As businesses continue to expand globally; many companies are increasing the number of employees they send abroad for work assignments. An effective manager in today’s business environment must possess a geocentric attitude. The geocentric manager will draw his or her best employees from a global, not local talent pool. This is the case for Dale Pilger, the new managing director for General Motor Corp.’s facility in Kenya. He is being assigned to the Kenya facility as part of GM’s fast-track management program. The problem is that the Pilgers' “don’t know a lot about the world.” Mr. Pilger will need help if he is to make the most of his experience in Kenya. He will need a thorough understanding of the Kenyan culture.
Project GLOBE was established to help business leaders, such as Mr. Pilger, better understand the cultural differences when conducting business abroad. The project is made up of 150 researchers from 62 different cultures, which represent major regions of the world. If successful, GLOBE will identify similarities and differences between the different cultures of the world. Knowing the different cultural values of a region will help expatriates adapt more quickly and be more effective in their endeavors abroad. Among GLOBE’s findings are 9 key cultural dimensions, which include: Power distance, Uncertainty avoidance, Institutional collectivism, Assertiveness, Gender equality, Future orientation, Performance orientation, and Humane orientation. An expatriate manager with knowledge of these key dimensions and how they relate to the region of his or her assignment will be well equipped to perform effectively in a foreign culture.
Considering the evidence provided in this case, it can be determined that Kenya is likely a polychronic culture. Work time is not clearly discernible from personal time. The polychronic culture does not view time the same as the U.S., whose business executives are accustomed with strict deadlines synonymous with...
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