Skip to content

Cooperation and conflict in international entrepreneurship - inside the mind of the global entrepreneur

  • School: Nottingham Business School
  • Funding: UK student / EU student (non-UK) / International student (non-EU) / Self-funded


International entrepreneurs are at the interface of multinational market entry and host government rules. Their market knowledge and technological advantage lead to collaborations across borders. Family-oriented cultures show a higher propensity to be corrupt which coincides with the group-centered loyalty typology. International entrepreneurs have all archetypical behaviors with a scope from either individualist entrepreneurship to consensus seeking equality and loyalty (Ott, 2018). For international entrepreneurship behavior, the hierarchy/group perspective provides a good basis to consider the incentives for group-centered loyalty and individualist entrepreneurship. The different effort levels considering closeness and distance in terms of hierarchy and group behavior could be connected to the types of cheating. It is more difficult to co-operate for cultures with high individualism and masculinity scores than for cultures with collectivism and feminism. The effort levels for cultural co-operation are higher for individualist and masculine cultures.

The design of the incentive schemes focuses on these effort levels for cultural co-operation. The linear contracts are either based on rewards for relationship or finance, on bonuses for groups and individuals and on the effort level for cultural co-operation. This leads to a clear deviation from classic incentive schemes which encourage high levels of effort to perform better. The incentive schemes to avoid cheating in a cultural environment are targeted to support a co-operative effort in a cross-cultural work group and a deeper understanding of the cultural differences in motivation. The likelihood that people will cheat in this setting is reduced by specifically targeted incentive schemes to encourage co-operation.

The design of these incentives encourages people to put a high effort into a positive group performance compared to individualistic career goals. In the future, developing incentive schemes for international assignments should be dealt with in a more culturally-sensitive way and as a motivation towards a better understanding of cultural behavior such as cheating and co-operating. International conflicts should be seen in the way Boone et al (2010) emphasizes that extrinsic incentive should be offered to encourage cooperation in case trust or in the international entrepreneurship case loyalty cannot be assumed to exist in a group per se.

Methodology: Qualitative and Quantitative Research based on the research questions developed.


Ott, U. F. (2018). Co-operation and conflict in International entrepreneurs when cultures collide, in: In: Tur Porcar, A and Soreno Ribero, D, Inside the Mind of the Entrepreneur: Cognition, Personality Traits, Intention, and Gender Behavior, p. 219-233.

Trice, H.M.& J.M. Beyer. (1984). Studying organizational cultures through rites and ceremonies, Academy of Management Review, 9(4): 653-669.

Waller, W.S. (1988). Slack in participative budgeting: The joint effect of a truth-inducing pay scheme and risk preferences. Accounting, Organizations and Society, 13(1), 87-98.

Willer, R. (2009) Groups Reward Individual Sacrifice: The Status Solution to the Collective Action Problem. American Sociological Review 74:23–43.

Zeng, M. & X.P. Chen. (2003). Achieving cooperation in multiparty alliances: A social dilemma approach to partnership management, Academy of Management Review, 28(4) 587-605.


Professor Ursula F. Ott

Entry qualifications

For more information please visit the NTU Doctoral School – Research Degrees webpages.

How to apply

For a step-by-step guide and to make an application, please visit our how to apply page.

Fees and funding

Find out about fees and funding for PhD projects.

Guidance and support

Find out about guidance and support for PhD students.

Still need help?

Ursula Ott