Case Study: Ellen Moore (A): living and working in Korea
In 1990, Joint Venture Inc. (JVI) was formed as a joint venture between a Korean company, Korean Conglomerate Inc. (KCI)and a North American company, Western Systems Inc. (WSI) to implement the recommended systems into over 100 local offices in 7-10 years. The project was to begin in June 1995, and Ellen Moore, a Systems Consulting Group consultant, was sent to Korea as a qualified project management representative in order to transfer the expertise and knowledge required for the project. However, when she arrived to Korea, she discovered that the Korean consultants had far less skills than what she expected, and she had tension with Jack, her co-manager regarding who was giving the direction to the team. The problems of gender also made the Korean male team members refuse to accept Ellen’s direction. The Koreans insisted that the problem was Ellen, but Andrew strongly disagreed.
Ellen Moore was blamed that she was the problem concerning about the project work, and it may not be completed on time. Andrew must be responsible, so he must find the solution for this situation.
Differences in perception
In North America, people give compliments to show respect to the well performing works; however, it is inappropriate to do so in Korea as the works are supposed to be well done. Koreans also do not ask questions because it reflects that the orders are not clear or the boss has not done a good job. You can see a big difference between these 2 countries and a very high respect for hierarchy in Korea.
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