Academic journal article Journal of the International Academy for Case Studies

Gene Life S.A.-Paris.(Instructor's Note)

Academic journal article Journal of the International Academy for Case Studies

Gene Life S.A.-Paris.(Instructor's Note)

Article excerpt

CASE DESCRIPTION

The primary subject matter of this case illustrates that management styles typically reflect the cultural values from which they evolve, and that management styles are not necessarily transferable across international boundaries. The case should enable students to: (1) Understand the impact of cultural values on managing others. (2) Identify the difficulty of transferring management styles across cultures. (3) Learn about the need for culturally-and country-specific pre-departure training for expatriates. (4) Develop a management approach to accomplishing a specific task in a foreign culture. (5) Examine the characteristics typically associated with success as an expatriate manager.

The case is appropriate for senior level undergraduates, as well as first and second year graduate students. The case is designed to be taught in a 90 minute class and is expected to require 1 - 2 hours of preparation by students

CASE SYNOPSIS

John Williams, armed with an undergraduate degree in biochemistry, an MBA, several years of managerial experience and proficiency in French, was appointed as the Directuer General of a French medical products company in Paris. The company, Les Medical Equip Direct (LMED), had just entered a partnership with Gene Life, a U.S. firm that had developed an affordable genetic test for type II diabetes. The test kit was tailored to be used by both physicians' offices and hospitals. LMED had a well-developed sales force throughout France and it also afforded Gene Life an entree to the French market. While John received language training prior to his departure, Gene Life did not provide pre-departure education on either the French culture or its labor laws.

Upon arrival in Paris, John was under pressure to not only reduce what Gene Life considered excessive overhead, but also to quickly get the sales personnel adequately trained to competently sell the test kit. Since genetically based products were a totally new to LMED, training was critical. The time pressures faced by Williams mandated the cooperation and motivation of both the office and sales staff. His first several months in the Paris office were not as successful as he had hoped. His MBA from a prestigious American university had not prepared him for the difficulties in managing a work force in a foreign culture. He must now determine how best to manage in order to successfully lead a new-product launch in an unfamiliar culture.

INSTRUCTORS' NOTES

Case Objectives & Use

Management styles typically reflect the cultural values from which they evolve. This case is designed to illustrate that management styles are not necessarily transferable across international boundaries.

The case should enable students to:

(1) Understand the impact of cultural values on managing others.

(2) Identify the difficulty of transferring management styles across cultures.

(3) Learn about the need for culturally-and country-specific pre-departure training for expatriates.

(4) Develop a management approach to accomplishing a specific task in a foreign culture.

(5) Examine the characteristics typically associated with success as an expatriate manager. This case is developed for use in either graduate or undergraduate courses in: International Business, Comparative Management and Organizational Behavior.

Recommendations for Teaching Approaches

If this case is used in a course where the work of Hofstede, Trompenaars, Hall & Hall, and Kluckhohn & Strodtbeck is covered, it is recommended that the instructor ask the students to fill in the chart provided in Appendix 1. Alternatively, if the case is used in a general international business or organizational behavior course, it would be optimal to copy and disseminate Appendix 2.

Teaching strategies for this case vary. One alternative (IF the class generates the cultural profiles of the U. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.