Article – Case Study Example

While he had his own reasons for relieving Li of the project, in my opinion, Tang should have warned Li about what his co-workers felt about him and his zeal and should have given him a chance to act accordingly. Li, who worked hard for the project using his guanxi network, was offended as he believed his work was not properly appreciated by Tang. Li might probably be scared that this loss of project might cause a loss of his credibility amongst his guanxi contacts. Tang exacerbated the situation by convening the meeting in the presence of Chen, which could have been considered as an insult by Li. If I was in that situation I would have had a private meeting with Li and ask him to stop sidelining the other employees and explain him the Intel principle of “dissent and comply”. This could have prevented Li’s feeling of “losing his face”.
I believe that the incident with Li gives us the general impression that most of the employees believe that Tang acts as an “expatriate”. While Tang himself feels that his operating more like a western manager would make his subordinates more open, it might happen that most of his subordinates are used to eastern style of autocratic management and are somewhat uncomfortable with Tang’s management skills. The situation with Li shows that Tang is eager to change the existing environment, not realizing that he is destroying the established pattern of authority in the workplace. While trying to ensure the comfort of his subordinates, Tang should respect the pre-existing working environment that employees are probably used to and not be eager to change it.
While his rank would have not meant as much in the U.S, the fact is that Tang’s position as the manager puts him on the top of the vertical organizational structure in China. He also receives higher pay than the local Chinese. By ignoring the differences that in fact mask the conflict rather than solving it. While Tang doesn’t believe he isn’t any different, there seems to be a popular opinion among the employees that he is an “expatriate”. In order to resolve the situation, Tang should appreciate his differences and try to communicate his ideas to his team and make them understand his ideas rather than conveniently assume that his and their working style would be the same.
The problem with the way Tang handled the situation is that Li, who worked hard for the project using his guanxi network, was offended as he believed his work was not properly appreciated by Tang. Although it is a sound business decision from a western perspective, Tang’s actions might have been perceived as destroying the established pattern of authority in the workplace. I believe that the incident with Li gives us the general impression that most of the employees believe that Tang acts as an “expatriate”. To add to his employees’ feelings towards him, the fact is that Tang’s position as the manager puts him on the top of the vertical organizational structure in China and he also receives higher pay than the local Chinese. Alternatively, Tang should have warned Li about what his co-workers felt about him and his zeal and should have given him a chance to act accordingly. He should have considered the workplace environment his Chinese employees are used to.
Li was probably scared that this loss of project might cause a loss of his credibility amongst his guanxi contacts. Tang exacerbated the situation by convening the meeting in the presence of Chen, which could have been considered as an insult by Li. From this experience with Li, it becomes somewhat clear that while Tang doesn’t believe he isn’t any different, there seems to be a popular opinion among the employees that he is an “expatriate”
If I was in that situation I would have had a private meeting with Li and ask him to stop sidelining the other employees and explain him the Intel principle of “dissent and comply”. This could have prevented Li’s feeling of “losing his face”. In a more general scale, while trying to ensure the comfort of his subordinates, Tang should respect the pre-existing working environment that employees are probably used to and not be eager to change it. Tang should also appreciate his differences and try to communicate his ideas to his team and make them understand his ideas rather than conveniently assume that his and their working style would be the same.