Making Sense of Culture in Management: Qualitative Sensemaking Approach in Explaining Cross-Cultural Business Networking


Business today is increasingly global, requiring entrepreneurs and managers aiming to internationalize their enterprises to develop and foster business network relationships. Therefore, business researchers have often focused on the role that networks have in business relationships in general, and those occurring in international business and entrepreneurship in particular. However, the cultural background of managers may affect the ways in which they make sense of business networking, an area the research has paid less attention to. In this study, we applied a qualitative methodology through the sensemaking approach on managers in mutual business relationship dyads. The research context is Finnish and Russian managers of internationally operating enterprises. We sought to illustrate how they make sense of their mutual business relationship and how their cultural background can affect that understanding. The study is based on a long-term research project where the researchers aim to explain sensemaking in small- and medium-sized enterprises in different cultural contexts. Readers will learn how the sensemaking approach can be used to capture cultural understanding of business concepts. In addition, they will learn how to structure the interviews, how to code the data, and what challenges can arise in interpreting the data.

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