Managing Change Across Cultures


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).

The Case Study will be made available on Moodle web and circulated to participants in Week 4 (subject to approved internal moderation).

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.
1 Hallowell,R.,Bowen D.,& Knoop, C-1. 2002. Four Seasons goes to Paris. Academy of Management Executive. 16 (4): 7-23.

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 a minimum of two human resource practices from the Case Study as examples, and explain by analysing a minimum of five (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%) .






E Your Your
R lntercultural Strengths lntercultural Weaknesses

You also need to include a cover page, an introduction (100 words, 3%) and conclusion (200 words, 5%). In the conclusion, you must also state an important lesson you have made – with relevance to managing change in an MNE/international organisation (2-4 sentences would suffice) as far as enhancing your own cultural self-awareness and intercultural skills are concerned, having completed the Module and Essay.

Cover page, appendix, and reference list do not count towards the total word-count of 2,000 words. However, marks will be deducted if you exceed the maximum word-limit with more than 10% (200 words), and if your document does not meet expected standards in terms of grammar and spelling mistakes, referencing, and professionalism in general. Your Module Team, however, will be sympathetic when it comes to giving some allowances if you are a non-native English speaker.

You may invent headings and sub-headings (but please avoid more than three sub­ levels), a cover page, as well as reordering the structure of the above questions. The Essay should feature the following overall structure: Cover page (Essay Title of your choice), introduction, Analysis and Discussion (answering the questions by drawing upon relevant theories and concepts, as well as practical examples), Conclusion, Reference list (Harvard), and Appendix.

Please indicate which question you are addressing in brackets next to each sub-heading.

Criteria for Coursework (Essay)

The Essay is assessed in percentage terms and must be passed (40%) in order to pass the Module, and participants must demonstrate achievement of the aforesaid Learning Outcomes of the Module (and a minimum of 40% overall). The Essay counts for 40% of your overall module mark.

It is expected that participants will draw upon both mainstream Cross-Cultural Management literature as well as sources from other disciplines – as reflected in the presented material during lecturers and seminars (and the Moodle web), in addition to required and proposed pre-readings (Change Management and cognate subject-areas). Participants should reference a minimum of 25 different academic sources, such as journal articles (peer-reviewed), in addition to other sources. Wikipedia is NOT an academic source, and should not be cited. Lecture slides should be avoided as reference sources, however, some books (chapters) and a few websites (if academically sound and respectable), is acceptable.

Marks will be deducted if you have cited too few sources (references), and if the scope of the cited literature is too narrow.

Coursework Submission
The Essay must be submitted electronically on the Moodle web (an icon will appear under ‘Week 9’. Coursework must be submitted using TURNITIN which is a plagiarism checking system.

It imperative that you present a professional, clearly communicated, and structured document which is correctly referenced. Students should use Harvard reference style:
The Essay document must contain a full reference list as per the above guide.

Plagiarism is unacceptable. If detected, you risk receiving a ZERO mark for the Essay and thus failing the Module. You will become a subject to the appropriate academic disciplinary committee and procedures. In severe cases your studies might be suspended and/or having to withdraw from the University indefinitely.

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