Managing Across Cultural Boundaries

Managing Across Cultural Boundaries

Managing Across Organisational and Cultural Boundaries


In the contemporary business environment, collaborations have been very common as firms are focused to enjoy flexibility, share risks, and grow a competitive culture and edge in the market (Vangen & Huxham, 2016). For firms to collaborate, they must have specific interests, preferences, and values. This paper analyzes the bases for collaborative advantage, categories of goals needs to achieve collaborative edge, impact of partnership goals on business, and the benefits and challenges of managing these partnership goals in the business environment.

The Bases for Collaborative Advantage:

According to (Delaney & D’Agostino, 2015), there are six bases for collaborative advantage, namely access to resources, sharing of risks, reaping of efficiency, coordination and seamlessness, learning, and moral imperative. Under access to resources, firms collaborate whenever they are not able to meet their objectives using their own resources. For example, Gulf Bank and Dell Technology collaboration for Gulf Bank to use Dell Tech’s network to reach customers in diverse markets. Here, Gulf Bank provides customers and Dell Tech provides network to access the market. Shared risk is another base for collaborative advantage, as firms collaborate since the consequences of project failure are too high for the firm to chance the risk alone. For example Gulf Bank and Chartered Institute for Securities and Investment collaboration to help Gulf Bank lower risks for losses by investing in risky products.

Also, organizations collaborate to achieve more and improved efficiency of operations especially for service delivery (Fan, et al., 2018). For instance, Dell Technology has helped Gulf Bank enhance efficiency in delivery of online banking services to the customers. In addition is coordination and seamlessness, like in the case of Gulf Bank’s collaboration with Institute of Banking Studies. In this case, there is proper coordination of in all the company’s operations. Again, other firms collaborate for purposes of mutual learning. For example, employees of Dell Technologies acting as consultants and trainers to the IT staff of Gulf Bank. Last is for moral imperative, to address issues facing the society at large, for instance poverty, education, drug use, economic development, and health (Halim, et al., 2015).

Categories of goals needed for the achievement of collaboration aims

Goals are an essential feature that every organization must set before, during, and after operating an organization. As far as collaboration of Gulf bank with Dell Technologies is concerned, there are two types of goals, SMART and superordinate (Haubich & DeKoning, 2017). Collaborations must have SMART goals, for instance, to retain customers and provide high quality services in a timely manner. These goals seek to create equity wealth for stakeholders. For example, the collaboration of Gulf and Dell Tech’s SMART objective is, to creating an online platform that allows bank customers to access banking services anywhere, everywhere, and at any time of the day.

Also, collaborations seek to achieve liability reduction. Reduction of amount loan borrowed from other organization ensures financial stability in the bank resulting to the capability of the institution to fund its projects, payment of salaries, and meeting of other expenditures (Haubich & DeKoning, 2017). The other category of collaboration goals is for asset accumulation. Due to diversity among shareholders, variety of assets such as computers, vehicles, and land have been allocated for management by Gulf Bank; some of these assets belong to Dell Technologies. The other main objective for business collaborations is to improve profitability in the markets where the partners operate. In the case of Gulf Bank and Dell Technologies, Gulf Bank has reached more customers while Dell Technologies has increased its awareness into the market.

Collaborative inertia and harmful outcomes of collaboration goals

Collaborative goals might lead to collaborative inertia where conflicts of interests arise, when business cultures are incompatible, and difficulties in decision making between the partnering firms. Whenever collaborative inertia occurs; the partnership results into harmful outcomes such as failure, inability to achieve set goals, increased partnership tension and conflicts, and poor productivity (Puig & Yee, 2017). For example, profit sharing and investment has raised collaboration challenges between Gulf Bank and Dell Technologies in terms of network maintenance and the amount of share that Dell Technologies should have after Gulf Bank reports improved profitability and productivity out of this collaborative scheme. In addition, cultural differences and reporting differences have made it difficult for the partnership especially in decision making, and this is a major pitfall and hindrance to the achievement of the set partnership goals.

Importance of managing aims and challenges that gulf bank experiences

Proper management of aims ensures achievement of improved collaborative goals (Seo, et al., 2016). This means that a well-managed objective generates organizational efficiency and positivity. As far as Gulf Bank and Dell Technologies collaboration is concerned, aims are categorized into business, non-economic, collaborative, and individual goals. Each classification has a pertinent role in the coordination and running of the organization. The collaborative objectives, such as business survival, sustenance, employment, profit maximization, and continued existence help the partners maintain excellent reputation and image in the market (Seo, et al., 2016). Moreover, an individual aim, which includes adequate income, more money for luxury, and increment of income, encourages the workers to be more committed in the execution their daily mandates. These efforts are reciprocated by the higher production rate of service to the customers. Furthermore, in non-economic aims, for instance, flexibility, job satisfaction, and control help the Gulf Bank for instance in carrying out its managerial roles in a more diverse way that benefits both participants. Additionally, it enables the management to accommodate changes that may arise since human wants are in constant change. Besides that, collaborative aims such as business expansion and improvement of market share makes the partners keener in other business gaps such as increasing Gulf Bank’s branches globally (Seo, et al., 2016). Therefore, aims should be appropriately managed to achieve partnership and individual firm profits.

However, Gulf Bank and Dell Technologies collaboration experiences many challenges in the running and management of the partnership, which can be explained in different ways according (Valentijn, et al., 2015). First, the presence of the disinterested organization in the gulf bank company such as Global Investment House KPSC makes it difficult to achieve the set collaboration objectives. Gulf Bank is reluctant in the provision of monetary support to the Dell Technologies. This aspect has led to the reduction of the amount of investment and production, resulting in stagnation. Second, the existence of spying organizations imposes more challenges to the Gulf Bank’s collaboration. Competitor firms act as spies since some are inactive in providing quality services due to society-related concerns and are unhappy of collaborative power’s impact on the growth of partnering firms (Vangen & Huxham, 2016). This situation raises a great risk as there is improved possibility for the collaborating firms splitting. Another challenge, a factor which hinders collaborative goals from being achieved is the presence of vetoing, which disrupts the harmony of the entire partnerships. These unusual traits are deduced from absenteeism and constant opposition to the proposals being raised genuinely by other without any valid reasons (Valentijn, et al., 2015). This behavior creates negative vicinity for the action of the firm, which can lead to the resignation of some members. Therefore, the partnership needs to be based on clear interest and values that will be of benefit to an the involved entities.


The bases for collaborative power and advantage are accessing of resources, learning, sharing of risks, coordination, and moral imperativeness. However, partnership goals must be well defined, evaluated, monitored, and assessed to ensure improved efficiency, productivity, and flexibility in the collaboration. Therefore, business collaborations help reap competitive advantage against rivals while improving organizational efficiency and productivity.


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