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Lesson 2

Activity 1: Ethical Challenge

With your team, solve the ethical challenge and be prepared to report out to the class.

You are the vice president of operations for a U.S.-based software firm that is exploring building a software design operation in India. Typically when international firms enter the Indian market, they quickly learn how a caste system can affect business activities. Although officially banned, the caste system still dictates everyday life for many people in India. You are confident regarding the likelihood of business success there, but you have strong misgivings about the caste system.

  1. Do you think it will be possible to import and uphold a U.S. management style in India despite lingering effects of the caste system?
  2. How do you think your company’s stakeholders would feel about your company simply adjusting to local management practices?

Activity 2: Teaming Up

Students are divided into two teams. The two teams of students will debate the benefits and drawbacks of individualist versus collectivist cultures. After the first student from each side has spoken, the second will question the opponent’s arguments, looking for holes and inconsistencies. The third student will attempt to answer these arguments. The fourth student will present a summary of each side’s arguments. Finally, the class will vote on which team has offered the more compelling argument.

You should use resources including the Internet, ebook, university data base and library as a guide to create the questions you will ask.

Activity 3: Management Case Study A Tale of Two Cultures

Together with your team, read through the case study from the ebook. Discuss the elements of the case. Then use the questions below to help you solve the case. Be prepared to report out in class your answers.

Q: If you worked for an international firm doing business in Asia, is there anything you would suggest to ease the tensions these cultures are experiencing? Be specific.

Q: Social ills in any country are normally born from a multitude of factors. What role if any, do you think globalization is having in higher reported rates of divorce, crime, and drug abuse in Asia?

Q: Broadly defined, Asia comprises more than 60 percent of the world’s population—a population that practices Buddhism, Confucianism, Hinduism, Islam, and numerous other religions. Do you think it is possible to carry on a valid discussion of “Asian” values? Explain?

Activity 4: Market Entry Strategy Project II

As a team, choose a country to research. You should choose one that has a culture different from your own. Complete a report on the country related to culture and international business. For the country your team is researching, integrate your answers to the following questions into your completed MESP report.

  1. What are the various ethnicities that reside in the nation?
  2. List several of the values that people hold dear.
  3. What are several of the culture’s identifiable manners and customs?
  4. Describe in broad terms the nation’s social structure.
  5. How would you describe people’s perception of time and work?
  6. Is the culture relatively open or closed to cultural change?

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