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Case Analysis Based on Intercultural Management


Task: Instructions:
Please read all questions/directions carefully before answering the questions.

Part A: Activity
1. Look up the scores of your country and the biggest business partner of your country on the six intercultural managementdimensions on (If you can’t find your country or the other on the list, replace it by one of its neighbouring countries.) Copy and paste the figure below, e.g

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• Replace this example figure above by the one generated in your research as well as the country names.
• Click on “READ MORE ABOUT CHOSEN COUNTRIES” below the figure on the website. Read the descriptions about the two cultures, summarise in your own words the differences in each of the dimensions and put your answers in the following table. Fill in each of the blanks with no more than 50 words. Put the names of the countries in the coloured blanks corresponding to the colours in the above figure.

Cultural dimensions Name of your country Name of the other country Power Distance Individualism Masculinity

Uncertainty Avoidance
Long Term Orientation Indulgence
2. How could score differences on these dimensions influence collaboration between the two cultures Choose two of the dimensions and support your answer by concrete examples.

3. Based on what you know from Browaeys and Marie-Joelle’s Understanding cross-cultural management (3 rd ed.), Chapter 2, what are the advantages and limitations when using Hofstede’s dimensions to describe organisational cultures

Part B: Case studies
After carefully reading the text, answer the questions appropriately.

Case 1: To recap, or not to recap
BethariSyamsudin is an Indonesian manager working for the multinational automotive supplier Valeo. This is her story: “My boss is German, but my team is all Indonesian. In my culture, if we have a strong relationship and come to a spoken agreement, that is enough for me. So if you get off the phone and send me an e-mail recapping in writing everything we have just decided, that would be a clear sign to me that you don’t trust me.

My boss asked me to do what I could to make the communication more transparent in our office. He complained that he often didn’t know what decisions had been made and wanted a higher level of clarity. So he asked me to send a written recap of our weekly Bangkok team meeting to him and all participants in order to boost the clarity.

I will never forget the reaction of my Indonesian team when I sent out the first recap putting all of them on copy. My good friend and colleague called two minutes after the recap was sent out and said, ‘Don’t you trust me, Bethari I told you I would do it in the meeting. You know I am good on my word.’ She thought I was being ‘political’—which is what we often say about the Europeans. I was caught between the culture of my boss and the culture of my staff. ”

4. Based on what you know about low-context and high-context cultures, what is your understanding of the conflict in this case

5. According to what you know about the reconciliation of cross-cultural conflict in Understanding cross-cultural management (3rd ed.), Chapter 5, what would you do to resolve this dilemma Give justified reasons to support your answer.

Case 2: Kalimera
“Kalimera” is a 5-star hotel situated in the coastal area of Greece in 2003. Over the years, the hotel has been significantly growing reaching $2million in revenue in 2017. Due to the great number of tourists, Mr.Vlamis, who is the Human Resource (HR) manager, has hired employees from different cultural backgrounds to provide an international environment. On the other hand, due to the cultural diversity, conflicts between the employees and Mr.Vlamis are increasing. An example of this conflict situation is that between Mr.Vlamis and his new assistant Mrs.Allaman, a Swiss lady who has recently moved to Greece.

They are both working on a new policy regarding working remotely. Mrs. Walsh strongly believes that giving the employees the opportunity to work from home may increase productivity and performance. Meanwhile Mr.Vlamis believes that being physically present at work will increase the outcome.

6. Identify the cultural differences between Greece and Switzerland as per the GLOBE project.

7. Why do Mr.Vlamis and Mrs. Walsh have different attitudes towards working remotely

8. Based on Trompenaars’ model of reconciling cultural dilemmas quoted in Understanding cross-cultural management (3 rd ed.), Concept 5.2 and Concept

17.1, what could be a win win solution for both Mr.Vlamis and Mrs.Allaman

Case 3: Women leaders in India

India is a land of strong tradition, but also of dynamic change. One of the more notable changes is the increasing number of women who hold leadership positions in local companies or who have begun their own entrepreneurial firms. In past decades a small number of women have risen to the top and quietly broken through the barriers of social conformity, both at home and in the workplace, to become successful entrepreneurs and professionals. In recent years, however, this stream has become a flood. Some, such as Indu Jain of the privately held Bennett Coleman, is CEO of India’s biggest media house. She has reached billionaire status, according to Forbes magazine.

