This article considers power inequality in the context of cross-cultural organizational learning. A qualitative study of five Japanese subsidiaries operating in the People's Republic of China revealed that the Japanese had invested considerable effort into replicating and reinforcing the corporate values, norms, policies and collective learning practices from their home country. Through control of organizational resources and through all-embracing culture transformation programmes, they had leveraged their dominant power to standardize the social construction of collective learning processes and impose these upon the local Chinese. It is noted that these programmes raise the spectre of de-culturalization, namely, removal of Chinese identity and cloning of Japanese identity, and pass opportunities to implement alternative programmes based on libertarian education philosophies that could drive a bilaterally negotiated approach to cross-cultural integration.
- Cross-cultural management
- Organizational learning
- Social construction perspective