Cultural Sources of Variance in Telework Adoption in two Subsidiaries of an ICT-Multinational
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SourceInternational Journal of Employment Studies, 17, 2, (2009), pp. 66-101
Article / Letter to editor
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International Journal of Employment Studies
This comparative case-study examines to what extent telework adoption among line managers in two subsidiaries of the same ICT-multinational in France and the Netherlands mirrors cultural values. In the Dutch case, a formal telework program was discontinued, but managers viewed informal teleworking an established practice fitting Dutch cultural values. In line with expectations, in the French case, the design of the formal telework policy and managers' telework attitudes and telework management-behaviours reflected power distance and uncertainty avoidance to be valued, which reduced telework practice. Moreover, the French managers mentioned collectivist values, work-life balance, and tradition as arguments against telework. However, their perceptions of telework as an unavoidable work practice in a globalizing economy also reflected a long-term orientation. It is concluded that despite institutional pressures leading to cross-cultural convergence in telework adoption, multinationals' global telework programs should remain sensitive to cultural variations, meanwhile taking the local histories of telework adoption processes into account.
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