Ethnographic Praxis in Industry Conference Proceedings

Strategic ethnography and reinvigorating Tesco Plc: Leveraging inside/ out bicultural bridging in multicultural teams

Authors

  • Mary Yoko Brannen,

    1. [Papers] is professor of International Business and the Jarislowski East Asia (Japan) Chair holder at the Centre for Asia Pacific Initiatives at the University of Victoria, British Columbia, Canada; Visiting Professor of Strategy and Management at INSEAD, Fontainebleau, and Deputy Editor of the Journal of International Business Studies.
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  • Fiona Moore,

    1. [Papers] is Reader in Organization Studies and Human Resource Management at Royal Holloway, University of London.
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  • Terry Mughan

    1. [Papers] is professor of International Business at the Gustavson School of Business at the University of Victoria, British Columbia, Canada.
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Abstract

This paper focuses on a study of Tesco Plc conducted in 2011, in which we trained a multicultural team of nine Asian managers to become in-house ethnographers of Tesco UK for a 3-month period studying 52 stores in the UK with dual objectives of helping Tesco (1) to understand and evaluate the core practices that comprised the essence of Tesco's home country advantage, and (2) to identify sources of learning from Tesco's foreign subsidiaries to aid in reinvigorating its core in light of increasing competition in its home market. We believe that the strategic and training dimensions of this project constitute a new contribution to the field of organisational ethnography, particularly with regard to the use of a multinational ethnographic team of non-native speakers of English.

 

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