The Influence of Cultural Factors on Strategy Implementation

  • Sampath Kumar Sreevathsan

Student thesis: Doctoral Thesis


The aim of this research is to investigate the cultural factors that affect the implementation of strategy. The need for successful implementation of the strategic initiatives or projects in different cultural settings to successfully compete in the market is a trigger for conducting this research. In the situation today, where teams in most global organisations are distributed across the world, it is important to identify the sensitivity of dealing with different cultures to successfully implement strategy.
This thesis is based on the review of the literature related to cultural factors in strategy implementation and the empirical research based on the survey data from a multinational IT organisation. In this research, national culture, organisational culture, and their influence on strategy implementation along with several strategy implementation frameworks available in the literature has been reviewed. Thematic analysis using qualitative data along with framework analysis enabled comparison between country clusters and identified the variations and differences in the cultural aspects that influence the strategic projects. In addition, the empirical research helped to highlight what needs to be understood when working with cultures and what needs to be improved while working with cultures, which led to the use of Quality Function Deployment (QFD) to prioritise the key focus areas in the IT organisation studied.
The gaps identified in the literature highlight the under-researched areas, such as the inter- relationships between organisational cultural factors and national culture, the influence of national culture in strategy implementation frameworks and models, and how to address the obstacles influenced by culture while implementing strategic projects. The literature review also identified the absence of cultural learning and development in the strategy implementation frameworks and models.
The insights from the empirical research findings made possible the amendment of the existing Hoshin Kanri framework and the Integrated Strategy Implementation framework developed by Yang (2009). The amendments to the framework include cultural assessment of the team using QFD and incorporation of actions, such as cultural learning, as a part of the strategy implementation plans.
The key limitation of this study is that, since the empirical study has been being carried out in the context of the cultural settings of one IT organisation, the amended strategy implementation frameworks are considered as a proposal for a wider industrial context, which needs to be tested for application in the future.
Date of Award20 Mar 2024
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • University of Portsmouth
SupervisorJana Ries (Supervisor), Deborah Margaret Reed (Supervisor) & Fiona Brocklehurst (Supervisor)

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