Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Leadership's Cultural Frame

As our leadership reaches are increasingly global, it pays to consider and appreciate the cultural frames of reference involved. We met with a friend recently who described a young manager in China who had hired him as an English coach. She works for a U.S. based international food company with manufacturing facilities in China. She is concerned about a State-side presentation she is giving to her American counterparts on human resource matters in her organization. Recently an employee died while at work. Her family, demanding some sort of compensation, has camped out at the work site and refuses to leave until their demands are met. She is feels caught between American human resource policies as practiced in the U.S., and those in China, which are often based on saving money and expediting production. She believes that as a Chinese manager if she pushes too hard she will quickly be replaced by another manager from a more rural area who will eagerly take her place for less money. How do leaders create workplaces, increasingly global, in which the values are clear and promote the discussion and effective resolution of dilemmas such as this?

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