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Journal cover: Leadership & Organization Development Journal

Leadership & Organization Development Journal

ISSN: 0143-7739
Incorporates: Participation and Empowerment: An International Journal

Online from: 1980

Subject Area: Organization Studies

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Inter-organizational relationship strategies and management styles in SMEs: The US-China-Russia study

Document Information:
Title:Inter-organizational relationship strategies and management styles in SMEs: The US-China-Russia study
Author(s):Andrei Mikhailitchenko, (Cleveland State University, Cleveland, Ohio, USA and CEO, Continent Ltd), William J. Lundstrom, (Cleveland State University, Cleveland, Ohio, USA)
Citation:Andrei Mikhailitchenko, William J. Lundstrom, (2006) "Inter-organizational relationship strategies and management styles in SMEs: The US-China-Russia study", Leadership & Organization Development Journal, Vol. 27 Iss: 6, pp.428 - 448
Keywords:Channel relationships, Cross-cultural studies, International business, Management styles, Small enterprises, Strategic alliances
Article type:Research paper
DOI:10.1108/01437730610687737 (Permanent URL)
Publisher:Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Purpose – The paper seeks to investigate and conceptualize differences in managerial styles and inter-organizational relationship (IOR) strategies of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in the international environment, and make managerial implications useful for business practitioners and educators.

Design/methodology/approach – The study applies comparative management research methodology. The management style dimensions analyzed in the paper are supervision, decision making, information-sharing styles, and paternalistic orientation. The types of IOR strategies considered are conjugate, confederate, agglomeratic, and organic. Data were collected through surveying managers of entrepreneurial firms from the USA, China, and Russia, operating in the same industry. Factor analysis was applied for scale validation, and regression models were used for hypotheses testing.

Findings – The relationship between managerial styles and types of IOR strategies pursued by SMEs was documented. The cross-cultural differences in terms of SMEs' orientation towards different types of IOR were also revealed.

Practical implications – The study indicated that it is possible to predict prevailing IOR strategies based on cultural differences in a systematic way. Because of SMEs' rapid globalization, the study findings contribute to the efforts of achieving better correspondence between IOR-building strategies of small businesses in different countries. Educational and training programs preparing international SME managers to distinguish, substantiate and deal with the revealed cross-cultural IOR differences will be helpful for achieving this goal.

Originality/value – The major value of the study is that it provides insight into IORs from the small business perspective in a cross-cultural setting.

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