Managing Change Across Cultures

| June 26, 2015

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Purpose of the Essay

The purpose of the Essay is to enable participants to demonstrate critical understanding concerning the role of culture, investigating processes and approaches to managing change in international and multicultural work environments, in addition to displaying a critical appreciation regarding how to effectively and empathetically  conduct change management processes across cultural boundaries.

Completion of the Coursework (Essay) evidences full engagement with the Module’s Learning Outcomes through the delivery of lectures and seminars, as well as required independent self-study. By producing the Essay document, participants also have an opportunity to showcase professionalism as well as good writing-skills – all vital for work-life, and thus assessed as part of this Coursework (Essay).
Nature of the Essay

Participants must produce a critical analysis Essay of total length no more than 2,000 words demonstrating the learning that they have acquired in accordance with the three learning outcomes of the module:

The intended learning outcomes are that on completion of this module the participant should be able to (particularly ILOs 2 and 3):

1. Critically analyse and operationalise  key change management theories and concepts into effective change management practices in international and intercultural settings.

2. Critically assess cross-cultural issues in MNEs and appreciate the imperative influence on achieving successful change management processes.

3. Develop and provide recommendations in order to operate effectively as a global manager in various cultural contexts.

In their Essays, participants must answer all questions relating to the case study “Four Seasons goes to Paris. 1 When answering the questions – take the fictitious role as the newly appointed General Manager (GM) of a new Four Seasons Hotel, in a country and cultural context of your choice (for example, Mr/Mrs Eduado, General Manager, new hotel in Barcelona, Spain, (Catalan regional and Spanish cultures). However, your choice of location and cultural context CANNOT be your own city/country/culture and must be one of the following countries: Columbia, Brazil, Namibia, Turkey, Russia, Serbia, or a Scandinavian country. You have been requested to provide a report to Four Seasons’ Executive Vice President Worldwide Development, Mr Scott Woroch – addressing cultural issues relating to change management processes, and to provide suitable recommendations for the surrounding multicultural environment.
The approximate number of words (+/- 10%) and the weighting of each subsection are
recommended below.

Question 1:
Executive Vice President, Mr Scott Woroch, is  worried about the prospects of achieving successful change management processes in hotels located in countries with different cultures. He asks for your opinion:

(A) From a leadership and cultural adaptation perspective, do you agree with the appointment of Mr Le Calvez as the new General Manager (in Paris) – why/why not? (150 wordsI8%).

(B) Contemplating on increased international travel and tourism, as well as intensified globalisation (also in the socio-cultural realm) – discuss if the Four Seasons should continue with the approaches known as “tailor made” hotels and “cultural
chameleons”? Would you prefer to change this practice – why/why not? (200 wordsI10%).

(C) Identify relevant levels/spheres of culture that you need to take into account when implementing change interventions in the new hotel where you work as the GM? (100 wordsI7%)

(D) Critically evaluate the limitations of grasping intercultural challenges within the Four Seasons organisation, if relying solely on Hofstede’s (1980) ‘Cultural Dimensions’ approach, and Kogut and Sing’s (1988) ‘Cultural Distance’ construct? (350 wordsI15%)

You can draw upon examples from other Case Studies as well as from the fictitious new hotel.

Question 2:

Taking into account Four Season’s organisational culture and the cultural environment in the city/country where you have been appointed as the new GM, highlight potential intercultural challenges which you (as the GM) might face when adopting the specific Four Season ‘s organisational culture in the new hotel in relation to local staff.

Support your argument by using two human resource practices from the Case Study as examples, and explain by analysing a minimum of three (across both HR practices) factors which may reflect cultural “clash”, and cultural “fit”? (450 words/25%)
Question 3:

Recommend to Mr Scott Woroch what top-management should emphasise (as  a means to motivate new local staff-members to participate in change management processes) when explaining the implementation phase of change processes in a culturally effective fashion (400 words/20%).

Identify a particular implementation approach (grounded in theory), and use this as an example when providing your answer to this question.

Question 4:

Mr Scott Woroch has  some doubts as to whether you possess the appropriate intercultural skill-set for embarking on the role as GM at the new hotel. He requests that you reflect upon your intercultural capabilities – as he believes increased cultural self-awareness leads to enhanced decision-making. Complete the below form – focusing on yourself as an individual (GM) (attach as an appendix – it does not count towards the word limit) (15%).



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