5050.docx - Fall 08 Case Study Leading Across Cultures at...

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Case Study: Leading Across Cultures at Michelin (A) Exclusive summary This report analyzes the key issues of leading across cultures at Michelin by evaluation of the management style of Chalon and the current situation of the group. There are three main issues have been identified at beginning of this report, which including the national culture conflicts, organizational culture conflicts, and the problem of the interaction. After that, there are five solutions were provided to dealing with the problems, which are understanding and respect to others cultures, improving the communication skills, improving the multicultural knowledge in organization, expending the benefits of multicultural, and developing and perfecting the new strategy of the organization. At the end of this report, the possible recommendations have been suggested at the end of this report, which includes developing the multicultural intelligence for Chalon and all team members, building the mutual trust and confidence, and improving the management style of Chalon. 08 Fall
1. Background Michelin, was founded in the 1800s in Clermont-Ferrand France, was the leader of tire manufacturing industry, and its business also covered maps, restaurants and hotel guides. It employed over 120,000 people around the world, and there were more than 20,000 people working in North America. In 2004, the North American department faced several challenges, such as lacking of competitiveness and having continuous decline in performance for several months. After a long-term evaluation, Michelin group decided to change their strategies, so they asked Chalon to achieve this goal by leading the current team. As a tough but fair manager, Chalon had a wealth of management experiences. During his 18-year career lives, he had held several top-level management positions in different business units in six countries. He is results-driven, disciplined, and demands complete accountability from his team; of course, this was the reason why the Michelin group chose him to lead this department. However, Chalon’s management style also caused conflicts between him and his colleagues. Chalon needed to dealing with the problem, which had bad impacts on the day-to- day running of the company to avoid further losses. 2. Problems The difficulties Chalon faced when he worked with American colleagues for the first time came from culture conflict. It can easily occur in multicultural groups because of the differences among members’ character and behaviors, which are influenced by different national culture and organization culture. National culture is an elusive concept and can be defined as the “collective programming of the mind, which distinguishes the members of one human group from another” (Hofstede 1980). It could bring about a significant culture conflict, like the cultural difference between east and west. Culture is manifested both in concrete aspect, like customs and language, and abstract aspect, like value and beliefs (Brewster, Sparrow & Houldsworth 2011.p29). So,

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