Sitecore: I japanske omgivelser. En tværkulturel undersøgelse af nationalkulturers indflydelse på interkulturel kommunikation

Cecilie Ravnborg & Ditte Sara Jensen

Student thesis: Master thesis


In our globalized world today, people from different countries meet daily, in only a matter of minutes, through digital medias such as Facebook and LinkedIn. More and more businesses move across borders and the number of multinational organizations are rapidly increasing. Consequently, inter‐cultural meetings occur more often and the need to communicate grows by the minute. The world is connected as never before, which assert for mutual, cultural understanding when people with different nationalities interact with one‐another. The purpose of this thesis is to illustrate, that in order to succeed in our subsistence with other cultures, inter‐cultural communicative competences are crucial. The thesis’ empirical work, consist of a prevailing social constructivist and partial functionalist analysis of the communicative challenges amongst the employees of the IT concern Sitecore Corporation and its subsidiary company, Sitecore Japan. It investigates how the employees understand the company’s core values to look deeper into to what extend the employees’ national culture reflect hereon. The hypothesis is that the employees’ approach to the core values can be dissimilar based on their cultural background and possibly arise to communicative encounters when they interact with one‐another. The empirical data was collected using a qualitative method. Conducting semistructured interviews and inquiry forms, information was collected to investigate the employees´ approach to the core values, and how they interact to be able to study if/how the employees’ behavior has roots in their national culture. In keeping with the method, the aim is insight into the national culture of the key figures of the study, respectively the Danish COO and the Japanese CEO, and access to the key problem areas of the communication between the two. This, in order to come closer to understanding the foundation of their approach to the core values and how it appears when they interact with one‐another. Culture, leadership and inter‐cultural communication are the main subjects considered in the thesis and the essence of the theory is that the three aspects are somehow connected. The theoretical part of the thesis is divided into three. The first part focuses on national culture and discusses the central aspects of culture, illustrating that culture is a social construction based on the formation of public opinion, which originates from history, language, religion, and so forth. The second part, discusses the function of core values, and how they can form basis for a joint corporate culture in a multinational company across the different national cultures of its staff. In addition, the aspect of leadership is discussed emphasising the role of leaders as central key players in disseminating the core values in the organisation. Consequently, approaches to comprehending the life in organisations is presented, i.e. artefacts, espoused values and basic underlying assumptions which represent that one must analyse culture through different layers in order to understand the behaviour of the members of organizations. Finally the theory states, that culture and communication is inseparable and that adaptation is therefore the key to engaging in successful inter‐cultural interactions. The analysis is furthermore divided into three parts, and draws insight into the results from the empirical material. First, the employees’ approach to Sitecores’ core values is evaluated and discussed in the light of national culture. The results of the analysis demonstrate a significant difference in how the core values are understood, which proves to be conditional on culture. Second, leadership is considered as a mean of communication to bring focus on the core values, and to make room for cultural diversity. Last but not least, the results of the above, serve to evaluate if/how the employees’ approach to the core values that has proven to be affected by their national culture, reflect on and affect the communication. The thesis concludes that a common understanding of the core values, as well as cultural understanding can help lessen the communicative encounters between Sitecore HQ and Sitecore Japan.

EducationsMA in International Business Communication (Intercultural Marketing), (Graduate Programme) Final Thesis
Publication date2010
Number of pages207