A Knowledge Perspective on Ambicultural Management
Gaining access to markets, natural resources and technological expertise, and learning from local marketing and management knowledge and skills have been identified as the main factors behind Chinese firms’ foreign direct investments. An extensive body of literature explores most of these factors, yet learning from local management skills and practices remains conceptually and empirically underexplored. In parallel, there are general calls for adopting an ‘ambicultural management’ approach (AM), a superior style of management suitable for the current global economic crisis, to combine the positive aspects of the Western and Eastern management practices, while discarding their negative characteristics (see Chen & Miller, 2010, 2011). However, in AM Eastern and Western management practices are assumed to be rather distinct and acontextual. This paper enhances ambicultural management’s explanatory power by drawing on some theories from knowledge management and argues that the adapted AM becomes a useful and conceptually robust framework for exploring the extent to which Chinese firms learn from, and influence, the local management knowledge and skills of their overseas subsidiaries in Western countries.