Office Equipment Company

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Office Equipment Company Case Study
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International Management

CONTENTS

I. SUMMARY
II. THE PROBLEM
III. ALTERNATIVE SOLUTIONS
IV. BEST SOLUTION
V. IMPLEMENTATION OF BEST SOLUTION

I. Summary
The Office Equipment Company

OEC was a company that manufactured a wide variety of small office equipment in eight different countries. In one of the, El Salvador, they encountered the problem that their manager announced its resignation. Therefore, they had to choose a suitable candidate. OEC didn’t have manufacturing facilities in El Salvador, but they had been selling there for more than 22 years at that time. The sales and profits proved to be improving every year.

In 1993, OEC decided to construct a factory. The components of the machines would be imported and assembled locally as El Salvador could offer a big supply of cheap labour force. The construction would be supervised by an American technical team. The director, also American, would report to US all problems regarding the production and quality-control and to the managing director from El Salvador, all problems regarding the accounting, the finance and labour relations.

The managers from foreign subsidiaries of OEC are used to being rotate among foreign and domestic locations which offered them an important international experience.

II. The Problem

The main problem outlined in the case study is that the committee does not know which candidate would best fit the managing director’s position. Causes for the problem

* Current managing director has handed in his resignation and will leave in one month * Current OEC policy only allows for promoting, not hiring from outside the company. Negative effects
Long-Term
* Loss of international competitiveness if new managing director isn’t capable of handling his duties. * The image of OEC in El Salvador may be affected if wrong candidate is selected.

Short-Term
* New appointed managing director may not prove to be competent. * Delayed operations if the candidate is not selected before the end of the one month. * Loss of clients if candidate not selected on time.

* Cultural-differences between new managing director and local staff which may lead to conflicts, if inappropriate US candidate is selected. * Communication problems, if poor Spanish speaking candidate.

III. Alternative Solutions
1. Choosing Tom Zimmerman

Tom Zimmerman is an experience manager that has been working for OEC for 30 years. Therefore, he knows very well all the technical and sales aspects of the company and he was considered very competent in his managerial duties. However, Tom doesn’t speak Spanish at all and, in El Slavador, this crucial for doing business. He is married, but his wife doesn’t speak Spanish also, which would make their life very difficult in El Slavador. They have a big family, but their children live separately at their houses in US. Having a considerable age, both of them, they would likely prefer to stay in the US, closer to their children and grandchildren. Also, Tom doesn’t have any international experience as he never worked abroad. He only visited the company foreign facilities, but this would not have provided him the experience necessary to deal with the cultural differences and everyday problems.

Advantages:
* 30 years of experience for the OEC;
* Important technical knowledge and sales aspects;
* Competent in the management duties;
* Used with this kind of operations;
* His current post will become redundant.

Disadvantages:
* No international experience;
* Doesn’t speak Spanish;
* Retirement is planned in 4,5 years;
* Married; his wife also doesn’t speak Spanish.

2. Choosing Brett Harrison

Brett Harrison has an important experience of 15 years with the OEC and is viewed as a very competent...
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