Trying to Change the Corporate Culture of a Multinational Enterprise: General Semiconductor

02/24/2009 16:01

1.      In your opinion, what actions taken by Ostertag stood the most changing General Semiconductor’s culture?

In my opinion, one of his big actions, which he took for changing General Semiconductor’s culture, was managing across cultures. Ostertag challenge was he need to oversee and evaluated his employees and other mangers from different cultures and institutional environments. People with different culture and different environment have different values and in Semiconductor Company six different countries works together,\. Semiconductor Company has facilities inside and outside of the United States. The company has more employees in outside of the United States than inside. They are located in different part of the world such as China, France, Germany, Ireland, and Taiwan and they have different cultures. In China and Taiwan, people’s culture is collectivism, which means they work in the team and their function as group and they look after each other and their families. In the other hand, they have high-context culture, which in their culture they pay close attention to the situation and its various elements, key contextual variables determine appropriate and inappropriate behaviors. It is difficult and challenging for the manager with the low –context culture and individualism idea to approach the situation, and direct the people with high –context and collectivism cultures.

 However, the other countries, France, Germany, Ireland and United states cultures are individualism, and low –context and that means in these countries identification of the people are self-oriented and people in these countries look after themselves and their immediate families. In addition the low –contexts key contextual variable have much less impact on the determination of appropriate behaviors and it less challenging for manager with same culture to direct the changes.

2.      Do you think requiring everyone in a multinational firm to carry around a card with the firm’s core values on it can change a company’s culture? Why or why not?

Ostertag with requiring everyone in a multinational firm to carry around a card with the firm’s core values on to change a company’s culture has advantage. The advantage is everyone in the company knows goals of the company and they know what they need to do to reach the companies goals as an individual or as a group. In the countries with individualism culture, United States, France, Germany and Ireland, carrying the company’s culture is helpful because they want to reach the goal by themselves, and in the countries with collectivism culture, China and Taiwan, is helpful because everyone knows the goals and they will work as a group to reach to the company’s goal. Ostertag had a goal for the company, and that asking everyone knows about the new culture was the right idea, however, different culture will response differently to the situation and they approach to the situation in different pathways but at the end, they will reach to same goal.

3.      In your opinion, is Ostertag managing the cross-cultural operations effectively in the process of trying to change the firm’s culture? Explain.

In my opinion, Ostertag is not managing the cross –cultural operation effectively, because Ostertag changed almost all the managers and new managers did not have any idea about the company’s past. In addition, he did not deal with the problem with facilities in their own environment with their own cultures. He needed to manage the company with transitional organization idea and try hard to hold centralized and decentralized facilities all together, and he need to have a decentralized decision making too. Different cultures have different approach to the situations if the manger knows the environment and the employees culture closely, he will be able to change the culture of his company with the facilities environment and ideas and approach to the company’s goals faster.

4.      Did Ostertag appear to have a global mind-set? Why or why not?  

Ostertag had the global mind-set with having the team-building meeting for new management team to decide on the companies guiding principles, in addition, asking everyone in the company and in all facilities to know about the Semiconductor’s “culture points”. The global mind-set is the set of cognitive aspect that allows an individual to influence individuals, group, and organization from various sociocultural and institutional environments. Employees with carrying the Semiconductor’s culture points remembering everyday what is the company’s goal and everyday they will try to improve the pathway to reach to that goal as individual or as a group.



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