PART 1 CASE STUDY – COOPERATING and COMMUNICATING ACROSS CULTURES
1. Problem: Identification and summary of key organizational behavior issues evident in the case.
On this case study there are two scenarios/situations that are presented about cooperating and communicating across cultures. The scenario/situation begun when the company headquarters in Philadelphia sent Jim to Stuttgart, Germany to be the team leader for the introduction of a new laser for the eye surgery that will be launch in North America. Although Jim had never worked in Germany, he was selected because of his qualification, experience, speaks fluent German and a wife who is from Germany which makes him culturally prepared. Even though the launching of the new product was a success, there were issues, concerns and behavior that may ...view middle of the document...
Yet in spite of cut backs and struggles, the war for talent remain as strong as ever – company focus has simply shifted to strategic hiring and retention. However, innovative companies are committed and determine to re-investing and re-designing their strategy to deliver results with fewer or less resources. In the case of the company headquarters in Philadelphia, sending Jim to Stuttgart, Germany to lead the launching of a new laser product for eye surgery is what I called on-boarding strategy where the selection process (Jim) was centered on his experience, skills, and records of performance level. Not to mention, he was married to a German and speaks German fluently, thus making him cultural ready. Unfortunately, adapting a new environment, working for a German (Klaus) as team leader and German team simultaneously created an atmosphere of uncertainty and perspective. Assuming and expecting that Jim’s work experience, skills and cultural ready was a shoe-in was a mistake and almost a disaster for the company. It was a struggle with the honeymoon being over in two (2) months.
Regardless of the country, Jim as a leader should be adaptable and sensitive to the cultural differences. Never shy away from language issue it will never go away, so meet it head on. He should have data collected and information about the company that will help him throughout the process, assessing and defining clearly the project. He should recognize individuals or employees on his team like how to communicate, embracing change and new ideas. At the planning phase, have each person introduce themselves, how long they have worked for the company, describe what their skills and specialties and how they feel they can contribute to the success of the project.
Finally, spell out expectation in detail in every step of the way.