An analysis of the transfer process of management development practices within multinationals : case studies of two British-based multinationals' operations in Russia
The thesis presents a study of the process of transfer of management development (MD) practices within multinational companies (MNCs). The study examines the influence of context on the nature of MD processes in MNCs. It considers the influence of institutional context on the ways in which MD practices are transferred and received in MNCs, and identifies further factors shaping MD practices and their transfer process in MNCs. The findings challenge the notion that the transfer and structuring of MD around a system, which aims at the development of a homogeneous management cadre, is possible. The research focuses on the transfer of four MD practices - recruitment, training and development, career management, and rewards and appraisal from two British-based MNCs operating in the fast moving consumer goods sector to their Russian subsidiaries. The study involves qualitative comparative research into the behaviour of managers. The research identifies and analyses the MD models and MD practices being transferred to the subsidiaries and the influence of the institutional context on the structuring of MD practices. Longitudinal research of the Russian subsidiaries' internal dynamics following the transfer of management and MD practices from the parent company analyses the process of transfer and considers the ways in which practices transferred are received, resisted, misunderstood, and sustained in the subsidiaries. The thesis highlights the contextual embeddedness of MD processes and practices, and shows how MD practices in MNCs are structured by their national context. The research identifies how MD practices are also influenced by the business environment and the industrial sector, the history of the company, its organisational culture, and the management philosophy and organisation. The influence of the host country national context on the ways in which the transferred MD practices are received in the Russian subsidiaries is examined and the particular difficulty of transferring training and development and career management strategies is identified. Processes found to facilitate the transfer of practices include those that provide interpretations and create meaning surrounding the practices transferred. The thesis argues that work practices are more than just a series of separate techniques and that they also involve processes related to establishing relations and creating meaning.