Cultural differences as a barrier in foreign expansion of Polish companies? Reflections in the light of empirical studies

Aleksandra Kuźmińska-Haberla


The internationalization of production is getting more and more common among large Polish corporations, yet small and medium-sized enterprises rarely take the risk of conducting their operations on the international markets. Reasons for not taking actions abroad, especially in non-European countries, are very diverse. The purpose of this article is to attempt to answer the question whether cultural differences constitute a barrier for Polish companies to invest abroad, and if so, to what extent. Considerations have been carried out on the basis of empirical studies conducted on a group of Polish foreign investors. It turns out that Polish companies do not perceive cultural differences as a very significant barrier for international expansion. It should be noted, however, that the vast majority of businesses are still focused on European markets, culturally similar to Poland. In addition, the companies are not always aware of how cultural differences can affect their economic activities. Companies do not realize that a better understanding of partner’s culture can help avoid many problems and function more efficiently on the foreign market.

Słowa kluczowe: foreign direct investment, cultural differences, culture