking, employee responsibilities and appreciation and inter-functional cooperation are significantly positively related to both Batswana and expatriate IJVs’ leadership resulting in cross-cultural leadership qualities-cultural norms compatibility. Assertiveness, collectivism in-group and performance orientation dimensions of culture are significantly positively related to both Batswana and expatriate IJVs’ leadership qualities leading to cross-cultural leadership compatibility. Flexibility is significantly positively related to both Batswana and expatriate leaders resulting in cross-cultural leadership qualities-cultural artefacts compatibility. Transformational, global and authentic (tag) leadership styles are significantly related to IJVs’ cultural values, norms, dimensions and artefacts. Results as verified by the qualitative findings found that Botswana IJVs sustainability is mostly due to transformational authentic and global (tag) leadership styles. Furthermore this study practically contributes towards cross-cultural compatible leadership strategies through six stages of the IJV life cycle: 1. Pre-planning, 2. Partner assessment and selection, 3.Structuring the IJV, 4. Managing the IJV, 5. Re-evaluating the IJV and 6.IJV Termination. Chapter 7 also deals with conclusions and recommendations for possible future research and practice in the field of IJVs’ leadership.