International Business

(The Cultural Environments Facing Business)

Case Study: Charles Martin In Uganda: What to Do When a Manager Goes Native

Presented By: Vijaysinh Dodia(A-11) Jagruti Gamar(A-12) Vishrant Gandhi(A-13) Neha Gohel(A-14) 1

INTRODUCTION:
Uganda City
‡ A country with 32 million population. ‡ English is the main language but many people speaks mostly different languages in accordance with the tribes they belong. ‡ 2/3rd are christians. ‡ The communication language is the major barrier for any foreign nation to do business in Uganda. ‡ Business works moves very slow. ‡ Incomes are extremely low & having exorbinant payment system. ‡ Nepotism & corruption are the major norms.
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INTRODUCTION
Hydro Generation:

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‡ HG is a US based company specialist in Power plants(dams). ‡ Its values strongly based on US culture. ‡ It has made dams in 16 countries and owns half of them. ‡ In Africa the Uganda is there first Project. ‡ HG wants to build as many local allies as possible to prevent adverse publicity that could lead demonstrations and work stoppages. ‡ Employees have high degree of empowerment. ‡ No code of conduct for expatriates life style.
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INTRODUCTION
Charles Martin:

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‡ A 29 year old appointed as Project Manager for Uganda by HG. ‡ Specialist in African culture and has a professional experience in Kenya,Ethopia & Tanzania. ‡ He devoted of the philosophy of integrating the African society, not drawing attention to oneself but learning and respecting its culture. ‡ He combines the home country corpo rate perspective & deep knowledge of Uganda economic, political & cultural perspective. ‡ He was working with Ugandan govermentat authorities and villagers to gain support and necessary permission for dams construction.
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INTRODUCTION

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Charles Martin·s Assignment:
‡ To gain local support for the project by working with both Ugandan authorities in the capital of Kampala & villagers in the vicinity of the construction site. ‡ To set up an office and hire office personnel to take charge of local purchasing(include lower level hiring), and clearing incoming goods through customs, securing immigration permission for foreigners attached to the project, overseeing the logistic of getting materials going from the airport in Kampala to the dam site & keeping inventory and accounting records. ‡ To help foreign personnel(mainly engineers)get settled & feel comfortable living & woking in Uganda.
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INTRODUCTION
Charles Martin·s Practices:

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‡ He lived among middle-class Ugandans & not in upscale neighbourhoods where the most international managers live. ‡ He didn·t integrate himself within the expatriates community. ‡ He pays extra money to local people to get things moving faster. ‡ He hired staff closely related to Govt officials & participated in Tribal rituals to get support from villagers affected by the dam construction, although being employed in a country embedded in Christian Values.
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INTRODUCTION

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Problems with Charles Martin:
Some of Martin·s pracrices were concerning James Green, VP of HG such as: ‡ Independent Life Style & Participation in tribal rituals ‡ Way of achieving results ‡ Unethical practices ‡ Payments which might be illegal under US Laws ‡ Martins distance from the expatriate community.
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Q&A
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Q:1: Describe Ugandan cultural attributes that might affect operation for foreign company operating there?
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ANS 1:
‡ ‡ ‡ ‡ ‡ ‡ ‡ Different types of communication language Higher and lower class discrimination Nepotism is a norm for employment staffs Restructuring of rules and international law People are involve with corruption Lack of the legal opportunity People of Uganda's are too much devout to their religion and beliefs and culture

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Q:2: How would you describe the respective attitudes of Martin & Green:ethnocentric, polycentric, or geocentric? What factors do you suspect of having influenced their respective attitudes?
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ANS 2: ‡ HGs corporate philosophy embraces the idea that although secular, HG·s business activities should embody strong Chritian Values. ‡ Subordinates should be given full responsibility for making & implementing decisions, but they should be also held accountable for there results.
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Ans 2:cont: ‡ Martin exhibit Polycentric Attitude as:
² ² ² ² Lived in middle class Ugandan neighbourhood Pays extra for services Hires through recommendation by relatives Pays fees & participates in tribal ceremonies

‡ Green exhibit Geocentric attitude. ‡ Martin was more concerned with his assignment in Uganda while Green was more concerned with corporate level issues.
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‡ Q:3 Who was right, Green or Martin, about Martins more controversial actions in facilitating the project? How might things have turned out if Martin had not been a member of the project team?
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ANS 3: ‡ Martin was right about the controversail actions taken in Uganda
² HG saw the wisdom of having someone with both home country corporate perspective & a knowledge of Ugandas economic, political & cultural complexities. ² Still young for business he was well suited for the Uganda project. ² His education and interst makes him best for the job. ² His earlier experience include working with start up of small business & Uganda project was first in Africa.
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ANS 3:cont:
² He quickly learned that paying tips in advance to the responsible person could speed up the movement of HG project. ² To handle import clearance he hired the neice of high ranking custom officer. ² He knows that to operate a business as a foreign entity the company must give respect to the culture, norms & beliefs.

‡ The Result if Martin was not hired:
² HG·s business operation would move slow.
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ANS 3:cont:
² One may wait months to get a phone installed, supplies delivered on operating licenses issued without paying tips. ² Without exorbitant payments and family connections hiring people or staffs will be difficult because Nepotism is a norm in Uganda. ² Without hiring a specialist in African religions and participation in the ceremony by Martin. HG would not continue it·s operation and displace the villagers where the dam will be built. ² Every task would not be computed on time within the total budget.
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‡ Q:4 In the next phase of the projectconstructing the dam itself- should HG employ someone whose main function is that of liaison between its corporate culture and the culture of its host country? If so, is Martin the right person for the job?
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ANS 4: ‡ Yes, HG should Employ some one whose main function is to be a liasion between HG's corporate culture and the culture of host country. ‡ For Uganda Martin is the right person for the job. Given the importance and size of the project, as well as the many pitfalls that will surely be encountered along the way, it seems only logical to employ someone who is extremely well versed in the culture of host country to serve as liasion with Head Quarter.
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ANS 4: ‡ Yes, HG should Employ some one whose main function is to be a liasion between HG's corporate culture and the culture of host country. ‡ For Uganda Martin is the right person for the job. Given the importance and size of the project, as well as the many pitfalls that will surely be encountered along the way, it seems only logical to employ someone who is extremely well versed in the culture of host country to serve as liasion with Head Quarter.
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