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N247 : International Management

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N247 : International Management

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Course Code: N247
University: The University Of Manchester

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Country: United Kingdom


Using the key themes engaged with during the module and the online tutorials with regard to culture (individual, country and organisational) informed by the academic literature and using
examples from the business world, critically assess the challenges that Thompson faces in the case study. Finally, your report must show evidence of highlighting answers to the following questions:
What is the problem?
Why has the problem/s occurred?
Is the problem typical of management across international borders?
Can this problem be prevented in future?
What lessons can be learned from the experience (positive or negative) of other businesses that have headquarters in one country and subsidiaries in another in a globalised economy?
What advice would you give to Thompson to resolve his problem?  


As the world is moving forward with the technologies and new strategies for making the firm grow, there are new management styles also developing so that the management of the employees can be done in the effective manner. Cross cultural management occurs when the manager manages the employees from the foreign land from different cultures then his own (Greblikaite & Daugeliene, 2010). It also happens when the staff members from the other countries in the native land of the manager. It is very significant for the manager to have the right experience for managing the cross culture employees in the firm. There are firms across the world which operates in different countries and all the branches are managed by different managers (Gerhart, 2008). For this management to be efficient, managers should be able to identify and acknowledge the difference in the culture and new practices of the employees. This report discusses about John Thomson who was earlier the manager in the Shonteur Inc. in USA. Now he has to manage the firm in France where the employees are from France, German, Portugal etc. Further this report analyzes the issue in the management style of Thompson and talks about the prevention of such issues.
Background and Problem
John Thompson who an executive in the firm was named Shonteur Inc. USA was given the chance to work in the France in Shonteur France which was the subsidiary firm of the same firm in USA. The subsidiary was actually incepted for the procurement of the wines in Europe for the US market. The firm has approximately 179 employees and there were people who were from very different backgrounds like France, Portugal etc. But majorly there were people from France. Thompson started his managerial style which was participative as he learnt that this style would do wonders in the firm. He then started to work anticipatively with all the employees.
While working with the employees of different cultures, Thompson thought that everything is going well and he had this aim to grow fast in the company by increasing the productivity of the employees. For increasing the productivity of the employees, he started including the employees in taking any decision. He majorly left the decisions on the employees and in case of some decision taken by him; he took advice from the employees. Due to managing the employees this way, he thought that his employees would have high morale and hence, they would give good productivity. Later down the road, he started understanding that his employees were not satisfied and had low morale too.
The issue which generated low morale and dissatisfaction in the employees was related to his management style. Thompson did not have any experiences in the field of managing the people who are from different cultures (Andreassi, 2014). He took the job so that he would be able to grow soon without thinking once about managing the people from the different cultures.
Reason of the Issue Occurrence
There are some of the reasons which could have been the issue in the ineffective management of the employees from different cultures. They are as follows:

Values: The behavior that the manager has is linked with the values and the beliefs that he or she is brought up in. When a manager is working with the people from different cultures, he comes across different norms and beliefs and hence different behaviors. For example: a manager might react in a way having his own values in mind but it is considered as being cruel in various cultures(EIloy & Smith, 2003).
Performance as Manager: Most of the managers sometimes find it tough to manage the cross management style as it sometimes becomes annoying to work with people of different cultures. This can also hamper the decision making an issue as taking decision in this management style takes more time than usual.
Communication Style: When people are from different cultures, they definitely speak various languages which might or might not be understood by the managers. Thompson might not have had an effective communication style which is easy and flexible for the employees to understand(Kawar, 2012).  
Motivation: Not just the participative style is enough for the employee to feel good but all the employees need motivation too. Thompson, no doubt used to include the employee in his decisions but he never motivated the employees to work hard. Low motivation always leads to job dissatisfaction in employees.
No Training: Thompson took no training and no experience of how to manage the cross cultural management team. Low experience and no training can lead to employee dissatisfaction and low productivity. There are various different factors which are needed to learn the management of cross culture.

Is the issue typical across international borders?
                                                                                   Source: (Hofstede-Insights, 2018).
Power Distance: France has the culture of being dependent on other people. Here people might not want to take their own decisions for the firm. Authoritative leadership style would have been good in case of people who were French.
Individualism: People in France are brought up being independent when it comes to the groups of community but they are getting equal respect as their parents. Hence, Thompson would have been a little respectful with them by getting to know them, it would have also worked.
Masculinity: According to this point, French people are used to living a quality life. Taking decisions in Shonteur Inc. would have demanded more hours of work and stress.
Uncertainty Avoidance: According to this culture, French people do not like uncertainties and surprises. When Thompson would have asked them to take the decision for him, these people would have taken it as a surprise and they would not have liked it. This relates to the Power Distance as well explained above.
Long Term Orientation: This culture depicts a very different from above points. According to this French people adapt to new traditions easily and changed conditions as well. Hence, this culture says that French people would have been motivated (Hofstedeinsights, 2018).
Therefore, by suing Hofstede culture model, we comes to  know that French people’s culture should be studies first before starting anything new with them. It is justified that those people did not like the participative managerial style which Thompson was following with them.  
Prevention of the Issues in Cross Cultural Management
The prevention of the issues in the cross cultural management is very necessary to be resolved as it leads to demotivated employees and job dissatisfaction. There are some ways in which the firm can mitigate or prevent these issues. They are:
Effective Communication: A communication done in an effective manner can be the major key towards success in current world. The leaders and the managers must involve the partners and the users to from across world and at the same time they need to effectively manage the expectations of the employees in the firm (Franko, 2012).
Getting to know employees: Managers should get to know every member of the firm who comes from a different country or culture. It becomes easy when the manager knows about every employee. This also makes the employees open up with their manager and share their ideas or feelings. Managers usually excel when they get to know the employees and excel in unique skills due to the employees from different cultures.
Retaining employees: The manager should be able to know about the inner feelings of the employees who are from different cultures. This is really important for retaining these employees.
Culture Difference: This is related to the getting to know the employees point. It is really vital for the managers to take out some time and getting to know about different cultures his employees are from. This might involve learning about different languages and also the fault lines. Also learning about some miscommunication and misconception is good. For this an implementation of the employee software self service would be apt. With the help of the software, the manager and other people will get to know as to what exactly is going on with the other person (Firkola & Lim, 2003).
New Norms: As discussed above that if there are different cultured people in the team, they might feel different when it comes to the norms that the manager is following. Hence, when there are people of multi culture present in the team, there must be new norms defined in the team or the current norms should clearly be explained to all the team members so that there is no confusion left (Tompos, 2016).
Training: The training and the certificates should be made necessary for the employees as well as for the manager by every firm before taking any cross culture job. With no experience in managing the team of different culture, a manager would never be able to handle the team well and this situation is more prone to having dissatisfied and low morale employees. Hence, the firm goes on with no or less productivity.
Lessons Learned
Form the above case study, there are some lessons which can be learnt. The lessons which are learnt from are as follows:

