The paper "Multinational Corporations and Industrial Relations" Is a wonderful example of a Management Assignment. Bert Donaldson, who had been specially selected for the European assignment, was unable to achieve any success. He had been posted to Zurich, in order to form a European team that would facilitate communication among the suppliers of parts. These suppliers had been acquired by Argos Diesel of Europe, a subsidiary of Argos International, located in Dallas. The extent of Donaldson’ s failure had driven Waterhouse, the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Argos Diesel, Europe to exasperation. Donaldson’ s system of interacting with the Zurich staff was regarded as being coarse.
Moreover, he had been unable to achieve the team-building goals, within the stipulated time frame. Another major fear of Waterhouse was that Donaldson’ s fiasco would depict him in poor light. The difficulty in the situation was that it was difficult for Waterhouse to terminate the services of Donaldson, as the latter had a record of proven success in the US. In addition, the CEO of the parent organization was favorably inclined towards Donaldson. The Floundering Expatriate case study undertakes a detailed discussion regarding certain cross-cultural leadership issues.
It also discusses communication issues related to the efforts made by Bert Donaldson, who was posted to Europe from the US. Donaldson failed to familiarise himself with European culture and was singularly unsuccessful in replicating his success in Detroit while attempting to transform the European subsidiary. A major deficiency noticed in Donaldson was his firm conviction that his or the American way of conducting affairs was correct in all situations. He had scant regard for other cultures and values. His ethnocentricity verged on megalomania, and he was unwilling to accept the existence of other methods to carry out a task.
Donaldson was adamant in his insistence that his procedures were the only correct or acceptable ones. Such was his obdurateness that he argued illogically with Waterhouse that the Zurich staff had to adapt their functioning to be in conformity with what was being done in the parent company in the US. Another major deficiency noted in Donaldson was that he ignored the presence of subsidiary cultures in the Swiss culture. These subsidiary cultures had their own set of beliefs, goals, and morals. Reasons for Donaldson’ s Mistakes as the CEO Several mistakes occurred in the management duties of Donaldson in Zurich, as he was unfamiliar with the European culture.
Moreover, these mistakes transpired due to Donaldson’ s inability to adapt himself to the culture and communication mechanism of the European community. He had been posted to the subsidiary of Argos Diesel company. As he had not been provided with any specific training for adapting himself to the new place or culture, Donaldson faced considerable difficulty in dealing with the novel situations that he had to envisage. In general, the concerned staff at the headquarters of a firm could envisage difficulty in arriving at a precise evaluation of the circumstances under which the subsidiaries have to function.
An expatriate allotted to an assignment has to be appraised. Taking into consideration, the expenditure involved and the importance of their function, the multinational corporations have to monitor and record the performance of expatriates in a rigorous manner.
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