Oded Shenkar

Drawing on research from his recently published book, Fisher’s Oded Shenkar shared his insights to a university-wide audience as part of The Ohio State University Institute for Chinese Studies’ “Re-Imagining China’s Past and Present” lecture series.

The discussion explored the effectiveness of clustering countries according to a wide range of cultural similarities, and the connections that can be made from those clusters in conducting international business. Shenkar’s book, Navigating Global Business: A Cultural Compass, contains more than 30 years of research and studies collected by Shenkar and his co-author, Simi Ronen.

The book, which examines key work-related cultural dimensions from around the world and how they intersect with global business, drives home the message that firms must pay attention to and understand cultural issues — no matter how sound their strategy may be.

Additionally, the two-fold belief that globalization is inevitable and will lead to a global population that is similar across a number of facets is a dangerous one. Shenkar pointed to the fact that 100 years ago, globalization seemed unavoidable. Two world wars and a various periods of isolationism later, the world may not be much more globalized than it was in 1918.

The insights contained in Navigating Global Business can be applied to multinational companies who have clustered regional divisions and/or offices according to region or location. Similarly, the changing landscape of countries — like those exiting or seeking to exit the European Union — shows the importance of culture.

“Culture is a very influential variable in today’s business,” Shenkar said. “It’s influential in both success and failure.”

The Ford Motor Company Chair in Global Business Management at Fisher, Shenkar is a leading researcher and thought leader not only in both international studies and international business. Shenkar is ranked as the third-most published author worldwide in the Journal of International Business Studies.

Oded Shenkar Ford Motor Company Chair in Global Business Management, Professor
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