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Title: International management : the dilemmas of distance
Author: Goodall, K.
Awarding Body: University of Cambridge
Current Institution: University of Cambridge
Date of Award: 2000
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This is a qualitative study of the work of the international manager. After a brief introduction the work beings with a review of the academic literature on the multinational corporation and its management, tracing the shift over time from a focus on formal mechanisms of co-ordination and control, to inform mechanisms. This review includes a critique of Bartlett and Ghoshal's influential analysis of the transnational, and Nohria and Ghoshal's development of this work. Within the existing literature a defining feature of the multinational is held to be the need to work across distance. Despite the centrality of distance, it is argued that there has been little attempt within the MNC literature to conceptualise distance. The next chapter attempts to remedy this by drawing on elements of Giddens' analysis of time-space distanciation. Giddens looks at distance in terms of the interplay of presence and absence; offering a typology of co-presence, presence availability, and (technologically) mediated co-presence. The related importance of treating the manager as a 'knowledge agent' is also discussed here. The critique of the existing treatment of informal mechanisms of co-ordination and control within the MNC literature, together with Giddens' conceptual framework for understanding the social nature of distance, forms the theoretical basis for the analysis of the fieldwork. This is then reported in three chapters, offering case-based analyses of the experiences of each manager in operating at and over distance. A fourth chapter gives a headquarters perspective on the dilemmas of distance, and further illuminates the situations of the three managers. There is then an analysis of the four empirical chapters in which a framework of 'first-order' concepts for the resolution of dilemmas of distance is developed. The dynamic interplay between patronage, networking, and the development of a trackrecord is explored. This analysis is then compared back to both the MNC literature, and Giddens, and the earlier critique is elaborated in the light of the empirical findings. It is claimed that while Giddens' framework is of value in the analysis of the cases, it is not wholly adequate, and must be further supplemented by drawing on Heidegger's notion of 'remoteness'.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available