CHALON LEADING ACROSS CULTURES AT MICHELIN 4
CHALONLEADING ACROSS CULTURES AT MICHELIN
Thepaper discuses cross-cultural theories Olivier Chalon should adopt inorder to adapt to Michelin Group work environment in North America. Compelling utilization of culturally diverse groups can give awellspring of experience and creative speculation to upgrade theaggressive position of associations (Murphy, 2006). In any case,social contrasts can meddle with the fruitful finish of tasks intoday`s multicultural worldwide business group. To accomplish ventureobjectives and maintain a strategic distance from social mistakenassumptions, venture administrators ought to be socially touchy andadvance inventiveness and inspiration through adaptable initiative.This paper depicts the most surely understood and acknowledgeddiverse administration speculations (ELO, 2012).
Thesehypotheses consider relations between individuals, motivationalintroduction, introduction toward danger, meaning of self as well asother people having a different culture. We examine inspiration andpreparing of multicultural venture groups and important ramificationsfor task administration that Chalon ought to consider in this newwork environment. We give cases of achievement and disappointment inglobal, multicultural undertakings resulting from organizationaldifference in American and French settings. The paper reasons thatChalon task administration can succeed through socially mindfulinitiative, multifaceted correspondence, and shared appreciation.Without them, he is bound to come up short (Ailon, 2008).
Chiefsin today`s multicultural worldwide business group as often aspossible experience social contrasts, which can meddle with theeffective finishing of tasks. This paper portrays the most surelyunderstood and acknowledged speculations of social contrasts andrepresents them with cases from Chalon experience as new manager inAmerican setting that requires a great deal of adaptation for him tohave an effective administration (Littrell, 2008). Two drivinginvestigations of multifaceted administration have been directed byGeert Hofstede  and Fons Trompenaars . Both methodologiespropose an arrangement of social measurements along whichoverwhelming worth frameworks can be requested. These worthframeworks influence human considering, feeling, and acting, and theconduct of associations and organizations in unsurprising ways. Thetwo arrangements of measurements reflect essential issues that anygeneral public needs to adapt to however for which arrangementscontrast. For this case, Chalon needs to reconsider his rigid standin the manner he associates with the subordinate staff and hiscolleagues which has caused them to complain about his leadershipapproach.
Theyare comparative in a few regards and diverse in others. Themeasurements can be gathered into a few classifications: 1) Relationsbetween individuals. Two primary social contrasts have beenrecognized. Hofstede recognizes independence and community.Trompenaars separates this qualification into two measurements:universalism versus particularism and independence versuscommunitarianism. 2) Motivational introduction. Social orders pickapproaches to adapt to the intrinsic instability of living. In thisclassification Hofstede recognizes three measurements: manlinessversus gentility, measure of vulnerability shirking, and powerseparation. 3) Attitudes toward time. Hofstede recognizes a long haulversus a transient introduction. Trompenaars distinguishes twomeasurements: successive versus synchronic and inward versus externaltime (Littrell, 2008). These cross-cultural theories reflect theunderline cause of Chalon difficulties in his attempt to implement anew strategy at Michelin group. Therefore, Chalon needs to applythese cross-cultural theories in order to adapt his leadership styleto American context and thus attain effective interaction with hisemployees.
Internationalcommunity is endowed with significant rapid variation in the culturalset up. Accordingly, companies in different countries exhibitspecific management models and approaches that vary considerably andrequire an international manager to adapt and adjust to the newchanges (ELO, 2012). Culture is an important aspect that helpsmanagers understands how to run a company efficiently by having ageneral overview of company’s norms, belief and assumptions.
Comprehendingthe organizational cultural context helps managers become aware ofthe employees perception about the company and thus ascertain how thedifferent beliefs, values and attitudes affects an organization andimplicate the work of the manager (ELO, 2012). Chalon in his new workenvironment needs time to assess and understand the American nationalculture and organizational culture of Michelin Group. This is a keystep that would guarantee his success as a manager while handlingdiverse employees.
Asa manager, the important elements that must be given properconsideration while managing a given company is cultural aspects,especially when a manager is leading a multicultural or a foreigncompany (ELO,2012). To Transition smoothly, Chalon must learn the variouscross-cultural management theories advanced by different theoristsuch as Mildred Hall, Fons Trompenaars, Geert Hofstede and Edward T.Hall.