KiranMazumdar-Shaw started one of India’s first biotech companies, Biocon, while LalitaGupte and KalpanaMorparia run India’s second largest bank, ICICI Bank. There are more. Simone Tata built one of the first indigenous cosmetic brands, Lakme, now a unit of Hindustan Lever. Anu Aga turned around an ailing company, the engineering firm Thermax Group, to become a highly profitable venture. Priya Paul became the president of ApeejaySurrendra Group at the age of twenty-four when her father was killed. SulajjaFirodiaMotwani, managing director of Kinetic Motor, collaborated with firms in South Korea, Italy, and Taiwan to grow her company from a niche moped maker to a manufacturer of a full range of two-wheelers and auto components. Finally, NeelamDhawan, as managing director for Microsoft India, has led a 35 percent growth spurt in the past five years.

Why are women doing so well in India One reason is the country’s long tradition of valuing education, so women who achieve academically are seen as smart and savvy. Another reason is this: “What really made them successful is their sheer determination to break through,” says Indira Parikh, president of the Foundation for Management Education in Pune, outside Mumbai. Their formula for success is identical to those of their male counterparts: skills, drive, and opportunity. Finally, there is little evidence that these women leaders in India behave differently from their male counterparts. Consistent with the GLOBE findings, their behaviours are more Indian than female or male, although this finding may not be true around the world. In working with subordinates, they are described as encouraging, motivating, dynamic, and decisive – which, again, is consistent with GLOBE’s overall view of effective leaders. (Source: MeghaBahree, “India’s most powerful businesswomen,” Forbes, September 1, 2006.)

9. Comparing the above case and the case “Gender diversity boosts company shares” by Charlotte Clark in Understanding cross-cultural management (3 rd ed.), pp. 228-29, do you believe that gender or national culture represents a more significant influence on leadership style and effectiveness around the world Why Support your arguments with examples from different cultures.

Case 4 Emerson Electric – Suzhou
When Emerson Electric opened its new manufacturing facility in Suzhou, near Shanghai, the initial aim of the facility was to be the company’s showcase operation throughout East and Southeast Asia. When it opened, a US-educated Taiwanese manager, supported by a small group of American expatriates, led the initial management team. Although the operation became an early success in meeting its production quotas, cross-cultural conflicts and leadership issues began to emerge from the very beginning. These issues were centred in three principal areas: the nature of team dynamics, the focus on leadership initiatives, and divergent views of time.

The US view of team dynamics favoured team diversity, encouraging multiple viewpoints in team meetings to tease out alternative solutions to complex problems. Along with this diversity of opinions came the predictable interpersonal conflicts. Members were encouraged to confront such conflicts head-on in the hopes of leading to more creative innovative solutions. Better results, rather than the quality of personal interactions, signalled the success of the operation. For the Chinese, however, this created an uncomfortable work environment that they were not used to. To many Chinese, teams should have a single, clear, and unified vision, transmitted through a single voice established by the leader. Conflict indicated poor understanding and leadership of the situation. It was something to be avoided, for it signalled a lack of direction, and might cause someone to lose face. In addition, these prevailing team dynamics rested on a particular approach to leadership that was more Western than Eastern. The Americans followed a largely functionalist approach to management and interpersonal relations, in which leader competence was viewed in terms of task accomplishment, which was seen as instrumental for success. By contrast, the Chinese approach to leadership was largely “personalist” in nature. In other words, it was the personal integrity of each manager that was deemed instrumental for the success of the new plant. The Chinese valued personal integrity in an effort to win the trust and respect of their followers, while the Americans valued job competence and expected their followers to perform well on the tasks at hand. Chinese management rested on individual commitment, often of a personal nature, whereas the Americans valued professional competence.

These different approaches to team leadership also influenced the way managers dealt with confrontation and misunderstandings. In line with the more personal Chinese approach, interpersonal exchanges among participants provided a basis for developing mutual relationships (gunxi). This, in turn, facilitated problem resolution. By contrast, the Americans often preferred the more confrontational “trial-style” alternatives. They emphasized company policies and rules, rather than personal interactions. They saw formal behaviour as a sign of professionalism. The Chinese saw this approach as being childish, since, in their view, norms and regulations seldom allowed for the complexity that was required to actually resolve complex issues and problems.

