Clashing institutional logics and its consequences for communication A study of managers in a Swedish cross-cultural mega project

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Examensarbete för masterexamen
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2021
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Fischer, Frida
Bergfeldt, Fredrik
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The globalization has served as a ground for government bodies to procure, and construction industry companies to expand beyond their national borders. The public infrastructure client Swedish Transport Administration (STA) have over the last decade introduced strategical aims to advertise their procurements globally, and the efforts have resulted in an increasing presence of foreign contractors in Sweden. In these projects, challenges such as cultural communicational clashes can arise. The responsibility to manage these cross-cultural communicational clashes are not a designated responsibility. However, managers must deal with cross-cultural communication on a daily basis. These challenges have been studied in the Västlänken project, a mega infrastructure project between the client, STA, and foreign contractors. The thesis aims to investigate the communicational challenges present between STA managers and foreign contractor managers, as well as how client-contractor contracts can be improved for cross-cultural communication. The aim was realised through 12 semi-structured interviews with involved managers and two expert interviews. The interview findings were analysed with the theoretical lens of institutional logics. The analysis revealed a set of 20 clashing and aligning managing institutional logic pairs amongst the managers. Ten of the identified logic pairs were aligning and ten were clashing. It was found that clashing institutional logics have a predominant negative effect on communication. The analysis further showed that both STA managers and foreign contractor managers have revaluated some of their own previously clashing logics, which indicates that logics can align over time. This inevitable mixture of clashing and aligning logics is an ongoing hybridization which have developed from the managers earlier managing logics. However, it was found that institutional logics can have national affiliation and that some logics will not change.
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Cross-cultural, communication, infrastructure, mega project, institutional logics, construction industry, contract, Sweden
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