CASE STUDIES

Reconciling differences in Korea

A major British company moves into Korea and wishes to integrate the new Korean subsidiary company into the management structure of the fast-growing group.

This involves introducing a matrix management structure into the local company. The nature of matrix management is at odds with the Confucian style of "vertical" management which is more prevalent in Korean business.

EAB is asked to identify the issues involved and propose ways of moving towards a solution that prevents cultural clashes and unnecessary confusion (ineffectiveness).

Making sense of things in China

A European consumer goods company is establishing a foothold in the Chinese market.

Winning 0.1% of the total available market would more than double the turnover of the European group. The company is seeking to build on an already operating joint venture and develop a bigger manufacturing presence in the region. The difficulties arise from the decision of the majority-shareholders (the European group) to appoint an Australian General Manager, who has long-term personal links with China, and the Chinese partner's reluctance to accept this decision.

EAB is asked to separate out the personal, from the organisational and from the cultural issues that inform this situation. By taking a broader contextual look at the environment within which the company is hoping to operate, a greater perceptiveness of the real issues becomes apparent following a short but highly personalised consultancy for senior directors of the European group delivered by Bill Reed and Dr Michael Han of EAB.

Managing local staff in Japan

Real Estate investment in Japan:

EAB are asked to advise a senior first-time visitor to a recently established Tokyo office on managing local staff.

From background information on Japanese business culture, EAB soon focuses on handling potential conflict situations within the local office and recruiting successfully within the Japanese environment for a small foreign company.