Transformations of identity are inextricably linked to the evolution of a GSA relation- ship. The early yearning for doing high-technology development in India led to the establishment of ComSoft by Indian promoters who, after studying in the USA, wanted to return to India. Ghosh and Paul, the two senior GlobTel managers with Indian roots, harboured a strong desire to contribute to India s development through technology growth. In ComSoft, they saw a perfect vehicle for this aim. A hybridized cultural context drawing upon both the values of the Silicon Valley work environment and Indian values was consciously nurtured and constructed . This context both reflected and reinforced the desired values. A stable, creative and motivated ComSoft workforce was the key impetus to the growth of the GSA relationship in terms of volume and quality of work. The cultural context supported the realization of ˜unleashing Indian creativity . The growth of the relationship helped ComSoft develop confidence and ambition and in the process led to a realization of the limits of the GlobTel GSA. A gradual shift of focus to Japan came with ComSoft s realization of the limits of their existing image and their need for redefinition. In the meanwhile, the processes of growth of ComSoft and the Indian industry in general, along with the technological churn in the industry, raised the need for ComSoft to fashion a different cultural context from which a redefined image and organizational identity would emanate.
In a context of globalizing changes, as software and IT functions multiply, large companies like GlobTel find it a strategic necessity to outsource software services to distant locations and unfamiliar environments. However, developing successful inter- organizational relationships for intellectual and knowledge- intensive tasks involves concerns different from purely business and economic ones. In the present case, enrolling , retaining and developing services of bright programmers, technologically sophisticated managers and innovative entrepreneurs are fundamentally involved with issues of individual and collective identities and the implications and potential for their growth. Understanding such needs requires a dynamic conception of identity rather than one that is relatively static and stable. Changes in organizational identity and firm strategy may be understood in terms of situated actions of organizational members . Complexities of a self-referential pattern could often give rise to unintended consequences.
As discussed in chapter 4, GlobTel, like many transnational companies, tries to follow principles of ˜standardization , seeking to make their products for development, management processes and practices in GlobTel and ComSoft ˜nearly the same . Creating ˜sameness fundamentally involves also matching in a complementary fashion the identities of the two firms. This matching is extremely complex as respective identities are guided and shaped in very different cultural contexts that are products of unique historical and social processes. We have expressed this cultural context through social structures relating to Indian society, global high-tech business, academic institutions and the firm. These structures have particular rules and resources that help shape identity and image. However, the fast-changing global situation requires a continual redefinition of identity to which actors must adapt and reframe their identities within the redefined cultural context.
Our analysis re-emphasizes the arguments of writers like Giddens and Castells about the central role of identity in the structuring of processes of globalization. GSAs are complex organizational relationships in a turbulent and dynamic global context involving international, inter-cultural aspects and broad implications for technology. Identity is significant to the shaping of managerial strategy. Changes at the multiple levels of the global, organizational and individual, are deeply implicated and, as Giddens (1990) emphasizes, are intensified in the current context of modernity and globalization. Globalization lies in constant conflict and tension with local particularities. Through processes of negotiations and learning, hybridized models of identity can be articulated and redefined.