Hawley & Hazel (H&H) is a company who have sold pharmaceutical product in Asia and by 1985; it was bought at 50% by Colgate Palmolive, an important US manufacturer of personal hygiene products. Indeed, Colgate wanted to acquire overseas assets and tap into the growing Asian market.
Besides, H&H imposed a “silent management” within the partnership. Therefore, Colgate signed an agreement which assure no management right.
The most popular product of H&H called “Darkie”, toothpaste used a stereotype cartoon of a black man with a smile white teeth. However, Colgate’s reputation suffered of the image using on this product because social and cultural behavior have changed and additionally, Colgate’s largest and international competitor Proctor & Gamble also used it to harm Colgate’s reputation.
Colgate was threatened by ICCR (the Interfaith Center on Corporate Responsibility) and civil rights groups of boycotting their product due to the advertisement based on a racial offense. Therefore, they didn’t have any management rights to react over the situation.
Then, to avoid damaging the economic interest of Colgate, the company helped by H&H decided to develop a two years plan in order to change the name and the logo on the packaging of the toothpaste.
Despite the late measure taken to solve this problem, the Chinese name was still perceived as an offense because of its meaning and as a consequence. The Chinese government decided to ban the product which did not respect China’s trademark law.
In this case, we will use Hofstede’s Indices of Culture, to underline what features of both United Kingdom and United States management cultures led to this uncomfortable situation.
MBI Model and Hofstede’s Indices of Culture
UK and the US are both featured by a strong Individualism rate (89 and 91). In the business field, the value is therefore more in individuals than in the team. In this case, each firm has strong concern about itself,...
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