Sreenivas, Meghna S
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PublicationTowards an Equilibrium of Cultural Synergy: Evaluating Anticipated and Experienced Cultural Distance Differences in Expatriate-Local Employee Relational Dynamics(2020-05-04) Sreenivas, Meghna SExtensive research has considered cross-cultural difference at the national level. However, little research has explored the relational manifestation of cross-cultural differences through the context of the multinational organization setting. This study considers the frequently-utilized global strategy model of expatriates within the broader organizational culture at the subsidiary. Through this model, we consider the differences between the experienced and anticipated cultural distance between an individual employee and expatriate of two different countries. Specifically, we consider the moderating and downstream effects of the expatriate and subsidiary employees’ individual behaviors on the multinational organization’s effectiveness. We propose four cultural outcomes: cultural standstills, cultural authenticity, cultural facades, and cultural synergy. We suggest that unilateral or bilateral accommodations bring the expatriate and local employees’ cultures closer to an equilibrium of ‘cultural synergy,’ in which the subsidiary’s culture is convergent and shared between the individual employees and the expatriate. Further, we discuss the various manifestations of cultural synergy, which have both, positive and negative long-term implications on the firm. Finally, we discuss the practical implications of such moderators and consequences in global strategy decisions for management executives and human relations decision-makers.