Accordingto Hall an important element for having a successful cross-culturalmanagement system by managers is the adoption of an efficientcultural communication (Jackson, 2002). In order to foster opennessand proper communication, Chalon ought to establish open avenues forthe employees to communicate efficiently (Ailon, 2008).
GeertHofstede cross-cultural management theory states that culture can becategorized through different dimensions at a national level, forinstance these dimensions include masculinity-femininity, log-termverses short-term orientation, power distance, uncertainty avoidanceand individual collectivism. Chalon must therefore learn differentdimensions that exist at Michelin Group (Hofstede,2001).
Thetheory established by Fons Trompenaars highlights seven dimensions ofculture that are crucial to relationships between the management andthe employees or any other personnel within an organization(Ailon,2008). The seven dimensions include individualism versescollectivism, specific verses diffuse, Linear verses circular,Neutral verses emotional, internal verses external control anduniversalism verses particularism. Such factors must be considered byChalon in order to be effective in managing cultural diversities.
TheFrench value systems verse the American value systems
Asa French National, Chalon has become used to working under theirvalue system without much difficulty. But since moving to NorthAmerica to work for Michelin, Chalon faced a challenge oftransitioning to the American value system. This ultimately saw thebacklash in the implementation of a new strategy to turn aroundfortunes in the divisions he was assigned to head.
Thisshows that most of the employees coming from American soil had aparticular way of life which differs with that experienced in Europe. Therefore, Chalon’s management style, leadership style and hisemployee relationship in the new company was a smooth one. Accordingto Hofstede, an important study which ascertains the impact ofculture on management practices conducted a survey involving 116,000employees in 40 different cultures. Hofstede studies used sixcultural dimensions to access culture these dimensions arecollectivism/individualism, uncertainty avoidance,Masculinity/Femininity, power-Distance Tolerance, long-termorientation/ pragmatism and Indulgence verses Restraint (Littrell,2008).
InFrance value system, employee often sees themselves as a group ratherthan as individuals, the collectivism spirit in this environmentfacilitate easy implementation of a pragmatic form of leadershipstyle that demands more results, and the employees are loyal anddevoted to implement the laid down decision. This enabled Chalon’sleadership and management style goes with greater success while inFrance and Europe, but the case is different in the United Stateswhere the culture is largely based on individualism (Littrell, 2008).
TheFrench workers to a great extent avoid taking risks that is they likepredictability, highly routinized, procedural and stable work places.It contrast sharply with the American value system that exhibit a lowlevel of unpredictability and uncertainty, marked by non-complianceto procedures, low level of personal risks taken to achieve moreresults. Also in the American culture, conflicts, ambiguity andcompetitions are often witnessed in the work place (Murphy, 2006).Chalon’s policy implementation requires stable work environmentwith a high level of adherence to rule, routine and procedures, thisis significant limitation in the United States work environment.
Thepower distance tolerance dimension implies that the extent to whichthe less powerful group of individuals within an institutions or anorganization expect and accept that the power is being distributedunequally (Murphy, 2006). A high level of tolerance is witnessed inthis paradigm when a sound hierarchy is developed and implementedclearly within an organization. The French workers have a great dealof respect to authority and the manner with which power isdistributed, a feat that differs significantly in the Americanenvironment. The American workers have a tendency not to respect theestablished hierarchy and in essence often would question theauthority and the means with which the power is distributed (de Mooijand Hofstede, 2010).
Accordingto long-term orientation verses the short-term orientationdimensions, a candid comparison is made which sets a connection ofthe past with the current and the future challenges and actions. Thelong term orientation has been termed as pragmatic or pragmatism. Different societies maintain the two links of the past and the futurechallenges differently, the societies with a normative approach ofoperation score low on short term orientation and have a greattendency to keep time-honored norms and traditions while perceivingsocietal changes with suspicion. American value system adopts along-term orientation and in effect views any new changes withsuspicion.
