4 Seasons Goes to Paris

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Roger Hallowell, David Bowen and Carin-Isabel Knoop “Four Seasons Goes to Paris” Adapted from Edward T. Hall, Understanding Cultural Differences, Yarmouth: Intercultural Press, 1990.

Purpose: The purpose of the paper is to inform the readers that in a service orientated industry, such as the Four Seasons, it is of vital importance to adapt to the culture one is in while being flexible when it comes to corporate culture. It is essential to keep in mind the company’s core values, such as the Golden Rule which is ‘treat other how you would like to be treated.’ This behavior of employees will enhance customer value and contribute to competitive advantage amongst the industry no matter what culture one is in. Managers can benefit from the case by understanding this approach to organizational and national culture, which the authors believe represents a useful framework for global management. Approach: The way the case study was written was to show the readers how Four Seasons was able to successfully develop internationally while providing details as to the problems management had to overcome with its French property. Findings: One of the Authors main points in this case study is that research of the culture is absolutely key for future success. Managers must understand the national culture where the company is located in order to be flexible with the company’s corporate culture when dealing with the demands of the customers. When entering Paris they ran into problems with physical renovations, becoming a French employer (labor laws, vacation days, personal time-off, work hour per week, benefits ect…), national culture (French are very emotional and tempers get out of control), the shift in responsibilities of management, time management, instilling certain values to build employee morale, ect… Implications: Managing consistently the corporate culture can escalate into additional problems in a separate national culture, if not implemented properly. Managers have to...
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