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His team mates attest to the beating incident as unique and isolated and would rather not dwell in it. It also occurred because no sufficiently open relationship has been established between Victor and Tom, which could have avoided the aggressive act and Tom's insubordination. Nevertheless, Victor realizes his duty to remedy the situation and offers to indemnify Tom for the injury right the next day. Tom realizes his own shortcoming in ignoring stated company rules on safety and accepts the apology and the indemnity from Victor. The other members accept the restitution from both parties and quite naturally restore the original harmony and productivity, which characterized the team before the incident.
Stan and Henk observe foreign values, which place obedience to rules and civility far above loyalty to human relationships. Materialism underlies their culture while relationships underlie Nambunese culture. The rule of civility is violated under both cultures, but the remedies are different. Stan and Henk impulsively want to terminate Victor and Tom for the gross violation. Willard, a Nambunese, recommends that nothing be done as the involved employees have already adequately remedied the situation themselves according to the native values. Willard believes that the solution resorted to by Victor and Tom, drawn from native values, is the proper step to take in pursuing all of Motorola's basic policies of safety, productivity and civility.
Character, Virtue and Relationships
Motorola and its Nambunese counterpart both aim at developing and practicing the desirable traits of productivity, safety, harmony and civility among its ranks in accomplishing its goals. All of the traits are present in all its teams, specifically the Morning Glory team, which has been the best-performing in the facility. Its high level of productivity proceeds from the high level of harmony among its individual members and Victor's efforts at establishing open communications with them. The team members are happy with the supervision style and personality of Victor whom they describe as peaceable. The only exception is Tom, whose mountaineering drive, could have inclined him to an excess of freedom in ignoring both the rules on safety and the Nambunese tradition of duty and obedience. But Tom shares the value of hard work and harmony with both the company and his fellow Nambunese. As far as Victor is concerned, he has sufficiently reminded and warned Tom against violating safety rules. He also knows that the other members of the team have done their part in reminding Tom. But in his desire to get things done properly and perhaps also out of annoyance towards Tom's misplaced sense of freedom, Victor could have under-rated the need to establish open communication with Tom. He probably felt that reminders and a stern warning was enough to make Tom tow the line. That is the mistake on Victor's part to assume that loyalty and a sense of duty and obedience can replace civility and the personal willingness to follow rules. When Victor disregarded civility, aggression became the alternative and consequence.
But Nambunese values provide restorative measures to misdeeds. In prompt response to these values, Victor immediately realizes his mistake and offers his own money to Tom as indemnity. Victor's sense of justice takes over or complements his dedication to duty and obedience. He sees Tom as an individual whom he has injured and who must be respected. Tom is more than just a subordinate who fails to comply with stated rules. Victor does not wait for management to sort the problem out. Another Nambunese who shares Victor's values of justice, Tom accepts Victor's apology and remuneration after realizing his share in the fault. At this point, Tom decides to heed company safety rules and starts wearing the prescribed eyeglasses. He gets back to work with the same productivity as before and as that of the team, which has been noted for its exemplary performance. From then on, he and Victor will work harmoniously and forge open communication lines and an open relationship as Victor has established with the other team members.
Stan and Henk over-emphasize obedience to company rules over loyalty to human relationships. They advocate impersonal relationships in realizing productivity among their employees as characteristic of the American business culture. Although Motorola has a 60% share of the investment and personnel complement, the facility at Anzen physically operates in a country with an entirely different culture. Asian cultures typically place human relationships above material considerations. Hence duty and obedience are directed at persons rather than impersonal entities. The Nambunese relish a deeply ingrained devotion to values as set by authoritative figures in their personal lives. Their most important rewards are in terms of relationship satisfaction. Western cultures, on the other hand, place the highest value on material acquisition and prosperity.
In order to succeed in its operations in a country with a different culture, Motorola should strive to know, appreciate and adapt to that culture as far as possible. Understanding native ways, beliefs and habits is the key to its local success and it cannot impose its values on native workers.
Purposes and Consequences
Motorola, like any business enterprise, operates for profit. As such, it develops policies, which will produce that profit. Those policies already in place include safety, productivity, harmony among all the ranks, and civility. The Nambunese working for Motorola already observe and exhibit devotion to the policies of the company and share the values of hard and productive work. Only a few adjustments need to be taken.
Terminating Victor and Tom will cause unnecessary and deleterious effects on the employees, especially the Morning Glory team, and its market. The Nambunese team employees have already accepted Victor's style of management and consider the beating issue an isolated case that has been aptly resolved. Clients will also eventually sense the disturbance if the level of productivity and quality of the products reflect a change from the norm of excellence for which Motorola is known. Most importantly, there are no applicable Nambunese laws that can be applied to terminate Victor and Tom. Buying them out is not an attractive option to Stan, either, as it will cause the company a lot of money to force Victor into retirement as he is 11 more years away from compulsory retirement.
The first action required by the decision is not to terminate Victor and Tom. The brief furor caused by Victor's unprecedented but unique act of aggression has already been aptly and satisfactorily remedied by them according to their cultural beliefs. Victor has restored the injustice to the offended party, Tom, through a public apology and financial indemnity from his own expense. Tom has accepted the restitution and now complies with the company rules he violated. The team has accepted the resolution and is now working productively again. As Willard has recommended to Stan and Henk, the situation should be left alone, as the issue has been adequately resolved without the need to terminate anyone.
The second action is to subject Victor to retraining, which will make him more cautious about his temper outbursts. He will appreciate this initiative, as evidenced by his willingness to indemnify Tom for the injury and by his public apology. Tom may also be subjected to a training, which will check on his free-wheeling behavior, sense of duty and obedience.
Motorola needs to know more about Nambunese culture if it must continue to operate in the Asian country. For all practical reasons, Motorola cannot impose its own beliefs and ways on the natives, except in very fundamental issues. Motorola executives, for instance, should evaluate their feelings and view of superiority over people of color, like the Nambunese. This attitude might be a restrictive factor to the company's success. It needs native workers to operate for profit and the company can make them work productively and fruitfully if it shares their values at work.
Henk should not feel too distant from the Nambunese if he learns to speak their language. There is everything to benefit from the learning.
The Nambunese employees of Motorola may also be encouraged to learn, understand and appreciate Western ways, beliefs and prejudices in their businesses. It should be a two-way approach. Native culture can also be very unduly conservative to a point that it loses or wastes the opportunity to view and do things better in cooperative ventures with Western investors. The Nambunese surely have something to learn from Motorola's or Western culture too.
The most important aspect of the decision to leave things as they are is the sense of justice Victor exhibits when he initiates a public apology and indemnity to Tom despite Tom's open violation of company rules and of Nambunese values of duty and obedience. The short-lived act of aggression is the consequence of his observance of company rules on safety and productivity and the deeply entrenched Nambunese beliefs on duty, loyalty and obedience. Motorola should carefully note this and acknowledge what Victor was trying to enforce by warning Tom. Yet, as soon…[continue]
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