Trident University International
Case Assignment #1
MGT 501 Management and Organizational Behavior
In this paper I am going to discuss the case of Ms. Myers and her failed venture in managing a company in a foreign country. I am going to discuss the five dimensions of a culture and then compare them to Ms. Myers case. Finally, I will give my recommendations of what she should have done to become successful. What went wrong during Ms. Myers tenure from your point of view?
Ms. Myers had a lot of experience working in cross-cultural business. She was well trained on how to teach people to figure out how to succeed in the new cultures. I think though when it came to her turn she was not as prepared as she thought. There were many difficulties that she faced but I will focus on what I believe to be the three biggest. I think her biggest hurdle was one of the basic principles when dealing with people and that was communication. She didn’t know the language and while it seemed the Korean company tried to work with her by giving her translators it seemed that the importance of knowing English there was not as highly expected like it is in other countries. The second hurdle that she faced was compacted by her lack of understanding the language.
Ms. Myers seemed to not be fluid when it came to her interaction with the company at SK. She did not understand the culture that she was interacting with. In America we respect diversity and change. Ms. Myers noted that even looking at the city she was astonished by how similar everything was (Green, 2011). That should have been another identifier to Ms. Myer what she was getting herself into. The way she conducted business was considered abrasive to her Korean counterparts and she even offended some of them. While she did not mean to offend intentionally she needed to know how to communicate and interact with them in order to succeed. Finally, this final issue was no fault of her own. With Korea having a focus on masculinity she was already at a disadvantage and when she received the email from the SK recruiter that started with “Dear Mr. Myers” she should have seen that as a warning sign. Just like anyone who is a trailblazer in their category they deal with preconceived notions that they must battle against in order to succeed. Just like Jackie Robinson had to deal with racism when he became one of the first black professional baseball players. He had to change people’s mindsets in order to be successful. Ms. Myers had to change the mainly male-dominated environment in order for them to see her as an equal. The culture she was working in normally do not have women in the position she was in and it was abnormal for these men to conduct their business with a woman. Add her lack of cultural knowledge into the mix and it is not surprising that SK declined to renew her contract. Explain the problem Ms. Myers is encountering using Hofstede's five dimensions of culture to compare Korean and American assumptions about interpersonal relationships and management. Dr. Geert Hofstede studied the values of workplace cultures for many years. He looked at how different culture’s values can effect how a business is run. He came to the conclusion that there are five dimensions to a culture (Mindtools, 2012). In the next section I am going to discuss the five dimensions and how they apply to the case of Ms. Myers. The first dimension we will look at is the Power/Distance (P/D) dimension. This portion focuses on how a culture views their hierarchies and their emphases or how they deemphasize them. A culture with a high P/D focuses on a clear separation between the members in management roles and their subordinates. The managers are seen as superior and it is important for a subordinate to respect that view. Cultures with a low P/D do not emphasize status and management and workers are seen as equals. They both serve their purpose and neither is...
References: Green, Sarah. (2011). The Would-Be Pioneer. Harvard Business Review, 89(4), 124-126.
Mind Tools. (2012). Hofstede 's Cultural Dimensions: Understanding Workplace Values Around the World. Retrieved from http://www.mindtools.com/pages/article/newLDR_66.htm
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