Case Study of Elizabeth Visits GPC’s French Subsidiary
This is a period in history of corporate globalization and in today’s business environment the single leading obstacle to the success of any organization looking for global expansion is the lack of cross-cultural communication. Elizabeth Moreno is on an assignment to visit her company’s French subsidiary to study a problem, along side GPC’s French management, regarding a new drug on the market. Apparently, one of the new anti-allergy drugs they have created has been experiencing a stunted shelf life where “the product’s active ingredient is degrading sooner than the expiration date” (Deresky, 2011). Besides figuring out the chemical background behind the problem, Elizabeth is faced
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I think something Elizabeth could do to help her cause would be to bring in an interpreter that is equally familiar with American and French cultures that could help her manipulate through any misunderstandings that might occur during her meetings. I like the quote from our book, “the essence of effective cross-cultural communication has more to do with releasing the right responses than with sending the right messages” (Deresky, 2011). As we see from the book, cultural noise exists when dealing with international communication. For example, if I tell an Italian employee, working in Italy, to follow up on a project without giving more guidance, she might think I mean to email a department head regarding the issue in a few days because Italy has a relaxed work ethic. When what I really want is for her to find out immediately the status and give me a full detailed report on whether or not it is complete and if not, the reasons why. As an Italian, my employee would probably think she is doing exactly what I asked and I, as an American with a different work ethic, might think she is being lazy and lacks ambition.
Elizabeth’s expertise and title alone will project the authority needed to be heard during these meetings, but how productive the meetings are will be dictated on her ability to gain trust and her sensitivity toward their cultural differences. I think learning more about the French culture combined with using an insightful