Ellen Moore. Living and working in Korea
The case of Ellen Moore is very interesting and diverse, because it shows different reasons why problems can occur in a project management and teamwork and highlights how cultural differences can affect the work in a very negative way.
There are several reasons why the project has run into problems. Some of these could have been foreseen but some not. The main problem is that there were wrong decisions made when creating the team and also some risks were incorrectly assessed to be less important than they actually turned out to be. First of all in selecting project management representative Andrew Kilpatrick underestimated the cultural differences and did not listen enough to the warning from American consultants with WSI in Korea that it is impossible to send a woman to work in Korea. I don’t think it is completely impossible for a woman to work in Korea, but Ellen should have been more prepared and more informed about the local traditions particularly about the team building and after-work dinners and how the Koreans’ respect for position and status would influence the teams’ behavior. From the case it seems like too many things came as a surprise to Ellen and it was hard to focus on the primary tasks.
Another problem was in the team composition especially in allocating roles. There were 2 project co-managers – Ellen and Jack – assigned to the team. But Jack was given an impression that he will be the sole project leader. For this reason Ellen’s addition to the team created tension between them and from the beginning and this undermined their chances to work together for the same goal. If it was decided to have 2 equal project manager positions, then their roles should have been allocated. For example each project manager would have specific areas of responsibilities and the rest of the team would be informed about these responsibilities. Instead both project managers ended up fighting for the power...
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