Charles Martin in Uganda: What to Do When a Manager Goes Native
Q1) For a foreign company conducting business in Uganda, it was inevitable that Ugandan culture will largely affect the business operations of that foreign company. There are many cultural factors of Uganda which will have a large impact on the foreign company’s operations. One of the factors is “grease money” or a sort of a bribe, which was paid to accomplish something or speedup a task. Another attribute was their belief in the sacred spirit at the place of the construction. So the foreign company official needed to delegate this issue to one of their local contact person who will act as an intermediary between the host country and the client.
Q2) James Green approach was ethnocentric towards conducting business in Uganda. While Charles Martins approach was more geocentric. James Greens approach was more ethnocentric because since he was the Vice President of the US based company, he needed to promote the image of that company, and that country. So he needed to be extra careful while taking decisions and considering all the details. He needed to promote the values of his local country so the company’s image and the country’s image is not slandered. On the contrary Charles Martins approach was more geocentric mostly due to the fact that he had spent many years in different countries throughout Africa. So he had adopted the African culture over his own country’s.
Q3) In this particular case I would say that to get the results in a country such as Uganda, Martin was right. It would be very difficult to get the results by following Green’s ideology or approach. Things would not have turned so bright if Martin had not been a member of the team. The company would have faced many obstacles which might have made it very hard to conduct business in Uganda.
Q4) Yes I think, now the company should hire someone who is more concerned with the liaison between the corporate culture and the culture...
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