Ellen Moore (A): Living and Working in Korea
(13 pages of text)
2017; 2016; 2015; 2014; 2013; 2012; 2011; 2010; 2009; 2008; 2007; 2005; 04; 01
Ellen Moore, a systems consultant, was sent to Korea to manage a project involving a team of North American and Korean consultants representing a joint venture between a major Korean conglomerate and a significant North American information technology company. The Americans were to be involved for the first seven months in order to transfer expertise and knowledge to the South Koreans, who had little experience in this area. Ellen's superior had played an integral part in securing the contract in Korea due to his depth of knowledge on the subject. He chose Ellen to be the key North American project manager because she had significant project management skills and impressive international experience. Upon Ellen's arrival, she discovered that the Korean consultants were far less skilled than she had expected. In addition, Ellen had understood that she and the Korean manager were to be co-managers, but immediately tensions arose regarding who was giving direction to the team, and the scope of the project. Tensions escalated until it was clear that the project was behind schedule and the Koreans were not taking direction from Ellen. The Koreans insisted that Ellen was the problem. Ellen’s superior disagreed; he and Ellen needed to decide how to proceed. The challenge was to balance strategic goals with individual action.
This case allows students to explore the variety of issues (i.e. gender, personality, cultural, communication, differing expectations) which may underlie conflict in international or diverse teams and to highlight the complex ways in which cultural issues may lead to conflict in an international context.
Administrative, Support, Waste Management and Remediation Services
Korea, Large, 1995
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