Supply chain theory and cultural diversity
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By far the biggest proportion of supply chain theory is bound up within North American and European business settings; hence, its generalizability to culturally diverse global supply chains are investigated. This exploratory research utilizes the anthropological approach of observing supply chain manager behaviour in five distinct natural settings (Egypt, New Zealand, Japan, Thailand, and the United Kingdom). Hofstede's well-known measures of work-related culture are used to explain the observed manager behaviours. The supply chain theory needs to be tailored to take account of culturally diverse settings, as the optimal local supply chain architecture requires consideration of national, organizational, and individual cultural norms. Similarly, change roadmap and management should also be matched to the local cultural environment. A limited number of national settings and cases in each setting is investigated. Hence, a significant scope exists for further exploratory research into the implications of cultural diversity for global supply chain management. The behaviour of supply chain managers in a range of national settings appears to be closely correlated with the national culture value set. Such cultural drivers of manager behaviour offer pointers to the successful design and implementation of high performing international supply chains.