Finally, time perspectives also affected the quality of the interactions between the Chinese and the Americans. In particular, American managers usually favoured relatively short time horizons, since they were expatriates who saw their positions as stepping stones to further career advancement. To advance, they needed short-term recognition of results. By contrast, their Chinese counterparts, who had no goals of leaving either China or Emerson, preferred a longer term perspective. They largely believed that results would follow from setting the proper course of events in motion. Results would then happen naturally; they did not need to be forced.

As a result of these differences, conflicts and misunderstandings continued until Emerson stepped in and largely replaced the American management team with Chinese leaders who were more attuned to local conditions. Today the Suzhou facility is a star player in the Emerson Electric network of companies. This is in no small part attributable to the wisdom of the firm in developing leadership and management practices that were compatible with, and supportive of, the local operating environment. If there is a lesson to be drawn from this example, it is that leadership style is not universal. Local cultures and conditions can have a profound influence on the success of global ventures. (Source: Juan Antonio Fernandez and Liu Shengjun, China CEO: A Case Guide for Business Leaders in China. Hoboken, NJ: Wiley, 2007.)

10. Based on what you know from Concept 6.1, what would be the diversity challenge for the managers of Emerson Electric in Suzhou Support your arguments with examples.

11. According to what you know from Understanding cross-cultural management (3 rd ed.), Concept 12.2, what hypercultural/transcultural competence do the managers of Emerson Electric in Suzhou need to develop Support your answers with examples.

12. Casrnir proposes a model of third-culture building to account for the evolutionary nature of intercultural dialogue. What role do you think the many studies on cultural dimensions can play in the application of this model

13. Is it possible to anticipate how, for example, the interaction could evolve between individuals in Emerson Electric in Suzhou from two different cultures Support your answers with reasons and examples.

14. In this case, the conflicts were resolved by assigning Chinese leaders to the American management team. Based on what you know from Concept 10.2, do you think an international corporate culture can exist in Emerson Electric in Suzhou Support your arguments with examples.


Intercultural Management Analysis
Part A
Answer 1

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Figure 1: Hofstede’s Cultural Dimensions of United Kingdom and United States
(Source: "Compare countries - Hofstede Insights", 2020)

Cultural Dimensions

Name of the Country

(United Kingdom)

Name of the other Country

(United States of America)


UK has a high score in individualism which denotes that the British are private people.

The individualism score suggests the preference of privacy along with direct and informal participation.


Individuals in UK are highly success oriented and driven to work efficiently.

The masculinity drive for Americans are high.

Uncertainty Avoidance

With the score generated as a country it can be inferred that the individuals of UK are contended with not knowing about the future.

Acceptance of new ideas, creative products and the willingness to experience is high with prior knowledge.

Long Term Orientation

This dimension is a dominant factor for the British culture as they honour their time traditions.

Americans are intended to obtain and process new information to verify it.


The indulgence factor for British is high and classified.

This factor for Americans suggests a contradictory behaviour.

Power Distance

The power distance score suggests that UK believes in minimising inequalities.

In the US, people believe in mitigating inequalities.


Answer 2
The score differences in the cultures of United States and United Kingdom in relation to uncertainty avoidance is seen to be 46 and 35, respectively. While British people choose not to have a prior knowledge to the future events, Americans invite new ideas only with relevant and justified information regarding it. Another striking difference in the score of the two cultures is seen in the long-term orientation which is 51 for UK and 26 for US (Compare countries - Hofstede Insights, 2020). This suggests that UK is more prone to safeguarding time traditions of the country as compared to Americans. By mitigating these cultural differences between the two countries it is possible to collaborate as the scores of the remaining dimensions do not indicate significant differences.

Answer 3
Advantage: This model is a generalised model of comparison of cultures between two or more countries which accounts for the differences in absolute terms rather than relative terms. Moreover, the model presents certain orientations which has been obtained from a majority of members within the culture under consideration(Browaeys and Price, n.d.). The general comparison provided by this model will be able to give an overall cultural comparison between countries that will help overcoming intercultural barriers.

