MGT 501 Mgmt. and Org. Behavior
Dr. Jeff Gabbert
12 January 2013
This case assignment has us study how institutions and their management are effected by culture and environments. In the fiction article The Would-Be Pioneer (Green, 2011); the author explores the challenges faced by Ms. Linda Meyers when she accepts a job as the Vice President of SK Telecom, a South Korean Mobile Telecommunications company. In this case assignment we shall cover what went wrong with Ms. Meyer’s tenure, the problem Ms. Meyer’s encountered using Hofstede’s five dimensions of culture, and finally make a recommendation of three specific changes Ms. Meyer’s could have made to her management style.
One of the first clues that there were going to be issues at SK Telecom originated before she accepted the Job. The agency that was hired to recruit a VP referred to her as “Mr.”, she continued with the process and assumed it was a mistake. Green’s article points out clearly to the fact that the South Korean culture is very different than the U.S. She was facing a male dominated society that held ones title, age, and status in the highest of regards, specifically among men. This understanding quickly put Ms. Myers in a difficult position early into her job. Although the caution signs were there, she had ignored them and failed to effectively research and learn what would be the expectations and norms of her new environment and it was making things very challenging for her to fit in and begin making changes, which is what she felt she was hired to do (Green, 2011). On top of Ms. Meyer’s being unprepared to face a male dominant South Korean Society, she also failed to prepare for the language barrier. South Korea is extremely homogeneous and only 2.4% of its population is foreign. The understanding of the Korean language is almost a necessity if one hopes to find great success in working with their peers while living there (Green, 2011). Within the first few weeks of her new assignment, Ms. Myers felt as if she had made very little impact on the organization, she was still struggling to communicate, and she had isolated her team members. She was irritated, did not know exactly what she was supposed to be doing in her role any longer and started becoming a very unhappy person. She loved the community and was absorbing local culture, however, this was not translating into a positive experience in the board room.
They crucial issue that went wrong for Ms. Meyer’s initiated with her assumption that she could effortlessly adapt to new cultures based on her life and line of business experiences. Her next mistake was lack of preparation and an ability to adapt her style in a manner that would meet the demands of the culture and company as they expected. Hofstede’s 5 Dimensions of Culture
When one looks at Hofstede’s 5 dimensions of culture and applies them to this article, it becomes obvious that there are vast differences between South Korea and the United States. Is there a high likelihood that if Ms. Meyer’s applied the knowledge provided in Hofstede’s 5 dimensions model she could have been successful? I think if she would have utilized some of the tips, the likelihood of success would have been extremely high. The five dimensions are that Ms. Meyers paid no attention to are; Power Distance (PD), Individualism (IDV), Masculinity (MAS), Uncertainty/Avoidance Index (UAI), and Long Term Orientation (LTO). I took the liberty and compared the United States to South Korea using (Geert-Hofstede, 2012) and here is how the two scored compared to each other. Power Distance (PD): This covers the fact that all individuals in societies are not equal. Power distance is defined as the extent to which the less powerful members of institutions and organizations within a country expect and accept that power is distributed unequal (Geert-Hofstede, 2012). In America this score...