Analysis of QuestSouce Cultural Scenario, Essay Example

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Essay

What are some of the mistakes Karen has made? Karen actually made no operational mistakes because she went to her supervisor for input before acting. Being presumably both Westerners (and apparently not located in Shanghai), she lost no face with that supervisor, Paul Young. Young in his turn no doubt regarded it as just another lesson for someone inexperienced in the nepotistic ways of China’s business-culture (Gardella, Leonard, & McElderry, 1998, p. 110). Probably he went through the same learning curve.  It’s instructive that Young apparently knew that Tsang Ming was Yao’s nephew, and hadn’t briefed Karen about these matters. Arguably the overall fault was his, not Karen’s. Regardless, no harm was done.

Upon what assumptions did she base her decision? Her outrage was evidently based on a home-office policy against nepotism. That would follow one Western business model. But she seemed not to know that there are lots of Western businesses that tolerate and even encourage nepotism (Bellow, 2003). As the Human Resources director of a multinational corporation, she should have known that. She certainly should have known it about China. Not knowing, it was perfectly natural for Karen to assume that that Tsang Yao, from her perspective, was the bad apple instead of Chinese culture itself.

Do you agree with Karen or with Daniel Young? If I were the CEO, I would have to side with Young. However, if QuestSource were a publicly held company, I would write a memo suggesting that these and other cultural characteristics of doing business in China be made available to the stockholders, and indeed the public. If the company were privately held, I would suggest that a formal policy-meeting be held to discuss to what extent nepotism should or could be tolerated in other locations, including the United States. Unaddressed, it can become a morale problem that can (and inevitably would) impact QuestSource’s business (NPR, 2007).

References

Bellow, A. (2003). In Praise of Nepotism. The Atlantic. Retrieved from http://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2003/07/in-praise-of-nepotism/2753/

Gardella, R., Leonard, J., & McElderry, A. (1998). Chinese Business History: Interpretive Trends and Priorities for the Future. Armonk, NY: M.E. Sharpe.

NPR. (2007). Nepotism: Wrong for the Workplace? Retrieved from http://www.npr.org/templates/transcript/transcript.php?storyId=15353609

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