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Effective management of transnational joint ventures requires understanding of two major trends rooted in our globalizing information economy. Businesses are becoming ever more knowledge-centered; and they find themselves thrust into ever more transcultural environments. The MABE-GE joint venture is a best-practice case that offers important insights for coping successfully with both of these trends. Over the past twelve years an alliance with GE has transformed MABE from a dynamic but traditional Mexican firm with its share of traditional problems, into an autonomous transnational powerhouse expanding rapidly into South America. This has been made possible by the synergy between MABE's markedly transcultural orientation from its founding on, and GE's exemplary mentoring practices that transmitted GE's advanced corporate culture without undermining MABE's autonomy or national and corporate identity. GE's own rapid culture change, its minority (48%) holding in the joint venture, and its fortunate choice of the manager in charge of relations with MABE were key factors in this outcome. The study offers insights into the bridging of gaps between national, corporate, and functional/professional cultures, the choice of joint-venture partners, culture transfer, human resource development, and management training.


Suggested Citation
Vietorisz, T. (1996). Transcultural foundations of success in joint ventures: The best-practice case of MABE-GE (CAHRS Working Paper #96-12). Ithaca, NY: Cornell University, School of Industrial and Labor Relations, Center for Advanced Human Resource Studies.