Intel has a valid issue in the case of China. But this case has many other problems associated with the one seen deep beneath the surface. It is evident on the surface that Li is an emotional worker who puts in his job his wholehearted effort. This is a problem for any boss because of the employee’s emotional attachment. But the question is whether in the company it’s just Li who feels this way.
The case reflects the cultural differences, like Tang, between the native Chinese and Chinese expatriates. In particular, it seems that workers in Intel’s Chinese branch are struggling with two separate management styles that may contradict each other, creating communication problems. His American history influenced Tang.
He perceives himself closer to the Western style of management (open discussions between managers and their employees), without taking into account the organizational structure of Chinese companies that are strictly horizontally oriented with centralized administrative structures (Eastern style). In this context, Tang is concerned that during his absence in the US, the institutional structures of the Chinese have shifted.
Hence the question statement, in this case, is: How can we create a situation that maximizes incentives, allows the Intel community to be preserved, and satisfies all parties- Tang and Li?
Internal and External Analysis
Tang thought it could enable Intel China to be more efficient by evaluating the work of workers and reassigning them to work. He wants to be the boss that his team would trust and respect. He was thinking a lot about his job’s management abilities.
Tang decided to cancel the project because it was beyond Li’s obligation and capacity, while Li has been working for the project that he hasn’t known for two months. Tang was distressed by Li’s rejection. He found that perhaps his workers had less understanding of Intel Culture and Philosophy, which supports laws of ‘disagreement and commit’. It is also a tension between Chinese workers, who pay more attention to emotion and friendships, and Western management, which places great importance on productivity and interaction. For sure, because of the management disparity between west and east, this kind of dispute will be met over and over again.
Therefore, Qin Chen is supposed to build a bridge between Tang and Li as a supervisor. But she just told Tang’s decision explicitly, sadly, but gave Li no excuse. Li felt ‘lose face,’ therefore, and determined to continue the project. While Li is a bit of ego, he is still a good AM and has established a good relationship with his customers and vendors of technology. As a director, Qin Chen has little management experience. This illustrates the unknown how effective and efficient managerial staff are in Intel China and how the supervisor’s relationships with the AM are the key player in China’s culture as they are in relationships.
Options and Analysis
Tang must rethink his ‘expatriate’ status as he is not fully aware of how the corporate dynamics of the Chinese changed when he was in the United States. As a result, any of his actions could be critically measured by other workers.
Tang doesn’t want to replace Li. Therefore, one of Tang’s first moves is to set up a personal meeting with Li to specifically explain his position on the issue (why he is putting a halt to the plan of Li). Tang must examine and clarify all the pitfalls of this plan, without failing to remind Li of the company’s strengths and role.
He must admit that in the previous month’s Li has put a lot of effort into this venture. For that reason, Tang might be a possible solution to think more about how he might use Li’s work material for other purposes. He could thus minimize Li’s impression that his effort is ‘wasted.’ If the above is not feasible, then Tang must clarify Intel’s ‘disagreement and commit’ principle to Li, believing that once a decision has been made, workers can not disagree with it and must adhere to the new arrangement. Since there is no specific date or deadline for the task, Tang must assign another important one to Li, with which Li will have the opportunity to prove his skills in his profession. Li will then be inspired, while at the same time improving interpersonal relationships. Eventually, Tang should also share his colleagues’ suggestions with him, seeking to educate him on better relations with them.
According to the cultural types model of Richard D Lewis, China is similar to the reactive categories. People in China are focused on building close relationships, preferring face-to-face talks, and good at listening. Both managerial and cultural differences can create considerable problems in an organization. Tang is conscious that being viewed as an ‘outsider’ may weaken his ability to convince his department that they ‘are all working together as a team’. He must make improvements in the Eastern style for future purposes and retain a combination of Western and Eastern management styles, taking advantage of his position within the peculiar hierarchical organizational structure. Tang runs an Asian company as it would be a Western group, and this affects his team’s relationship. Cultural differences must be recognized in diverse work environments to avoid cross-cultural conflicts. Otherwise, these conflicts can not only disrupt the entire group cohesion but also weaken its leadership at the detriment of the performance of the company.