briody6 - <CHAP_NUM>CHAPTER 6<\/CHAP_NUM> <CHAP_TTL>Partnering across Cultures<\/CHAP_TTL> <H1>PARTNERSHIP BASICS<\/H1> Partnering is at the heart of

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<CHAP_NUM> CHAPTER 6 </CHAP_NUM> <CHAP_TTL> Partnering across Cultures </CHAP_TTL> <H1> PARTNERSHIP BASICS </H1> Partnering is at the heart of global business and partnerships are the vehicle for bringing people, ideas, resources, and energy together. Partnering requires the participation of at least two parties in the pursuit of some shared goals and objectives. In this chapter we take a broad perspective on partnering and partnerships. Partnerships may be viewed as “organizations,” though their structure varies from one-on-one relationships between an entrepreneur and a supplier, to a network that consists of people filling several different roles, to a formal, legal entity such as a joint venture that draws on resources from parent firms. A large corporation might partner with two suppliers to develop a new composite material for sports equipment. An entrepreneur might partner with a family business to market and sell jewelry over the Internet. A consulting organization might partner with a client firm to help make its organizational culture more effective or augment its consumer base. Colleagues with different skill sets might partner to develop a crisis-management plan for their company. Representatives from several firms might work with a federal agency on the development of noncompetitive technologies. Thus, partnerships may take a variety of forms depending on the availability and experience of the key personnel, the contribution of resources, and the urgency and scale of the effort. Partnerships come with fundamental challenges—which often lead to conflict. Most partnerships fail due largely to cultural and organizational differences among the partners. Some of the obstacles to success include: status and power differences, intergroup dynamics, insufficient time spent in building trust relationships, knowledge flows and constraints on learning, misconceptions about the partner(s), inadequate effort and energy, and differences in management styles (see, e.g., Olie 1990; Meschi 1997; Jamali 2004; Thompson and Perry 2006). When the partners operate within the same organization as colleagues or team members, they share a common organizational culture, though they may come from different disciplinary backgrounds, have a range of expertise and experience, and be associated with particular functional areas. Contrast that situation with a partnership between a university and a community, a consultant and a global organization with offices in multiple locations around the 1
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world, or two organizations representing two different industries with headquarters in two different countries. Typically, as the cultural complexities increase, so do the challenges. Effective partnerships operate with the principle of collaboration at their core. They involve an ability to work together and problem solve. Participants in effective partnerships have built strong, healthy relationships with one another, many of which are associated with high levels of cooperation, commitment, and trust. Participants have worked hard to maintain the synergy that they have developed. Without a strong relational base, it would not be possible to
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