ECL in China
Problem Identification and Situational Analysis
ECL is a multi-national corporation that continues to expand its core business as well as create opportunities for foreign divisions to influence the direction of the company in addition to bringing cohesion and unity throughout the workforce. ECL developed a division in China that allowed the company to integrate into the Chinese market but also presented it with issues it would need to manage successfully in order to progress in this venture.
There are various cultural issues facing ECL in China. The first is the qualities not often seen in American industries and those are the obedience and humility among the Chinese workers. In the Chinese culture this is viewed as proper workplace etiquette, however many American counterparts may view these qualities as a lack of being proactive or even a level of laziness. Communication also varies widely between the countries as the direct communication style exhibited by American workers can be misinterpreted by the Chinese workers, which creates detrimental effects for ECL. “The Chinese attached greater value to indirect communication than to direct communication as it was seen as more tactful.” (Ho, 2001) It’s the simple things that may get someone in trouble.
Americans love to use criticism as an improvement tool in the workplace, but Chinese workers certainly aren’t accustomed to this managerial style and may think that this criticism is disrespectful and embarrassing. The lack of teamwork capability is another cultural issue present in ECL China. The Chinese are educated in a system that places a strong emphasis on individual performance, not teamwork or group performance and as Engleberg & Wynn (2010) point out, “Groups that share the workload can perform better and accomplish more than individuals working alone.” The Chinese self-driven view and work ethic is evident in the workplace and may be perceived by Americans as a sign...
References: Engleberg, I.N. and Wynn, D.R (2010). Working in groups (5th Ed.). New York, NY: Houghton Mifflin Company.
Ho, M. (2001) Establishing an ‘ECL’ Culture in China: Organizational Difference or National Difference?” Centre for Asian Business Cases, University of Hong Kong.
Project Management Institute (2008). A guide to the project management body of knowledge (PMBOK Guide) (4th Ed.). Newtown Square, Pennsylvania: Project Management Institute.
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