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Case of a Multinational Construction Company

Uploaded by Merbivore on Jul 20, 2014


Assignment 3: Case of a Multinational Construction Company


The case at hand illustrates clearly that this project was ill-conceived from a cultural preparation standpoint.
It seems that the success of landing a remarkable sale that will certainly impact the bottom line of this company may have blinded its managers to important aspects of a long-term commitment to working in a foreign country.
The major construction company’s transition into the their project in Afghanistan seems to have been centered around the logistics. It is undeniable that relocating entire teams of employees numbered in thousands is a huge undertaking. However, there doesn’t seem to be any reference at any point during the transition to the local workforce that will be involved in the project.
Let’s examine the first indication provided of a conflict. The engineers and workers are not communicating very well. While we weren’t given more details about this element, we can safely assume that at least a language barrier is at play here. It is also possible that the engineers are using a direct western style in communicating instructions or technical requirements to the workers. These workers might not be responding well to a style they consider rude and inconsiderate.

The engineers in this case are in a position of authority vis-à-vis the workers. The fact that they are involved in controversies has most likely diminished the respect for them on the workers’ part. It is conceivable that these controversies might be related to behaviors the workers would consider an affront to their religion or values. The Middle East is mostly a conservative part of the world where family values and decorum are important. Many engineers and project leaders were not prepared to deal with these differences and possibly went as far as denigrating them as they might have seemed quite archaic.
If the workers went as far as physically assaulting the engineers, then they must have felt highly threatened and fearful in some way. This underlines a serious dysfunction in the cross-cultural teams. The war in Afghanistan is a possible factor that would explain the severity of this conflict as many workers might still regard American civilians with distrust and hold them responsible for perhaps personal losses.

In terms of a remedy, completely subcontracting the project to an Indian team is somewhat of a viable solution however the principal issues will remain because the Indian team will face many of the issues related to lack of...

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Uploaded by:   Merbivore

Date:   07/20/2014

Category:   Business and Economics

Length:   3 pages (632 words)

Views:   4154

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