Cross Cultural Management_Report on Case Study

Cross Cultural Management_Report on Case Study

Report on case study 30%:

Details of task: Read the following case study and identity the problems in relation to cross-cultural management in this context. Assume the role of a management consultant and based on existing research provide recommendations on how these problems can be overcome. At least ten relevant academic references should be cited in the report.

The Big Food Company

(Adapted from Bucknall, H. & Ohtaki, R. 2005. Mastering Business in Asia: Human Resource Management, Singapore: John Wiley)

You are a management consultant with expertise in cross-cultural management. You have recently been hired by the CEO of the “Big Food Company” a multi-national corporation with production and administrative units in several international locations. This company has its headquarters in the USA and specialises in the production of some of the most popular drink and snack items.

The Big Food Company has operated for around five years in China as a joint venture with a Chinese partner. The Chinese partner was responsible for the day to day running of the organisation and did so in the traditional Chinese way. In effect that meant that the organisation had a large number of people in managerial roles, a union for the employees and links with the Chinese Communist Party. Recently, The Big Food Company has made a decision to take over the entire administration of the organisation. The Chinese partner was assured a certain amount of profit in return for the use of their facilities, infrastructure and networks. Most employees were retained but some of their official roles were re-organised. The USA based executives felt that this would ensure more profit and a standardization of administrative policies across the company’s various international operations.

A senior executive was sent from the US head office to the Chinese location in order to oversee the administrative changes and given the title of Executive Officer- China (EO-C). The EO-C had experience in setting up joint ventures in other parts of the world but did not have first hand experience with China. He also lacked local linguistic skills and had never lived outside an English speaking country. He found it difficult to communicate with the local management and over the next year or so, the EO-C hired a team of senior managers in areas of production, sales and human resources. These managers were all hired from outside China and had few local links. A small number of them had experience from other Asian locations but the majority of them were from US. They were given crash courses on the Chinese language and culture but were yet to develop an in-depth understanding of cultural underpinnings. Harbouring a distrust of unions and not being cognisant with the role unions typically play in Chinese organizations, the EO-C tried to remove the union. Salaries and job roles (and sometimes locations) were restructured for the Chinese employees in order to increase efficiency within the organisation. The EO-C tried consulting the senior Chinese employees and did not find much verbal disagreement on the issues from these employees.

Despite their best intentions of making the organisation a model one in Asia, the senior management team soon found they had poor communication with the local employees leading to lack of trust, morale and productivity. The organisation was not making as much profit as they had estimated initially. Some of the lack of profit was due to large relocation costs of senior managers. The sales network was also suffering leading to further drop in profit.

Your job as a cross-cultural management consultant is to identify what went wrong in the management style and decision making process in this context. Use the theoretical perspectives you have learned in the course to identify the mistakes the company made. Recommend how they can go about rectifying the mistakes based on the research literature.


You must have the following sections to your report (with an approximate break up of words):

Cover page: not in word limit

Executive summary: 150

Introduction: 300

Literature review: 800

Analysis of the problem: 300

Recommendations: 300

Summary: 150

References: not in word limit


Assessment Rubric





Needs some more work


Much more work









Appropriate identification of the problem

Detailed discussion of relevant theoretical perspective(s) in relation to the problem

Discussion of relevant contextual issues associated with the problem

Inclusion of key citations from research to analyse the problem

Creative and effective recommendations to rectify the problem

Detailed description of the recommendations (including a budget if necessary)

Recommendations presented in order of priority

Links between the recommendations and existing theories/research

Rationale behind the choice of recommendations

Suggestions on relevant follow up activities when necessary.







Report Format







Report has all the sections suggested in the case study

Each section consists of information relevant to that section (4 marks)

Professional format of the report

Appropriate sentence structure, grammar and word limit

Appropriate paraphrasing, quoting and summarising from sources

All ideas taken from sources are appropriately referenced

Reference list matches in-text references and is written in a consistent style.







Total Marks: 30



Word limit: 2000 words (+/- 10%)

Value: 30%

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