After many professional years working on international business development and intercultural management, I have become passionate about assessing the kind of challenges global companies are facing in their initial years of existence. While narrowing down my field of analysis for my DBA Dissertation research, I decided to focus on mature, born-global firms (BGFs) from three countries (Australia, Canada, and France) and how diversity could help them be more durable.

When assessing how diversity can be an asset for born-global firms, it appears that diversity and its management are actively pursued by managers and their organizations with a genuine moral or equity rationale. Managing diversity seems to be embodied by a staunch corporate culture, supported within the organization by a holistic view, and is conveyed through managerial acts and philosophy. It is, therefore, combined into a unique corporate framework, crafted by values alignment, congruently serving as a base for performance reinforcement.

However, it seems that while genuinely imbued in all firms regardless of their countries of inception, diversity is strongly connected to the countries’ historical connection to diversity and the global nature of the firms’ activities. Indeed, in Canada and Australia, the diversity in the firms’ workforces comes naturally or by chance, whereas in France, diversity is not as naturally fostered, especially when looking at diversity in hiring and matching performances. Thus, born-global firms in France rely more on luck in recruiting and face fiercer competition for “real talent,” confronted as they are by the liability of their newness and attractiveness even within their home country in the absence of sound business track records.

Furthermore, differences between geographic locations also impact how business owners and managers anticipate having to be global to compete. The sampled company executives noted a need to ensure that their firm’s holistic corporate frame encompassed business partners, affiliates, and foreign branches. They assessed this relational frame as representing a unique within- and cross-borders bonding organizational tool that is based on close relationships— relationships that border on friendship or even familial allegiance — across their whole organization. These relationships are therefore to be nurtured and leveraged for them to enlarge their business frame of reference, be inclusive of all stakeholders, and surpass cultural differences.

These findings confirmed the necessity for founders/managers to foster a team of non-clone employees performing as a group, the way diverse players perform in a rugby squad. Indeed, in those periods of many constraints, born global firms must know how to exploit and explore new capabilities to develop better cross-organizational creations of value in an environment of organized chaos. At their core, they possess a unique proficiency in creating new routines, continuously encountering changing situations, shaping a culture of adaptiveness, capabilities acquisition, and opportunity seizing, reinforced by a perceptive sense for diversity.

Author Bio: Laurent Dorey held positions in international business development for over two decades prior to starting his own consulting and teaching company, Add-Wise Conseils, which aims to share the best practices of international trade. He recently successfully defended his DBA Final Dissertation at the International School of Management and now aims at pursuing a further academic career in France and abroad.

This article originally appeared in the September 2022 issue of Perspectives (Page 31).

Our Accreditation

  • ATHEA Accreditation

Our Recognition

  • US State Authority to
    Confer Diplomas
  • Status with the French
    Ministry of Education
  • Établissement d'enseignement
    supérieur privé technique

Our Membership