John Thompson had no experience in handling the cross cultural management team in France. He wanted to move ahead soon and that is the reason he said yes to this opportunity. This should not be done by any manager(Fink, 2006).
The firm gave no training to the manager before giving him this opportunity. Hence, the employees became dissatisfied with him as well as the job they were doing. The firm should always have the training done before doing anything of this sort.
The manager should be able to know all his employees. Thompson thought that by just using the participative managerial style, his employees would have high productivity. This was a wrong thought(Ao, 2016).
What Thompson learnt in various management seminars was not completely apt for cross cultural management.
The manager should get to know about different cultures so that he can easily interact with his team and members from different cultures(Kundu, 2001). For example: John went to France but he was just doing his job and not interacting very much with his team members (Gouda, 2015).

Advice for the manager to solve the Issue
John should have a meeting with his team members and straight forwardly ask him team members as to what is going on. This should be done because he saw the employees showing low morale none verbally but none of the employee said anything about the same. Then he should learn their language a little so that he is able t o make the employees feel comfortable. The manager should learn about the theories like Hofstede theory, cultural dimension theories and implement them in this context so that he is also able to learn more about the location where he is working. Once the employees become comfortable in talking to Job about their misunderstandings or dissatisfaction or anything of that sort, then he should make them realize that he is with them. He should be able to make them trust him and that he is there for them whenever they want. Ultimately, the manager should be able to retain all the employees and for that he needs to make them like their job and the process. He should involve himself more and more with his team member and not just when he is there to make any decision.
This report discusses about John Thompson who was an executive in Shonteur Inc. USA. Later, when he got the chance to become the manager in Shonteur Inc. France, he took the chance because of longer growth without having any experience in cross cultural management. This report displays the issues that happened with the employees because of John’s participative style that he followed. Job dissatisfaction and low morale etc kind of emotions are normal when there is no experience of managing a cross cultural management in the manager. This report focuses upon the issues and displays the ways as to how these issues can be prevented. Towards the conclusion, there are recommendations for the manager given as to what he can do to aprevent this issues in Shonteur Inc.
Andreassi, J.K., 2014. Cross Cultural Management. Cross Cultural Management An International Journal, 21(1), pp.57-79.
Ao, Y., 2016. he Impact of Cross-Cultural Communication on Foreign Managers’ Leadership Style in China-Based International Organization. Open Journal of Social Sciences, 4, pp. 99-118.
EIloy, D.F. & Smith, C.R., 2003. Cross Cultural Management. An International Journal, 10(1).
Fink, G., 2006. Understanding Cross-Cultural Management Interaction: Research into Cultural Standards to Complement Cultural Value Dimensions and Personality Traits. International Studies of Management and Organization , 36(4), pp.38-60.
Firkola, P. & Lim, L., 2003. Cross-Cultural Management Research Issues. Economic journal of Hokkaido University, 32, pp.45-68.
Franko, K., 2012. Intercultural communication —the effect of cultural differences in everyday working environment of companies (from germany, switzerland, austria) in hungary. [Online] Available at: https://www.issbs.si/press/ISBN/978-961-6813-10-5/papers/ML12_144.pdf [Accessed 11 October 2018].
Gerhart, B., 2008. Cross Cultural Management ResearchAssumptions, Evidence, and Suggested Directions. International Journal of Cross Cultural Management, 8(3), pp.259-74.
Gouda, H., 2015. Intercultural management: theories, tools and factors of success. International Journal of Management and Applied Science, 1(9).
Greblikaite, J. & Daugeliene, R., 2010. The growing need of cross-cultural management and ethics in business. European Integration Studies, 4.
Kawar, T.I., 2012. Cross-cultural Differences in Management. International Journal of Business and Social Science , 3(6).
Kundu, S.C., 2001. Managing cross-cultural diversity: a challenge for present and future organizations. Delhi Business Review , 2(2).
Romani, L., 2010. The hidden side of cross-cultural management. [Online] Available at: https://www.wu.ac.at/fileadmin/wu/o/iaccm/Abstracts/2010_Romani__Laurence.pdf [Accessed 11 October 2018].
Singh, D., 2010. Managing Cross-cultural Diversity: Issues and Challenges in Global Organizations. Journal of Mechanical and Civil Engineering, 3, pp.43-50.
Tompos, A., 2016. Austrian and Hungarian values and norms in cross-cultural management research. Electronic Journal of Management, 3.

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