Charles Martin in Uganda: What to do When a Manager Goes Native International Business Case Study Assignment
Date: 23rd September, 2012
Submitted to: Sir Micheal
Question 1: Define Ugandan cultural attributes that might affect operations of foreign companies there? * Nepotism (favoritism granted to relatives regardless of merit) is the norm, and the government is considered one of the most corrupt in the world. * Paying extra for everything and because of such low GDP, people could get the work done on being paid tips. * Tribal rituals: belief that the Bujagali Falls was a home to sacred spirits. Had to appease them by paying a fee for the sacrifice of animals and then also take part in a dancing ritual. * Given Uganda’s history of political instability, the company ran the risk that today’s friends in high places might be tomorrow’s enemies of the state. * The philosophy and values of a foreign company might be against the rituals and the beliefs of the Ugandan people as it was considered pagan and probably a sham. Question 2:
i. How would you describe the respective attitudes of Martin and Green? Ethnocentric, polycentric, or geocentric? * Ethnocentric is judging a culture solely by its values and standard of one’s own culture. Hence Green’s attitude was ethnocentric, as he judged the Ugandan culture by comparing it to the norms and culture of his company. The company’s culture and foundation was based on Christian beliefs and hence they were contradictory to the country they had stationed in. * Martin’s attitude was more geocentric, although he did not believe in the tribal ritual in which he took part and even thought them to be pagan and a sham, yet he adapted to the Ugandan culture and even lived like them. In this way he got much of the work done for the company especially in cooperating with the locals for the Dam project. ii. What factors do you suspect of having influence their respective attitudes?...
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