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Cultural Conflicts in the Process of Embedding Mission Statements

Research output: Contribution to Journal/MagazineJournal articlepeer-review

<mark>Journal publication date</mark>31/03/2019
<mark>Journal</mark>Transcultural Management Review
Number of pages16
Pages (from-to)55-70
Publication StatusPublished
<mark>Original language</mark>English


This study explores how cultural conflicts have emerged in the process of embedding mission statements. Based on participant observation at a Japanese
retailer operating in Hong Kong, this study analyzed the creation and embedding
process of the company’s mission statement. The results demonstrate that some
cultural codes might be hidden in the process of translating mission statements from a spiritual focus to a more concrete one. They also show that store managers may have significant differences of understanding regarding their mission statements, and that their strong autonomy can result in an unbalanced embedding process, creating a diversified store culture rather than an integrated one. Finally, the results show that specific local culture—including communication and shopping behaviors—created additional work for local employees because their jobs were designed based on the Japanese consumption behaviors. This study implies the importance of discussing the hidden cultural codes and potential conflicts during the embedding of mission statements. It also suggests that companies should reexamine their mission statements and “deculturalize” them according to specific local and company context.