Canadian equipment manufacturer Mountain Machines had one successful expansion to South Korea under their belt and saw the potential for more in Asia. Human Resources Manager James Fader was debating options with Felicia Kwan, their Global HR Coordinator on general strategies and approaches. There were a number of longer-term strategies they needed to decide on such as, local country leadership versus sending a Canadian to manage the operation.
They had been careful, and successfully selected a capable and adaptable leader to open up the South Korea operation and felt that they had a small group of managers with the potential to take on such roles. Selection had been something they concentrated on, but preparation for the assignment was less effective. John Sargent, their Manager in Seoul had pointed out gaps in the preparation program he and his family noted. They had overcome them, but improvements were needed. On the other hand, he had developed a very successful operation with a hard-working team of local specialists.
One big strategy issue was to decide on the approach to leadership. They had been successful in sending John to South Korea to open the office. As noted above, he had built a successful team. When he returned to Canada next year they must decide who would succeed him, a local South Korean manager, or another Canadian from the Corporate office.
The original plan was to send a Canadian to be in charge. James knew this was the thinking of the Company’s Executive Committee. They wanted someone whom they knew and trusted to understand Company norms and approaches. They felt more comfortable with someone they knew as part of the existing team. Communication and overall management would be easier.
Felicia understood that, but said, “Based on the lessons we have learned, I think we would be wiser to promote a local manager to be in charge”. She had a great deal of contact with the South Korean office and found the Managers committed to Company success. They were proud to work for a Canadian firm and worked extremely hard, a feature of the South Korean workforce overall. In addition, John had alluded to shortfalls in the preparation program the Firm provided him. The local managers had been very helpful in assisting him and worked with Felicia in a few instances to overcome some initial misunderstandings. She and John had full confidence in them.
In addition, she felt local leadership would strengthen the business in South Korea. South Korea and each other Asian country they hoped to expand to were unique cultures. There would always be careful selection and preparation stages for any Canadian employee they sent to a new country. As talented as they were, however, they would never know the local situation, norms and practices, as a local person. Local managers had a wider, deeper network, and were more adept at sizing up potential opportunities. National pride was also a factor in many countries. They wished the Company to become part of the local business fabric and avoid any hints of economic nationalism, as other North American firms had been accused of. It would also help teach them more about doing business globally.
Also, she noted that the two top managers from the South Korean office had done impressive presentations to the Executive Committee, which were received quite well. Senior executives could not have their hands on every lever in the Company and needed to know that “things were well in hand.” Financial reports and business data transcended cultural differences. It was a language they understood. The more they saw these managers as “company staff” rather than foreign managers, the more confident they would be.
Furthermore, the more the South Korean managers saw the firm as “our company”, the stronger their commitment. In her view, communication and contact were critical. Certainly, within Canada, the more interaction there was between regions, fewer issues arose and problems got solved faster. They had fewer of the “silos” issues that many other firms had. She felt that this collaborative approach would be extended globally if the flow of communication drew offices together.
To aid ongoing communication, John had initiated monthly conference calls to Corporate and his two top managers accompanied him on return trips. They were fitting in well. She also felt they could be good advisors for Mountains’ plans to assess opportunities in Asia in general. As they were, “from the neighbourhood”, they would see things from a different point of view. Research was always helpful.
James couldn’t really counter this logic. He knew that the executives were always open to new thinking, but this would be a change in their strategy. Still, he felt it was well worth considering. Given the limited resources of the firm and the extensive resources involved in such assignments, he felt this was a more feasible solution. Despite his minor reservations felt that he and Felicia should consult with John, but more likely make this pitch to the Executive Committee to plant the seed with them before decision time arose next year.
Address the three questions below (base your answers on course material AND on your personal experiences and sensibilities about workplaces):
The majority of students wonder, “Can I hire someone to complete my homework for me?” The solution is straightforward and unambiguous. Yes! With “our assignment writing services, you may pay a professional writer to complete tasks ranging from simple to difficult in a timely manner. Being under the burden of academic commitments is something that many students encounter on a regular basis. Click Here and Place your Order