Management International Review

, Volume 53, Issue 1, pp 61–82 | Cite as

Understanding Organizational Practice Adoption at the Thai Subsidiary Corporation

Antecedents and Consequences of Kreng Jai
  • Tim G. AndrewsEmail author
  • Nartnalin Chompusri
Research Article


  • This study examines how, to what extent, and with what effect the indigenous cultural concept of kreng jai influences the Thai subsidiary assimilation of organizational practices transferred and mandated by its European-headquartered parent.

  • Adopting qualitative methodological procedures we combined data sourced from interviews, observation and company information to explore empirically the continuing role and relevance of kreng jai on the adoption and use of three strategic organizational practices: E-communication, performance appraisal and empowerment.

  • Our findings showed that the unique feelings and attitudes which characterize kreng jai variously complemented, reinforced, elaborated and contradicted the behaviors predicted by the traditional comparative etic dimensions of culture when applied to the Thai workplace environment.

  • MNEs seeking to develop their operations in Asia can therefore benefit from an appropriately nuanced understanding of the influence of unique indigenous cultural norms and values to help manage effectively the often competing institutional pressures to which their subsidiaries are exposed. Failure to address adequately the subtle but pervasive facets of indigenous management constructs such as kreng jai may hold hidden but potentially critical dangers for the MNE developing its business across cultural borders.


Kreng Jai Thailand MNE practice transfer E-communication Performance appraisal Empowerment 


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Copyright information

© Springer Fachmedien Wiesbaden 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Thammasat Business SchoolThammasat UniversityBangkokThailand
  2. 2.BangkokThailand

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