Tommy Chen: Using Sun Tzu's Art of War in Business
(8 pages of text)
In 2014, the general manager and a director of an Australian building company were seeking an outside investor to provide the company with the needed resources to recover from a disastrous takeover. The two found such an investor in a Chinese entrepreneur and Sun Tzu master based in Hong Kong. To the shock of those involved with the Australian company, the Chinese investor used Sun Tzu war strategies to take over and destroy the smaller Australian company, while flouting ethical business practices and Australia's standards of corporate governance.
The Australians' naïveté and their desperate need for capital made the investor's tactics possible. With the benefit of hindsight and omniscient narration revealing the thoughts and actions of both parties, students can evaluate how the events in the case led to the shocking conclusion in 2015, leaving a shell of a company worth penny stock.
This case is ideal for use in courses on international business, corporate governance, and international management. The case examines the strategies promoted in Sun Tzu's Art of War, making it particularly relevant when discussing international business in Asian contexts. After completion of the case, students will be able to
- identify, analyze, and understand the difference between ethical corporate governance and the use or misuse of war tactics in business;
- identify, analyze, and understand the importance of relationships and trust in these environments; and
- develop approaches to use during due diligence to reveal the potential for unethical strategies in business.
Australia; Indonesia; Singapore; Hong Kong, Medium, 2015
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