Motorolla managing cross-cultural interface in China


Effective management of the cross-cultural interface is a critical source of competitive advantage for a multinational firm.  Using suitable theories, analyze why an understanding of the cross-cultural interface was important for Motorola’s success in China.

The Chinese people’s culture had to be understood in order for Motorola to succeed in China. Planning was essential to entry of the company onto the Chinese market. It required setting objectives and then formulating programs and procedures to achieving objectives. Assessments of the external and internal environment for opportunities and threats were done then compared with Motorola’s strengths and weaknesses (Harold & Heinz, 2008). Low levels of education and difference in the Chinese system made it difficult to get qualified personnel affecting the company’s recruitment activities for both junior and senior staff members. The Chinese culture and orientation towards time management affected planning. Cultural attitudes were not conducive for long-range planning in Motorola and it took some time to pick up. The main factor that affected the planning in Motorola was the political or economic instability of the Chinese government, which had a great influence in the forecasting ability of the company and it at first discouraged long-term commitment of resources, but later they permanently moved their head offices to china. Organizational structures in Motorola were established to achieve objectives. Most structures used were like the divisional structure based on Motorola’s product lines (handset manufacturing), geographical areas or customer type (Eastcom and Hubei mobile communications).

Staffing as part of effective management was a major concern to Motorola, all the positions were to be filled with qualified persons of which were scares in China and the company had to train its own managers in order to meet the Chinese government’s requirements of a certain percentage of employees be Chinese nationals. Others were from the US the home country of Motorola their main roles was to provide the experience and the company’s policies and production processes (Harold & Heinz, 2008). Directing is another role of management involving motivation and communication with foreign country nationals. In Motorola, effective leadership was achieved by inducing workers to contribute to enterprise objectives. This was because the managers understood the Chinese employees’ cultural environment for example participative management may flourish in the US but may cause confusion in China where there is a tradition of socialism. Due to westernization and advance in technology, the problem seemed to be naturally solved.

Controlling to ensure that events conform to plans was an essential managerial function in Motorola; various environmental factors unique china; revenues and costs influenced it as per the Chinese government, the difference in currency value, and the accounting practices and policies as per the Chinese policies (Pride, et al., 2011). Corporate governance as part of management it focused on the roles that the board played in guiding management towards corporate success in the Chinese market this ensured that corporate executives or directors themselves were accountable it was a supervisory measure. This ensured that there was prosperity and survival of Motorola in china, ethics, integrity and responsibility was being observed in places of work.

Business Process Reengineering (BPR) this was to serve as a measure to fundamental rethinking and radical redesign of business processes to achieve dramatic improvement in critical contemporary measures of performance such as cost quality, service and speed in order to meet the competitive environment in China (O’Leary, 2002). Benchmarking was done through statistics taken over time from targets and comparators. Performance and particularly areas of underperformance was identified and worked on to avoid loses (Harold & Heinz, 2008). This was either by direct assessments of competitors, internal analysis of the company or functions in the company as compared to others.