Daimler China: Facing a Media Firestorm
(4 pages of text)
Case (Pub Mat)
The chief executive officer of Daimler Trucks and Buses China Ltd. was on an expatriate assignment in China. In November 2016, he faced a discomforting situation that could bring an abrupt halt to his career; an unfortunate incident in which he lost his temper led to fierce outrage in local Chinese and worldwide media. The media reaction threatened China’s prominence as a major source of revenue for Daimler, and sent Daimler’s share price on a downhill spiral. How should Daimler react, and what could it do to restore the company brand image?
This case is suitable for undergraduate, graduate, and executive education courses on international management, intercultural communication, and international human resource management. After completion of the case, students will be able to
- describe how frustration can build in international assignments, especially expatriate assignments;
- suggest how corporations can prepare their employees for cross-cultural assignments to mitigate the risk of culture shock;
- appreciate how a social media firestorm can influence brand value, and counter with an appropriate corporate communication strategy; and
- estimate the costs of making employees redundant, and recognize differences between countries caused by different legal requirements.
Germany; South Korea; China, Large, 2016
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