They have a magnificent team. These people are always kind and willing to listen to your concerns or issues. Better yet, your assignment is always ready before the time, they usually send you a draft to double-check before they finalize your paper.
Judy sighed as she looked at her cup of tea. “I really don’t know what to do. I feel as though I can’t win in this case and am tired of being put in the middle.” She had invited her colleague Susan, another American, to meet her for tea to discuss her concerns about her present position. Susan looked her in the eyes. “You really can’t worry about this. They can’t expect you to play all of these roles simultaneously. Can’t you just talk to your manager?” Judy didn’t know what to think. She had been in her current role as an information technology (IT) account manager for Jim Acker, vice president of Japan development, in a large multinational pharmaceutical firm for one year. Her role was to partner with him to provide the technology for a team of seven hundred predominately male Japanese employees. She managed the staff in Japan and Singapore and collaborated with colleagues to meet the needs of all clients in the Asia-Pacific region.
Jim Acker was known as a manager who demanded results. He was a no-nonsense kind of guy: straight to the point and arrogant. Recently she had suggested to him that he try to communicate with the team in a less direct, confrontational manner. His response was that he was the manager in charge and that they should adapt to him.
Judy thought about how his (Jim Acker) leadership and management style was typical of the other Americans who were sent to the region over the past two to three years. Their US headquarters sent its US-based executives to gain experience in other markets to develop their global leadership skills. Each executive was provided with a one-hundred-page cross-cultural guide on how to succeed in Japan. But the advice on adapting to local culture obviously went unheeded. Jim was no different. He never socialized with the team, and he preferred to go out only with other American executives whenever possible. He focused only on the work, and when he asked team members if they had questions, he accepted their silence as understanding and agreement.
Meanwhile, projects were not meeting deadlines and everyone was concerned. Several of the team members approached Judy. They were able to confide in Judy, because she had earned their trust over the last few months. She did this by respecting their need for slow change and group consensus that was common in the culture. They felt Jim was ineffectual and believed they had no reason to trust him. While the team expressed their frustrations to Judy, Jim also expressed his frustration about the team performance to her. She was in the middle.
Judy was no stranger to working across cultures. She had worked the last ten years outside of the United States, specifically working in Brussels, China, and Japan. Her first ten years at the company were spent in the United States. She was chosen for her current assignment as part of a new leadership development program to increase the pipeline of executives with knowledge and experience in global markets. She was one of four women outside of the United States who was nominated for this program. Her sponsor was the vice president of the division, whom Jim Acker reported to. The vice president acknowledged Judy’s successful track record working outside the United States. In her support role, Judy felt she was walking a fine line. She initially played it quiet with her team in meetings with Jim. She knew he wanted to be seen as the voice of authority. The Japanese team had given her feedback that she needed to speak up more on their behalf, yet she knew that previous bosses also had been unwilling to receive feedback about the need to adjust their leadership to local cultural norms. She knew that Jim thought he could bully his way through.
How could she play an effective role in bridging the gap between the team and her boss? She was worried about being seen as aligning too much with one side, in which case she would lose the trust of the other and become ineffective in her role. Furthermore, as a woman leader she was concerned about being seen too aggressive by the Japanese or too soft by her American boss. Her success in this role was an important part of her plan to advance in the company.
[Source: Lynda Moore (2013), Caught in the Middle in Japan in Developing Global Mindset: Handbook for Successful Global Leaders, Beavers Pond Press.]
Your answers must draw from the case above and be grounded in the wider literature on global mindset
(a)Briefly describe, using examples from the case study, the Global Mindset attributes that have helped Judy to reach this position.
(b)What specific qualities does Judy need in order to be successful in this role?
(c)What specific training does Jim need in order to become a more effective manager in the Japanese context? What Global Mindset attributes would be helpful?
(d)What might the company do to increase the effectiveness of its American executives in international assignments? Specifically, how can they better prepare their executives to succeed in another culture?
A group of government officials from Indonesia are about to visit Australia to learn about Climate change and its implications on business and society.
You have been hired by the Australian government to prepare a short paper for this group to explain what climate change is, its causes and consequences and the role of citizens in addressing the problem.
Please develop a short paper which addresses the following:
(a)Explain clearly what climate change is.
(b)Discuss THREE main causes of climate change. Explain fully how they contribute to climate change.
(c)Discuss THREE main ways in which climate change can affect local communities in Indonesia.
(d)Explain how the concept of the ecological footprint can help (i) countries improve sustainability and well-being of its citizens and (ii) individuals, as global citizens, understand their impact on the planet.
A non-government organisation (NGO) that does a lot of work in poor developing countries in Asia has invited you to give a presentation to a group of their field officers on the importance the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals for their organisation. In particular, they want you to explain the following:
(a)What are the UN Sustainable Development Goals? Explain fully.
(b)Discuss how improvements in (1) education and (2) gender equality in developing countries can lift entire communities out of poverty.
(c)In your opinion, how has globalisation impacted on the lives of people in developing countries? Give examples to substantiate your answer.
(d)How is the rise of global citizenship in advanced industrialised countries such as Australia influencing the livelihood of people in developing countries?
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