Motivating Vietnamese Employees and Managers in an American Joint-Venture: What a Challenge!
Paul Fierman, an American expatriate, was the General Director of the Vietnamese subsidiary of Chicago Food and Beverage Company (CFB Co.) in Haiphong. His three-year mandate consisted of preparing and executing, in collaboration with the Asia Pacific Regional Director, a strategy of creating synergy among three Asian subsidiaries, which should allow CFB Co. to conquer the three markets. Six months after his arrival, Paul was facing many problems, including a decrease in the sales of non-alcoholic beverages, the general lack of motivation of management in the subsidiary and unrest among the factory workers who wanted better wages and were threatening to unionize. Now, to save the subsidiary and also his career, Paul needed a rapid action plan to put the subsidiary back on track. He had to present and defend such an action plan during his next meeting with the Asia Pacific Regional Director of CFB Co. This case is useful in examining the challenges in managing in a foreign environment.
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