Culture Clash

Managing a Global Business
Transcript
[MUSIC PLAYING]
You work as a part of a team that is tasked with advising Belinda Lee, the CEO of Phone and Build.
Phone and Build is a global telecommunications services provider in equipment manufacturing
company incorporated in Delaware. Belinda Lee, an American citizen, has only been at Phone and
Build for six months.
She was hired in part because of her experience working in the United Kingdom and Australia. She
has little background in Asia or Africa and needs the team’s advice concerning issues related to
international law, ethics, and culture. Belinda frequently faces legal, ethical, political, and cultural
dilemmas arising from the firm’s complex global business operations.
At your weekly meeting with Belinda, she outlines the issues she’s currently facing. Phone and Build
is experiencing four problems, Belinda says. In one Central Asian country, we’re faced with a pay-toplay
scenario. We’ve submitted a bid for a contract, but we are beginning to doubt we will win it
without giving cash or expensive gifts to the deputy minister of communications.
Belinda continues: In the Middle East, the local nationals that are a subsidiary of Shinecall found out
that they are paid less than the foreign employees. We’ve tried to bring in some new ex-pat staff to
help, but we’re having trouble getting their work permits approved.
Meanwhile, some of our phones that were manufactured in South Africa and sold in US markets
have overheated. Some have even burned users and damaged property. We ordered faux leather
phone cases for distribution in several countries, where consumers don’t like to use products made
of pig leather. But the Chinese manufacturer delivered genuine leather cases instead.
This could have a major impact on sales. I need your advice about how to think about these issues.
I’ll send you more information about each case over the next few weeks. I need specific
recommendations on what actions to take in each case.
[MUSIC PLAYING]
Now that you are familiar with basic US legal concepts, business forms, and structures, and now that
you have completed an ethical analysis, you are ready to consider how to respond to common
issues that occur when running a global business. You will analyze political, legal, economic, and
cultural forces that impact multinational businesses operating across the globe. In this project, your
team will assess three scenarios involving a US-based company with global operations. Your team
will need to advise the CEO regarding how to handle four cases involving overseas operations. The
CEO will need advice on legal, business, cultural, ethical, and practical aspects of the issues facing
her company.
When you submit your project, your work will be evaluated using the competencies listed below. You
can use the list below to self-check your work before submission.
 1.1: Organize document or presentation clearly in a manner that promotes understanding
and meets the requirements of the assignment.
 1.3: Provide sufficient, correctly cited support that substantiates the writer’s ideas.
 1.4: Tailor communications to the audience.
 2.5: Develop well-reasoned ideas, conclusions or decisions, checking them against relevant
criteria and benchmarks.
 4.1: Lead and/or participate in a diverse group to accomplish projects and assignments.
 4.2: Demonstrate the ability to plan and execute a project, articulating clear objectives and
goals for the team.
 4.3: Contribute to team projects, assignments, or organizational goals as an engaged
member of a team.
 4.4: Demonstrate diversity and inclusiveness in a team setting.
 5.1: Develop constructive resolutions for ethical dilemmas based on application of ethical
theories, principles, and models
 5.2: Assess the implications of legal, ethical and cultural (national) standards on an
organization’s operations in global markets and make recommendations for appropriate
actions
 6.1: Identify the general (external) environment in which an organization operates and
discuss the implications for enterprise success.
 6.2: Evaluate strategic implications for domestic and international markets of an
organization’s industry
 7.3: Analyze the implications of civil or criminal wrongs, and of product or service liability
laws, and make recommendations to support business decisions
 7.4: Analyze the impact of international and foreign laws on U.S. organizations acting
domestically and abroad
 9.3: Apply the principles of employment law for ethical practices and risk mitigation
Step 8: Culture Clash
Belinda Lee, the CEO, has requested that your team investigate and report back to her about
a recent dispute between three of her direct reports: the VP of manufacturing, the VP of marketing
and the VP of product design.
Belinda has asked you to write a memo with your findings and recommendations for how Phone and
Build should handle this situation. Take notes and create an outline for your memo as you consider
each of the following questions:
