Cross cultural business relationship development : from the Turkish point of view : analysis of Turkish manufacturing SMEs

Tek, S 2019, Cross cultural business relationship development : from the Turkish point of view : analysis of Turkish manufacturing SMEs , PhD thesis, University of Salford.

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It is incontestable that building business relationships remains a crucial aspect of trade. Since the dawning of civilisation, human societies have grown and expanded mainly through contact facilitated by trade. Relationships that arise from this, continue to define us both socially and economically. In today’s globalised world, businesses wrangle to gain a source of competitive advantage, turning to technology, innovation and resources in their bid to survive the demands of 21st Century markets. An oft overlooked means through which this can be achieved is the development of business relationships. These relationships are not without their challenges however are compounded when trade is conducted across borders and cultures. Based on this therefore the aim of this research is to identify and investigate the existing gap in literature, and evaluate the factors influencing the development of cross-cultural business relationships of Turkish manufacturing SMEs.
To address this aim, the study relies on 25 participants from the Small to Medium Enterprise manufacturing sector in Istanbul. Using semi-structured interviews, the opinions of the sample group who encompass company owners, sales managers or international business department managers are collected. The research sample offer insights into the challenges they have experienced whilst establishing, developing and maintaining cross-cultural business relationships.
On the basis of the primary research, a number of important findings have been obtained from the data collected, which was subsequently analysed using thematic analysis. Firstly, it emerges that a business relationship is not universally defined in the same way; within the context of Turkish SMEs, a business relationship represents more than a simple trade agreement. Rather the business relationship is a means through which economic growth is generated. It further emerges that whilst within the literature trust is defined as being a core factor, amongst satisfaction and commitment as far as a successful business relationship is concerned, trust is viewed by Turkish SMEs as the foundations upon which subsequent relations can be built. As such, the business relationship is viewed as one that takes three stages, and unlike the consensus within the literature, there is no definitive end to a business relationship as far as Turkish SMEs are concerned.
The present study builds on the contributions of past academics/theorists in a bid to broaden understanding of the specific factors that influence the trading relationships between Turkish SMEs and their business partners. The implications of the research largely rest on the significance of culture and how this shapes the business relationship. More importantly, to succeed in developing and establishing a relationship, cultural awareness, understanding and adaptation remain crucial. The study further offers evidence to suggest that expressions of trust are shaped and dictated by culture. Trust therefore has to be explored and understood within the relevant context and culture in which it will take precedence.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Schools: Schools > Salford Business School > Salford Business School Research Centre
Depositing User: S Tek
Date Deposited: 18 Dec 2019 12:22
Last Modified: 18 Jun 2020 02:30

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