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International Business Culture Assignment Brief
This international business cultural assignment brief is related on different case study of international business and organization
Case Study: Monsieur Hulot
case study of Port Phillip Pharmaceuticals (PB) is an Australian company with agencies worldwide. Its international manager, Jo Barnes, makes several trips each year to visit these outposts. She is also in regular contact with the various local managers, mostly by email.
PB’s French agency, Bonnal et cle, gives her a lot of trouble. The French manager, M. Hulot, is suspicious of figures on balance sheets, of emails in particular, and in general of all things Australian. He constantly raises questions and queries at every step in the research and development of new products. His talent complaint concerns the too-short shelf-life of one of PB’s painkillers, and insists that Jo should visit the French office in person to discuss the problem. Jo is a qualified pharmacist with expertise in chemical processing and has been working for PB for 10 years. She is eighth-generation Australian- one of her forbears sailed with Captain Cook- and she is typical of many young, educated, confident, independent, individualistic Australian women. Reluctantly, she decided she would have to go to France and fitted the trip in as part of a scheduled visit to PB’s subsidiary in the Philippines. She described her plans to the managing director, Alan Paterson. He suggested that while she was there she might run a training session for the French chemists in testing techniques and quality control, and she thought this was a good idea. In preparation for her visit to the French plant, Jo attended a lecture on French culture at her local Tertiary and Further Education (TAFE) college. The lecturer talked about the nature of French Bureaucracies, for which the most important elements are specialization, unity of command, unity of direction, a hierarchical line of authority, initiative, and esprit de corps.
Reflecting on the flat, democratic organizational structure of PB in Brisbane, Jo felt somewhat daunted. She comforted herself with the knowledge of her own expertise and her position in the firm as its director of International business operations. If that does not impress the Froggies, she thought (with a touch of ethnocentric bias), nothing will. After a very successful visit to Manila she flew to France. After she arrived at General de Gaulie airport in Paris and passed through customs and immigration, she took a taxi to the hotel where she had made a reservation. She had not expected to be met at the airport by a representative of Bonnal because she had not emailed her flight details, only the date of her arrival.
The following day, she visited the Bonnal office, told the receptionist who she was and asked for Hulot. The receptionist asked her in French if she had an appointment. Jo did not understand a word and repeated that she wanted to see Hulot. Finally, the receptionist made a telephone call and indicated that Jo was to wait. She waited some time. Eventually, Hulot appeared and greeted her formally in French. She replied in Englsih and held out her hand in greeting. Hulot seemed quite taken aback, removed his hand as soon as possible from hers and said in English, “You did not inform us of the exact time of your arrival. If we had been notified we would have sent a car to escort you to your hotel. It was obvious that he felt he had been put in an embarrassing position and was quite annoyed about it, After this poor start to their relationship, things went from bad to worse. Over excellent coffee and delicious little cakes, Hulot made it clear, politely but coldly that he had studied her curriculum vitae and knew all about her background. He implied, without actually saying so that he considered her qualifications to be inadequate. Then the first meeting of the day took place, with about a dozen local staff members. Jo was disconnected that everybody assumed the meeting would be in French. When she explained her lack of the language, Hulot responded, in freezing tones, that several of his staff did not speak English. The meeting had to be delayed, with everybody sitting round in awkward silence while an interpreter was found sp that proceedings could be in French and English.
Jo’s troubles were not over. She discovered quite quickly that the French chemists had high opinions of themselves and their professional knowledge and were not prepared – without a great deal of tedious argument – to listen to her suggestions for prolonging the shell-life of the pain relief capsules. It became obvious that any idea of her running programs in testing techniques and quality control was not likely to be well received either. That evening, alone in her hotel room, Jo remembered wistfully how hospitable her Filipino colleagues had been. The first night they had taken her out to dinner in a wonderful restaurant and then to a nightclub until the small hours, and every day and night of her visit she had been entertained, wined and dined. During working hours they had listened respectfully to all her suggestions for improvements. She had her doubts about whether they would actually implement then after her departure, but at least they had appeared to be impressed. How different was her present situation! However, it was no good looking back. Now she had to think hard about what she could do to establish a position of power in front of her French colleagues to help her accomplish her assignment in the five days that was left to her. The following morning there was another meeting, wish the same people present; but this time Jo adopted a new strategy. She made a little speech, thanking Hulot for his courtesy in inviting her to visit the company and congratulating everybody on its fine reputation back home in Brisbane, for the high quality of its products and the creative innovations it had made to the pharmaceutical industry. She said how proud everybody in Australia was of the organization’s “French connection”.