Limitations:The absolute comparison which is regarded as a simple comparison of cultures between two countries is not commendable. Also, this framework of comparison is considered to be seductive as there is not many dimensions of comparisons that will provides clarity to cultural analysts with relatable features of culture to compare(Browaeys and Price, n.d.).

Part B
Case 1
Answer 4

The extent of how explicit a message that is being exchanged in an organisation can be decided by taking into consideration the high-context and low-context culture that is followed within the organisation (Kim, 2017). In European countries, high context culture is prevalent whereby non-verbal communication is preferred as compared to Asian countries where low context culture is followed in which, direct verbal communication is considered more important. This is the recognized source of conflict in the given case that can be regarded as a conflict of intercultural communication barrier emphasising on the difference of following the high-context and low context cultures.

Answer 5
When there is a cultural difference between two parties in business, then often it becomes crucial to mitigate the barrier and reconcile for the benefit of the business (Mittal, 2015). According to the Model of Reconciliation, it is necessary to respect and be aware of the cultural notions while dealing in an intercultural environment to resolve a potential conflict. The reason for this is that people should maintain their integrity towards a different culture which will prevent them form becoming weak or corrupt.

Case 2
Answer 6

According to the GLOBE project, the culture visualisation of Greece has a low performance orientation, future orientation, humane orientation and uncertainty avoidance than the average GLOBE score (Results - Greece GLOBE Project, 2020). However, the assertiveness, institutional collectivism and in-group collectivism is higher than the average GLOBE score.

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Figure 2: The Culture Visualisation of Greece
(Source: "Results - Greece GLOBE Project", 2020)

According to the GLOBE project, the culture visualisation of Switzerland is seen to have obtained a higher score than the average in terms of performance orientation, assertiveness, future orientation and uncertainty avoidance (Results - Switzerland GLOBE Project, 2020). However, humane orientation, institutional collectivism, in-group collectivism, gender egalitarianism and power distance of the country is lower than the average score of GLOBE project.

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Figure 3: The Culture Visualisation of Switzerland
(Source: "Results - Switzerland GLOBE Project", 2020)

Answer 7
The reason for the occurrence of conflict between Mr.Vlamis and Mrs.Walsh is because they are from Greece and Switzerland, respectively. As per the cultural visualisation score given to both the countries in terms of performance orientation, it is observed that Switzerland has a higher score than the average score as compared to Greece. This justifies that individuals from Switzerland emphasizes more on the collective encouragement of team members for increasing productivity and performance. The score obtained by Greece for performance orientation is 3.2 which isrelatively low,whereas Switzerland has a score of 4.94 which is relatively high.

Answer 8
The five stages of reconciliation as stated by Trompenaars can produce a win-win situation for both parties involved in an intercultural conflict. According to the framework of mitigating intercultural conflict, it is observed that the first stage involves the reaffirmation of the commitment that could be beneficial for both parties and create a win-win situation. The second stage consist of the differences between the thoughts and culture of both parties followed by the third stage which is to search for similarities in culture (Mach and Baruch, 2015). The fourth stage comprises of a synthesis of the solutions obtained for better inferences and using the most suitable elements of the opposite culture to create a favourable situation. The final stage of reconciliation consists of reviewing the entire process and winning it for future application. Therefore, a win-win situation can arise when both the parties in this case try to follow the stages of reconciliation for mutual benefit.

Case 3
Answer 9

From the given case and the case of “Gender diversity boosts company shares” by charlotte Clark it is apparent that national culture represents a more significant influence on leadership style and effectiveness in the world. This is because of the leader’s decision-making ability that will ensure the wellbeing of their subordinates and the organisation considering the maintenance of adaption to the national cultures of the country. Furthermore, the leader’s ability to engage in international integration while enabling themselves to adapt to the local markets and culture.For instance, in the West, the leadership style is evolving and is considering the application of scientific principles which are more human oriented. This can be connected to the behaviour of leaders in Asia who display an increased level of human orientation (Liobikien et. al., 2016). Moreover, in the West, leaders believe in the clear defining of the organisational goals and objectives which are being adopted by the East for better leadership.

