Jim Teague in Tanzania

Topics: Bribery, Political corruption, Tanzania Pages: 7 (2772 words) Published: August 26, 2013
Jim Teague, an MBA associate with a diploma in engineering, is hired for a summer internship in rural Africa to be an officer of a U.S- based social investment firm that is looking for an important agribusiness project in Africa. A small successful company in Tanzania “KiraFlour” is in the run for being financed by AgriFund. Upon his arrival in Tanzania, he is faced upon two issues: KiraFlour faces some major health-safety issues with the risks of spreading E-coli among the population. Another problem Jim Teague is facing is the fact that he does not know exactly whether the company that identified the potential contamination of E-coli found a real problem or is just looking for a payoff as Baba is stipulating. The quandary Jim’s employer is subjecting too is either to withdraw their investment or just ignore the allegations against the local company. This paper will identify the issues in the case, explain the legal issues and give some recommendations on how Jim Teague can resolve these issues to save his company’s reputation. Identify the major cultural differences and the resulting ethical, or legal challenges Jim Teague faced working at KiraFlour in Tanzania. Jim Teague faces some cultural differences when he went to Tanzania. The major cultural difference he encountered is the fact that people in Tanzania are easily bribable. In the video “Spotlight on India and Mexico” both countries are attractive markets with low cost manufacturing bases, but they have high risks business environment. This is the case for Tanzania, the difference in culture makes it hard for foreign people to do business. First, when he first got to Tanzania, to find his apartment he had to give some money to the person who helped him find his apartment because he had some issues finding direction. That was the first cultural shock he encountered. Second, he was facing himself with some major ethical, or legal challenges in Tanzania different from what he encountered in the United States. When he was first arrested by the police officer he had no choice that to bribe a police officer who stopped him illegally without no justifying reasons. Facing with making the decision of either spending the night in a Tanzanian Jail or giving something to the police officer so he can leave in peace he offered the police officer the CD’s of Jim Reeves that belonged to Baba. When Baba mentioned that the Tanzanian Certification Agency (TCA) had discovered traces of E-coli in KiraFlour’s most popular product, Baba immediately assumed that it is a case of bribery because that is the legal environment in Tanzania. People are faced with constant bribery so it pertains on their ability to make a good judgment of any situation they enter. The cultural differences Jim Teague encountered since his arrival in Tanzania blurred his ability to think critically. Jim Teague was sort of bribed by Baba and his wife. Since his arrival they treated him as a king and Baba even went ahead and offered him a car, and they invited him all the time for a meal. In Tanzania, they treat business partners as family members. As the case with Jim Teague, Baba and mama treated him as he was their son and even took the liberty to ask Jim to marry a woman from “Tanzania” called “chagga woman” (p.3). How did Jim Teague get into the difficulty in which he finds himself?  Does he bear some responsibility for his predicament? There are many reasons why Jim Teague found himself in this situation. First, he was not good at judging the situation the way he was supposed to. He was blurred by everything Baba and Mama offered him. By doing that, Baba was making sure Jim Teague was closed to him. So when he explained him the situation about the company that discovered E.coli, Jim Teague’s opinion was already biased because he was forced to think as a local citizen will think. He put himself in this situation because he felt for what Baba and Mama did for him. They were only business...
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