Her words were translated as she spoke, and she was pleased to see that several of her listeners smiled at her little joke. She felt she was making progress. She described the purpose of her visit as to learn more about the famous French ability to grasp complex issues and evaluate solutions. In this case to the problem of the use by date of the pain relief capsules. Then she sat down to a round of polite applause and waited to see what would happen. To her delight, a brainstorm arose with everybody contributing ideas. In this constructive climate, her own suggestions were welcomed. This positive mood continued for the rest of her stay and by the end of the week, Jo was satisfied that the cause had been correctly diagnosed for the too fast degradation of the casings of the capsules. A solution to the problem had been found and she was confident it would be implemented without delay. Moreover, she had been invited to run some training workshops for chemists and managers, which had been well received. She developed a new sense of respect for her French colleagues in particular, for their pride in their work, their sense of commitment to their areas of specialization and their theoretical research approach to problem solving. Hulot himself accompanied her in a company car to the airport, kissed her hand on parting bowed, and said “Madame, you are a very gracious lady. It is impossible to believe you are Australian!” Jo recognized this was his highest form of praise.
Source: Deresky, H., Christopher, E. (2012). International Management: managing cultural diversity (2nd ed). Pearson: Sydney.
For questions 3 to 5, please refer to the Article about Monsieur Hulot
Key element C: Conduct a comparative research on management model, and their implication for management in different national and regional context
Question 3 (LO1C)
- Jo Barnes and Monsieur Hulot are both managers of Port Philip Pharmaceuticals are based in two different countries. Jo Barnes is an Australian international manager who oversees the operation in France under the management of Monsieur Hulot, a French national. Describe and compare how each of these managers deals separately with the management issue that is affecting the operation of Port Philip Pharmaceuticals.
- One of the challenges of international business in different countries is the different forces of the international environment that impacts the role of management of multinational organizations. Evaluate any international forces that influenced the operation of Port Philip Pharmaceuticals in their operation and its management in France.
- Multinational company like Port Philip Pharmaceuticals deals with many constituents. Evaluate the management approach of Jo Barnes in dealing with her constituents in the Philippines and in France. ?
Please refer to Question 6A and 6B:
Case Study: Yahoo Inc.
Yahoo! Inc. Is a global internet media company that offers a branded network of comprehensive information, communication and shopping services to 80 million users worldwide. As the first online navigational guide to the Web, Yahoo is the leading guide in terms of traffic, advertising, household and business user reach, and is one of the most recognized brands associated with the Internet. For the past decades, Yahoo! Inc., announced that it has launched Yahoo! China and designed an internet guide designed specifically for Web users in China. Yahoo! China includes more than 20,000 Web sites created in traditional Chinese characters. The site was developed with assistance from China-based IT company Beijing Founder Electronics Co., Ltd, a subsidiary of Founder (Hong Kong) Limited which was originally founded by Beijing University. Beijing Founder Electronics Co., Ltd. Is one of the typical companies in illustrating Chinese government’s innovative concept of “enterprise-centered, market-oriented, and a combination of the joint efforts of enterprises, colleges and research institutions”.
Source: Unknown – probably made up by the author of this assessment.
Key element C Analyze the impact of cross-cultural encounters for international and multinational business, including acquisitions and merger, joint ventures and collaborations.
Question 6 (L02C)
- Explain one benefit and one risk that Yahoo! Can get from its local joint venture partner with Beijing Founder Electronic to deal with Chinese government.(2.5 marks each, a total of 5 marks)
- How does a strategic alliance differ from a joint venture? Explain one advantage and one disadvantage of such alliances.
- Learning Outcome 3: Learners will be able to integrate and apply the basic elements of international strategic management, including the pressures adn cost/benefit of strategies emphasize global integration versus local adaptation; describe the specialized strategies required for entering foreign markets.
Key Element A: Demonstrate a comprehensive understanding of the international strategic management process which top level management of multinational enterprises have to deal with.
Please refer to Question 7A and 7B
Case Study: Brandon Kelly and Mr. Kumatsu
Brandon Kelly, an electronic Manager for an American satellite manufacturer, had spent weeks negotiating with a Japanese parts distributor in Yokohama which was their company’s suppliers. A newly appointed Japanese executive, Mr. Kumatsu, was tough in the negotiations, so progress had been slow. Eventually, Brandon thought of a common scenario where both of them can meet half-way for an equitable that can be worked out. After a month, a meeting was held between Brandon and Mr. Kumatsu, Brandon was very happy to inform Mr. Kumatsu that their thinking is parallel and he was ready to draw up the contract. Mr. Kumatsu responded by thanking Brandon and the meeting without any further statement. Nothing has been heard from Mr. Kumatsu from them on.
Source: Hill, Charles W.L. (2001. Global Business Today (5th ed). Mcgraw-Hill Irwin: New York.
Question 7 (L03A)
- Evaluate the management strategic used by Brandon in order to finalize the deal of the Yokohama parts with Mr. Kumatsu and how it led to success of failure of the deal.
- Design an effective management strategy for Brandon to successfully achieve a good international dealing with their company’s suppliers in Japan.