Case 4
Answer 10

The diversity challenge for managers at Emerson Electric in Suzhou will be integrating values of different cultures, cultural patterns and considering the fact that culture is not a set of values. Integrating values is considered to be more feasible as compared trading-off of cultures. Furthermore, mutual interaction within an organisation can be more efficient if the cultural patterns are observed and acted accordingly. The consideration of culture as not a set of discrete values will also be a diversity challenge as this describes the extent to which individuals adapt to their surroundings (Groves et. al., 2015). For instance, the managers of Emerson Electric can consider the mitigation diversity challenge by integrating common cultural values and mutual interaction of focusing on the common factors of both cultures.

Answer 11
It has been observed that the problems that are caused by cultural diversity are attributable to integration and communication. When the organisation needs its employees to think and act in the same manner but incurs a barrier to fulfil it problems in cultural diversity occurs. Emerson Electric needs to develop the communication transparency and consider convergent opinions to identify the significant complexities, ambiguities and confusions that arise in the organisation. The organisation needs to identify the persisting cultural practices that are causing problems of cultural diversity and needs to device ways to eradicate them (Richter et. al., 2016). Also, encouraging transcultural competence is considered to be an effective way of managing diversity due to cultural differences. It is also commendable if the managers of the company are aware of their own cultural preferences to overcome any significant dilemma.

Answer 12
The role of different studies of intercultural dimensions plays an important role in the application of the Casnir third-cultural building model(Browaeys and Price, n.d.). This is because these studies provide an elevated opportunity for increasing the intercultural dialogue and cross-cultural transitions. Furthermore, the application of this model will enable the observation of the extent of social support obtained while adapting to new cultures.

Answer 13
It is possible to anticipate that the interaction between individuals of different cultures in Emerson Electric can evolve. The reason being that if the managers are able to mitigate the intercultural barriers and develop a cultural integration rather than focusing on cultural trade-offs, it is possible to change. Moreover, if the mangers spread awareness and encourage respecting other cultures, an evolution is inevitable (Ransey and Lorenz, 2016).

Answer 14
With the advent of globalisation and increase in transnational business, it is possible to have an international corporate culture at Emerson Electric. People who share the same business ideas and cultures are being able to develop a global outlook for many business organisation and Emerson Electric is one of them. Many business organisations are adopting international regulations for establishing an international corporate culture which is increasing the global convergence of businesses and homogeneity among managers. For instance, there has been an observed similarity between business organisations of UK, US, Japan, France and Germany which used the same business strategy that gave success to the organisation in these countries (De Moorji, 2015). Moreover, the national cultures of these countries consists of several resemblances that makes it possible for an international culture in organisations based in these countries. The idea of a shared international culture is becoming more prevalent that is gaining popularity in organisations.

Browaeys, M. and Price, R., n.d. Understanding Cross-Cultural Management. 3rd ed. Edinburgh, United Kingdom: Pearson.

Compare countries - Hofstede Insights. (2020). Retrieved 5 October 2020, from De Mooij, M., 2015. Cross-cultural research in international marketing: clearing up some of the confusion. International Marketing Review.

Groves, K.S., Feyerherm, A. and Gu, M., 2015. Examining cultural intelligence and cross-cultural negotiation effectiveness. Journal of Management Education, 39(2), pp.209-243.

Kim, Y.Y., 2017. Cross-cultural adaptation.In Oxford Research Encyclopedia of Communication. Liobikien, G., Mandravickait, J. and Bernatonien, J., 2016. Theory of planned behavior approach to understand the green purchasing behavior in the EU: A cross-cultural study.

Ecological Economics, 125, pp.38-46. Mach, M. and Baruch, Y., 2015.Team performance in cross cultural project teams. Cross Cultural Management.

Mittal, R., 2015. Charismatic and transformational leadership styles: A cross-cultural perspective. International Journal of Business and Management, 10(3), p.26.

Ramsey, J.R. and Lorenz, M.P., 2016. Exploring the impact of cross-cultural management education on cultural intelligence, student satisfaction, and commitment. Intercultural managementAcademy of Management Learning & Education, 15(1), pp.79-99.

Results - Greece GLOBE Project. (2020). Retrieved 5 October 2020, from

Results - Switzerland GLOBE Project. (2020). Retrieved 5 October 2020, from

Richter, N.F., Hauff, S., Schlaegel, C., Gudergan, S., Ringle, C.M. and Gunkel, M., 2016.Using cultural archetypes in cross-cultural management studies. Journal of International Management, 22(1), pp.63-83.


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