Working Cross Culturally: Forget Business as Usual
(8 pages of text)
Case (Gen Exp)
In 2006, Sophia Tannis, a 36-year-old professional with the U.S.-based multinational company CPA Solutions (CPA), who had worked internationally for many years, was asked by an influential leader at corporate headquarters in the United States to inject herself into a business-critical situation in Moscow. An established local competitor had been using various methods to damage CPA’s reputation in Moscow, and Tannis had to decide between employing the usual approaches expected by her leaders—involving the courts, media, and outreach to customers—or taking a more informal, relationship-based approach, as her Moscow-based counterpart encouraged. Tannis had to make a choice that could impact the company’s credibility, and she had to choose between strategies that were successful in North America and Europe and those proposed by her local advisors.
This case is suitable for use in undergraduate and graduate courses in leadership, organizational behaviour, human resources management, and international business. After working through the case and assignment questions, students will be able to
- explain the complexity of working internationally and cross-culturally;
- identify the role of stereotypes, culture, nationality, and gender (as examples) in working cross-culturally;
- demonstrate the value of preparation in dealing with issues and crises that span locations, cultures, and legal and political systems;
- understand the value and importance of networks and relationships in leadership decision making; and
- understand how a leader’s character influences success or failure in cross-cultural assignments.
Russia; United States, Large, 2006
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