Onthe other hand, the society exhibiting a high level of this indexaligns itself and value adaptation, pragmatic and circumstantialproblem solving approach. This is the kind of value systemimplemented in France. The workers value thrifts and efforts inmodern education as the best means to prepare for the future (ReviewArticle : Geert Hofstede: Culture`s Consequences: InternationalDifferences in Work Related Values: 1980, Beverly Hills/London: Sage.474 pages, 1983) . Since moving to Michelin Group Chalon instituted apackage of policies to completely overhaul the prevailing culture inthe work place, this was his pragmatic form of leadership which hadexcellently worked in Europe. But to his amazement, most subordinatesand colleagues resisted this form of leadership on the ground it isfully based on new values that contravened the prevailing traditions.
Theworkers in this American context in a sense view the new changes witha great of suspicion. Therefore, in order for Chalon to implementthis new strategy, a thorough study of the American workers cultureshould be conducted to ascertain the effective balance of acceptancewhile replacing the existing strategies within the company withoutcausing any backlash. His style of demanding monthly performancereviews that was detailed and meeting the acceptable level ofstandard contradicted the workers traditions within the organization(Marcus and Gould, 2000).
Theindulgence verses restraint dimension entails basically the measureof happiness. A society regarded as indulgent is defined as “asociety that allows relatively free gratification of basic andnatural human desires related to enjoying life and having fun”(Review Article: Geert Hofstede: Culture`s Consequences:International Differences in Work Related Values: 1980, BeverlyHills/London: Sage. 474 pages, 1983). The American value systemupholds this kind of culture where workers both the high rankingworkers and the subordinates staff often break the distance throughinteraction at a personal level.
ChalonKept distance from his colleagues and subordinates, as he made apoint to frequently make constant movement around the office buttalked informally. He acted just in the same way he worked in Europe,knowing from experience it works effectively by making subordinatespress to initiate more results. He wondered about the intrusivenessof the American culture which sharply differed with that of Francewhich value restraint “a society that controls gratification ofneeds and regulates it by means of strict social norms.” (ReviewArticle: Geert Hofstede: Culture`s Consequences: InternationalDifferences in Work Related Values: 1980, Beverly Hills/London: Sage.474 pages, 1983), a culture he had known to believe in other factorsto control them other their own life and emotions.
Inthe new environment, Chalon learnt that people complained about thedistance he kept in the work place. The American culture expectspeople to ask each other personal questions even at the work place,Chalon was surprised when the people he knew little about had a gutto ask personal questions concerning his wife or his kids somethinghe considered inappropriate (Ailon, 2008). In his career, he was notused to sharing such level of personal information at the workenvironment, from this understanding Chalon got surprised that thepeople he worked with was impressed with the distance he kept.
Theshortcoming of cross-cultural theories
Theadvocacy of cross-cultural theories to help new managers adapt to adifferent organizational setting will not always be an effectivemeans to bring new changes to improve performance of an organization.Because a manager is required to adjust to the employee’s needsimplies that the manager will have to change significantly hisleadership approach hence unable to implement a new system of doingthings.
Forthe case of Chalon situation at Michelin, it is imperative theemployees complained about Chalon demanding gesture and setting veryhigh standards that are intended to mobilize them achieve the desiredresults. Chalon is a tough and fair manager whose main interests is discipline, results and complete accountability from his team, animportant experience that Michelin needed to turn around theirfortunes. It apparent the cross-cultural theories require anindividual to accommodate the employees needs even though those needsmay become an impediment to the implementation of an effectivestrategy.
Foran appropriate implementation of his new strategy which targets toturn around the company sloppy performance, Chalon have to read andunderstanding the cues his colleague’s exhibit. It means that, inorder for him to regain the loyalty and the trust of the employees,Chalon have to access his interaction level and comply with theAmerican culture appropriately. His fluent English and a ten yearlong experience working in a global environment which wasmulticultural is not enough to guarantee him success while managingan American operation. Though the division he handles is a Frenchbased company, he ultimately has to learn the new American valuesystem of deep level of interaction to be able to offer effectivemotivation to his team (Ailon, 2008).
Beforewielding a greater level of demand to his employees, he should taketime to familiarize himself with the rest of the group and must beable to sell his new strategy to both the subordinates and hiscolleagues to attain a common level of operation. Failure to bridgethe much needed interaction in the American value system wouldfurther complicate Chalon assignment at the helm of his career in theUnited States (Ailon, 2008).
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