As noted, the international operations will be controlled locally. The local partner will have significant input. Even when Solar Solutions has controlling interest, it is likely that a Saudi from the joint venture partner will run the subsidiary. The U.S. office is likely only to provide oversight. It is expected, however, that the U.S. will lend control techniques to the Saudi operation. The United States has robust accounting, auditing and control management techniques that can add value to the organization. In particular, managerial accounting techniques such as budgets and variance analysis will be utilized as control mechanisms for the subsidiary in Saudi Arabia.
The company will need to develop a cross-national ethics and social responsibility code. These are values that will transcend borders and be an integral part of the culture of Solar Solutions. Thus, they need to apply to all of the company's operations. There is the risk that an ethics or values statement, or a social responsibility guideline, might seem strange to a Saudi person, but when working for an American company, it should be expected that at least some American values will be used in the running of the company. The company's policies should emphasize things that are especially related to sales, such as honesty, fair dealing, not having any biases about race or gender, and other such policies. In general, Arabs are ethical people, but the fine print of the company ethics policy and social responsibility program might require some additional training. It is important to remember that reputation is just as important there as it is in the U.S., so it will not be a tough sell to institute the U.S. ethics program in Saudi Arabia.
Culture is important to an international organization. One of the key elements is that the corporate culture must be strong enough that, when necessary, it supersedes the national cultures at work. In this case, the corporate culture is going to predominantly reflect American values, and this needs to be crafted and fostered in such a way that it remains valuable to international business and compatible with cultures like that of Saudi Arabia that might be very different. The company needs to have a clear sense of what it wants from its culture and how it will ensure that cultural values are upheld by the company's managers and employees. It is also worth noting that there are unique cultural elements to joint ventures, being that two different companies are each contributing their own cultures to the joint venture. From that perspective, the two companies have to consider when they begin the venture what that culture will look like and how it will borrow from each partner. As well, individual cultures matter when there are significant cultural differences among employees and managers. Each manager needs to be sensitive to what these differences are, how they might manifest in the workplace and how such differences can best be resolved.
IT plays an important role in management and control especially. In an organization like this, it networks provide the ability for all in the organization to work together on issues and to communicate with each other. Further, the it network will help mangers to monitor their workers, and the performance of the organization as a whole. Thus, for this sales organization, the it function is largely one that seeks to provide information and manage its flow throughout the organization. To a lesser extent, it will be involved in the research and development process, as the company will seek to compete by developing new technologies.
The role that it plays with respect to culture can also be important. It systems, because they foster communication, can be used to disseminate cultural norms, legend and icons, and also can exposure employees in foreign locations to American training and to the corporate culture that is expected of the organization.
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