 Was the Chinese supplier ethical in shipping more than 300,000 cases made of real leather
instead of the requested faux leather material, even though the supplier was not charging
Phone and Build anything extra for the higher cost of real leather? Explain why or why not.
 When the manufacturing VP contacted the Chinese supplier to complain, the supplier could
not understand why Phone and Build was not pleased about receiving a real leather case,
given that Phone and Build was still paying for the less expensive faux leather one. Is there a
cultural difference between customer expectations and business transactions in the West
and in Asia? Explain.
 The decision of the manufacturing VP to accept the shipment containing real leather cases
without first consulting the marketing VP is also somewhat problematic. By the time the
marketing VP received the memo, it was too late for the cases to be returned. If you were the
marketing VP and received the same memo, would you do anything different? Why?
 All the senior personnel at Phone and Build should have been well aware that a significant
proportion of their African and Asian customers were very sensitive about using phone cases
made of pig leather. As an organization, what strategic errors did you observe in the decision
making by various individuals in this situation? By the design VP? By the manufacturing VP?
By the marketing VP? Could more training in ethical decision making and cultural sensitivity
for senior management have helped in this situation? Why or why not?
Gather information about the cultural factors that are in play in this situation, including Managing in a
Global Environment and Cross-Cultural Ethical Business Decision Making. You will need to research
cross-cultural differences in decision making and recommend a course of action to the CEO.
Back up your responses with information about relevant differences in cultural expectations in China,
South Africa, and the United States. In order to support your views, it will be useful to conduct some
additional research on cultural differences and their impact on global business transactions.
In the next step, you will write your memo.
Step 9: Prepare Your Memo
Using your outline and research notes, write a memo for the Belinda, the CEO. Be sure to meet the
following requirements:
 Format your memo following the example linked above, including APA-formatted in-text
citations and an APA-formatted reference list (do not format the body of the memo using
APA style, just the reference list). See references and citations for details.
 Include a specific recommendation on what action, if any, the CEO should take based on
your analysis and conclusions.
 Support your conclusion with references to legal principles and laws.
 The memo should be no more than five pages (double spaced, 12-point font; the reference
list does not count towards page limit).
 Title your file using this protocol: teamName_CultureClash_date.
In the next step, you will submit your work.
Step 10: Submit Your Memos to the
CEO
Be sure to use the following file-naming protocols:
Before you submit your assignment, review the competencies below, which your instructor will use to
evaluate your work. A good practice would be to use each competency as a self-check to confirm
you have incorporated all of them in your work.
 1.1: Organize document or presentation clearly in a manner that promotes understanding
and meets the requirements of the assignment.
 1.3: Provide sufficient, correctly cited support that substantiates the writer’s ideas.
 1.4: Tailor communications to the audience.
 2.5: Develop well-reasoned ideas, conclusions or decisions, checking them against relevant
criteria and benchmarks.
 4.1: Lead and/or participate in a diverse group to accomplish projects and assignments.
 4.2: Demonstrate the ability to plan and execute a project, articulating clear objectives and
goals for the team.
 4.3: Contribute to team projects, assignments, or organizational goals as an engaged
member of a team.
 4.4: Demonstrate diversity and inclusiveness in a team setting.
 5.1: Develop constructive resolutions for ethical dilemmas based on application of ethical
theories, principles, and models
 5.2: Assess the implications of legal, ethical and cultural (national) standards on an
organization’s operations in global markets and make recommendations for appropriate
actions
 6.1: Identify the general (external) environment in which an organization operates and
discuss the implications for enterprise success.
 6.2: Evaluate strategic implications for domestic and international markets of an
organization’s industry
 7.3: Analyze the implications of civil or criminal wrongs, and of product or service liability
laws, and make recommendations to support business decisions
 7.4: Analyze the impact of international and foreign laws on U.S. organizations acting
domestically and abroad
 9.3: Apply the principles of employment law for ethical practices and risk mitigation

P(5.m)

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