Case Study “When in Romania”
“…When in Romania, do as Romanians do?”
Mag. Martin Lechner, a 32 year old graduate of the Vienna University of Economics and Business Administration, has worked for an Austrian chemical company for six years. His enthusiasm of the first years as the company’s marketing director has decreased considerably during the last months. Martin’s lack of motivation cannot be ascribed so much to his work as such than to the fact that at the moment there are no real promotion opportunities. Furthermore, due to a colleague’s advancement, who also has a degree in chemistry and thus additional qualification, Martin feels that there is a threat to his position. He is also not entirely happy with his financial situation, as in the last two years pay increases have been smaller than expected.
The company’s management offers to install Martin as the supervisor of a new subsidiary to be established in Bucharest. He is asked to manage the representative office, which will investigate possible distribution structures and sales potentials, and is eventually to be converted into a manufacturing plant. The position offered to Martin appears attractive due to a generous foreign service allowance and because the idea of “pioneering” a new production and sales market sounds rather promising.
Martin’s boss paints a very promising picture of the situation in Bucharest. He is assured he will be given almost absolute scope in his new position, as well as every kind of support the Austrian parent plant can offer. The situation in Romania, he is told, is generally very stable, taking his family with him is not a problem, especially since his children can attend an excellent German school there. Additionally, he is offered an apartment in a first-rate neighborhood. But still, since only very general statements are made, Martin feels he is not being sufficiently informed.
During an informal meeting, however, one of the company’s managers gives an...
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