Exploring the role of context and interpretative dynamics in large-scale cross-cultural collaborations Defended on Thursday, 8 June 2023

Contrary to how the majority of organizational research approaches the topic, organizations do not operate in a vacuum. Contexts in fact are an important part of cross-cultural collaboration. Though prior literature addresses the influence of cultural differences on cross-cultural management, the role of contexts is still under-theorized and seen as a given in this field of literature. However, different kinds of contexts can lead to different organizational activities and have further implications for research. Hostile contexts, for example, include societal criticisms towards certain groups of organizations and can further impact the decision-making processes of these organizations. It is fundamental, therefore, to gain insight into the ways in which contexts affect the processes of cross-cultural collaboration, how organizations interpret the contexts that they are embedded in, and how their interpretations in turn shape the contexts and further affect their practices.

This dissertation contributes to the existing literatures by foregrounding the overlooked but critical role of contexts and its interactions with actors’ interpretations. First, by looking into the micro-dynamics of institutional translation processes, this dissertation theorizes a more nuanced understanding of how translators interpret and react to hostility and how a hostile context interacts with the translation processes of organizations. Second, this dissertation contributes to the literature of megaprojects by emphasizing the impact of sociopolitical context and to the literature of framing by investigating the progressive interactions between discourses.


Cross-cultural management, hostile context, interpretative work, institutional translation, framing, discursive interactions

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