Case Study : The Female American Consultant

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Yunzhi Zhou MGT303 Peng Wang 11/18/15 Case Analysis of Living and Working in Korea Synopsis of the Situation: In this case, the female American consultant, Ellen Moore, is sent to South Korea as an expatriate project management representative to work on a project between a North American company, Western Systems Inc. (WSI) and a North Korean company, Korean Conglomerate Inc. (KCI). Even though Ellen has had international experiences working in Bahrain and two other successful projects in America, she still runs into issues. As an expatriate, Ellen supposes to have deep knowledge about North Korea or receives training on North Korea’s culture and custom, which she did not have any. The cross-cultural issues arise quickly after Ellen is in…show more content…
In North Korea, a society with the focus of masculinity, it is very hard for Ellen to fit in in a leadership role. It is derived from the structure, culture, and value, according to the Hofstede’s cultural dimension theory. North Korea preserves the teaching values of Confuciusm, and one of them is on the code of behavior between men and women, which leads to the major domination of North Korea public and business life by men. With that being said, Jack is favored for both the gender inequality, and the material success over Ellen easily by the Koreans. Low Communication: Ellen is not able to communicate in Korean fluently regardless how hard she tries. And many Koreans do not speak English outside of the urban areas. Language has surely held her down in terms of her credentials and credibility among the Korean workers. The deficient communication also lets Jack to gain the upper hand of the competition as a manager. According to the Trompennaar’s culture theory, North Korea is very consistent with universalism, communitarianism, neutral, diffuse, and achieve kind of human relationships. With such culture of North Korea, it is one of the factors that makes the Koreans stick together and favor on Jack’s side, instead of Ellen’s regardless of her qualification on the job. Unlike U.S. society, which values individuals qualifications of desired skills and personality that is suitable to the job, the Korean society focus
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