School of Management
University Utara Malaysia
In the first section, an introduction of trends in the formation of international joint venture and the underlying relevance of marriage metaphor are presented. Then, the next section highlights on two main concepts used in the paper – culture and IJV. The fundamental part of this paper is the discussion of the delicate topic of cultural differences and how it could impact the success of international joint ventures by using the Hall´s (1977) communication theory – high and low context elements. The theory will also be discussed along with a pragmatic case of an established multinational company based in the US which has a wholly owned subsidiary in Japan. An interview was established with the Former Vice President of International Marketing Division. This case provides interesting insights about cross –cultural differences between the Western and Eastern countries. Consequently, with references to the cultural differences, the final part consists of two discussions: (i) the challenges of selecting partners and communicating effectively, and (ii) the suggestions on how to overcome those challenges and thus manage IJVs.
KEY WORDS: national culture, international joint ventures, Hall´s contextual elements, cultural distance, communication.