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Consideration of National Culture in B2B Supply Chains: What national cultural factors are considered in supply chain management by companies in practice and what are their relations?
Linnaeus University, School of Business and Economics, Department of Marketing. Bern University of Applied Sciences BFH.
2019 (English)Independent thesis Basic level (degree of Bachelor), 10 credits / 15 HE creditsStudent thesis
Abstract [en]

Anderson, et al. (1994) have outlined the importance of bilateral relationships in business-to-business (B2B) marketing environments and thus the understanding of the business network context within which they are embedded. Through the globalization, this understanding has even gained in importance due to the increased challenges arising from working across cultural and national borders. However, culture in Supply Chain Management (SCM) is an underresearched area so far. This thesis has as a purpose to investigate the research question “What national cultural factors are considered in supply chain management by companies in practice and what are their relations?”. Furthermore, it was aimed at comparing the downstream (client) SCM side to the upstream (supplier) side.This thesis applied a quantitative approach in combination with a cross-sectional research design. An online survey was conducted using as a sample the 195-member companies of Ljungby Business Arena. In addition, responses were also collected through the snowball method. Based on the analysis of the survey results the following main findings were revealed:

  • Not all national cultural factors mentioned in theory are considered in SCM by enterprises in practice. Language skills was in up- and downstream the most considered factor.
  • The national cultural factors among themselves are correlated in different directions and at varying degrees of strength.
  • Cultural distance only yielded positive correlations to the national cultural factors in the downstream side but not in the upstream side.
  • Differences between up- and downstream SCM with regard to the consideration of national cultural factors exist; the downstream side considers (seen over all factors) culture more.

The main theoretical implications are that also material dimensions of culture should be considered in theory and that due to the differences in up- and downstream SCM maybe different models for each side should be developed. For companies, the findings have shown that employees do not consider all factors of national culture and that they are rather free in their decisions on how to interact with foreign clients respectively suppliers. Thus, enterprises should train and sensitize their employees more to help them adapt to the different national cultural factors during their interactions. Moreover, companies might think about introducing more guidelines, which, however, still leave space for adaptation towards the individual clients and suppliers.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2019. , p. 100
Keywords [en]
national culture, culture, B2B, business-to-business, marketing, industrial marketing, SCM, SC, supply chain management, supply chain
National Category
Business Administration
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:lnu:diva-86223OAI: oai:DiVA.org:lnu-86223DiVA, id: diva2:1335690
Subject / course
Business Administration - Marketing
Educational program
International Sales and Marketing, 180 credits
Supervisors
Examiners
Available from: 2019-07-08 Created: 2019-07-06 Last updated: 2019-07-08Bibliographically approved

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