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Global mindsets - cultural values and decision making of global managers

  • School: Nottingham Business School
  • Starting: 2021
  • Funding: UK student / EU student (non-UK) / International student (non-EU) / Self-funded


The managers of the 21st century are influenced by their industry standards, global demands and workforce with challenging environments to react to (Chen et al, 1998; Zeng and Chen, 2003). The complexity of the international market place requires managers to make decisions, negotiate and contract under uncertainty about their counterparts (Aharoni and Burton, 1994; Giannetti and Yafeh, 2012).

Are leadership skills such as decision-making and negotiating a result of either learning or nature or both together? Addressing the skills and abilities of managers to make decisions individually, in a group and to negotiate successfully, this article provides an explanation of managerial decision making that moves beyond the managerial mindset with a combination of evolution, emotion and rationality. International negotiation skills are a necessary condition in the global market place and in times of geo-political change even more important. International decision-making scenarios are often characterised by failure to come to an agreement or understanding. Anecdotes of misunderstandings fill textbooks in International Business, whereas research into the decision making and negotiating across culture is still finding out that cooperative elements exist in the global communication patterns and even more interested in finding solutions of an understanding between cultures. Decision making - individual, interactive and international – combines a logical, emotional and even an evolutionary adaptable approach to come to an outcome. In international business, national cultural characteristics (Hofstede, 1985, 2001; House et al, 2004) have dominated research agendas for decades. Nevertheless, cross border activities need to consider managerial decision making with a dynamic pattern which evolves from one’s natural environment, upbringing and learning. Decision making goes back to intuitive, transmitted behaviour which has evolutionary explanations, but also it shows the learning of rational and emotional patterns which lead to positive solutions and cooperation. National cultural explanations are too simplistic and in a globalised world do not really reflect the necessary conditions for responding to the complexities in the international market place.
This PhD project will explore differences between decision making across culture and insights into behavioural patterns of similarities and differences of global decision makers.
Methodology: The topic offers itself to an in-depth analysis with qualitative interviews, an international survey, but also to an experimental design. The research group members are in a position to supervise all methodological approaches.


Aharoni, Y, & Burton, R.M. 1994. Is management science international: In search of Universal Rules, Management Science, 40: 1-3.

Chen, C.C, Chen X.-P. & J.R. Meindl. (1998). How can cooperation be fostered? The cultural effects of individualism-collectivism, Academy of Management Review, 23(2): 285-304.

Giannetti, M., & Yafeh, Y. 2012. Do cultural differences between contracting parties matter? Evidence from syndicated bank loans. Management Science, 58: 365-383.

Hofstede, G. 1985. The interaction between national and organizational value systems. Journal of Management Studies, 22: 347-357.

Hofstede, G. 2001. Culture’s consequences: Comparing values, behaviors, institutions and organizations across nations, 2nd ed. Sage Publications, Thousand Oaks,CA.

House, R.J, Hanges, P.J., Javidan, M., Dorfman, P.V., Gupta, V. 2004. Culture, Leadership and Organizations – the Globe Study of 62 Societies, SAGE: Thousand Oaks, CA.

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

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Ursula Ott