An expected positive link between cross-cultural knowledge sharing is often the basis for the pursuit of diversity management and equal employment opportunity programs. However, this positive link has only to a limited degree been supported by in-depth empirical research and thus, it is often based on assumptions. Further, recent research has indicated that the link between cross-cultural knowledge sharing and efficiency may be more complex and cannot through deductive reasoning be taken for granted. This article argues that some theoretical rethinking of the issues is necessary and it is suggested that the use of social constructivist theories with regard to interaction and knowledge sharing may be the way forward. Based on the authors own empirical research involving Scandinavian managers in engaging in cross cultural communication it is shown that barriers to a positive link between cross-cultural knowledge sharing and efficiency may come in different forms and our case studies illustrate situations where there are both containing and constraining patterns which have to be overcome.
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ION Network Conference, The Dark side of Scandinavian Management,, 2005