The Razor's edge: Managing MNC affiliates in Iran

Soltani, Ebrahim; Wilkinson, Adrian
October 2011
Journal of World Business;Oct2011, Vol. 46 Issue 4, p462
Academic Journal
Abstract: Much has been written on the nature of international assignees� experiences of managing Multinational Corporation (MNC) affiliates in the context of Western economies. This study aims to broaden the debate and elucidate these issues in the largely overlooked region of Middle East with a particular focus on Iran. Data from six MNC affiliates across two high growth global industries reveals that the nature of international assignees� experiences can be explained in terms of desirable, indifference, and undesirable effects of managing MNC affiliates. Specifically, it was found that the international assignees� perceptions of managing MNC affiliates were formed prior to their appointments. Furthermore, while conformance to headquarter (HQ) managerial orientations was seen to serve as a proxy for earlier desirable experiences of these international assignees, their current performance was seen to deteriorate by the need to fully comply with the HQ''s way of doing things. Together, these findings support the view that the degree of congruence or fit between, on the one hand, the HQ and international assignees� orientations, and on the other hand, between the international assignees and the host country culture could have implications for the success or failure of the international assignees in the context of Iranian-based MNCs. Finally, the paper concludes with implications and lessons for policy makers, practitioners and academics.


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