The sample paper on Yang Jianguo familiarizes the reader with the topic-related facts, theories, and approaches. Scroll down to read the entire paper.
Yang Jianguo’s promotion as the Senior Vice President of global product development is well deserved. Having headed the Chinese division of Deronde International with distinction, his appointment to this international role is promising as well as challenging. By the end of his first few weeks in the new role, he is already frustrated and confused by the mixed signals he is receiving from his colleagues.
It seems that Jianguo has not prepared himself to get acclimatized with the French corporate culture. While all business corporations share the same goal of boosting bottom lines and building an enduring brand image, the local culture does affect the way the business is run. Deronde International, being headquartered in Paris, seems to function in a style typical of the city and its people, whereby free flow of ideas and spontaneity are encouraged.
This seems to have disconcerted Jianguo, who is used to his own style of operating. Having spent most of his working years in mainland China, he seems to have assimilated an autocratic mode of analysis and decision making, which is at odds with the French way. In this regard, as Elise had advised him, he can try and make a few compromises in the initial stages. Once his mettle is proven and his skills are recognized by his peers, he can articulate his views more emphatically.
The core team in Paris can also do its share to make things easy for Jianguo.
Firslty, the Chief Executive Officer Alain has to specify to his new appointee a clear set of roles and responsibilities. The core management team headed by Alain seem to be of the understanding that new products have to be Franco-centric, meaning that they should represent French culture and style in essence. Jianguo can make others see that French tastes and sensibilities do not always apply to other markets, especially in emerging economies such as South America, China and India. While Jianguo has a valid point to make, he needs to exercise patience in getting his message across. He should also be a little tolerant of the internal politics in the organization involving Yves, Elaine and others.
Communicating with the core team and convincing them of his ideas is crucial. In his early days as SVP Jianguo has not been assertive enough. This is especially true with respect to Alain, who as the CEO of Deronde, has a say in all decisions. Previously, as the head of Chinese operations, Jianguo was allowed to be his own man, where he had the freedom to think and act independently. But here in Paris, not only is the work culture different, but his independence is also limited. Based on what is given in the case study, Jianguo has not yet come to grips with the limitations imposed by his new role. It is only when he comprehends the new reality that he can truly become the global leader he aspires to become. Toward the end of the case study, it is implied that Jianguo is already a little regretful of accepting this position and is thinking of other career possibilities. But thinking on these lines should be avoided. Jianguo should see the opportunities that his current adversity is presenting. By overcoming challenges facing him right now, he will learn many things about leading a global enterprise. To the contrary, by settling for a well-treaded and comfortable path, he will undermine his career growth. While Jianguo certainly has the potential to make the transition from a regional star to a global leader, its attainment lies in his own hands.
Nitin Nohria, From Regional Star to Global Leader, Harvard Business Case Study, published in January, 2009.
Intellectuals such as Karl Marx and Max Weber have proposed important theories toward understanding the dynamics of societies. Marx’s ideas in particular have profoundly affected later generations of sociologists, including his compatriot Max Weber. Marx’s achievement lies in attempting to explain social situations and problems from the point of view of economic class of constituent groups in society. Max Weber, who was a successor to the socio-economic analytic tradition established by Marx, made critical observations of many of Marx’s theories and consolidated the communist school of thought. (Bonner, 1998, p.166) While Weber made important contributions to Marx’s work, he also brought in unique sociological perspectives to communist commentary. In this sense, Weber’s approach to explaining the rise of modern society can be stated as a ‘debate with the ghost of Karl Marx’.
First of all, Weber agreed with many of Marx’s viewpoints, most notably their shared view of state power in modern societies. To illustrate this point let us consider the role of police. The police, in contradiction to its role as the protector of people, usually tends to protect the interests of the rich and powerful. It is this observation which prompted Weber’s to remark during a speech in 1918 that “the state successfully claims the monopoly of the legitimate use of physical force within a given territory” (Bakker, 1999, p.291). Here, Weber was only reiterating Marx’s assessment of the tendencies of the state and its institutions. While agreeing and consolidating many of Marx’s theories, Weber also attempted to refine and expand them. This is especially true with respect to the role of religion in political and economic affairs. While Marx’s leanings toward atheism are well documented, he did not properly evaluate the influence exerted by religion in matters of politics and economics. Weber, on the other hand, saw religion to be pivotal to society and hence included religious considerations alongside economic ones. Although Weber helped enrich the understanding of the then emerging capitalist world order, he did not completely condemn it as Marx did. Weber’s works emphasize the influence of religious beliefs in the affairs of state and society. For example, during his lifetime Christianity was the dominant religious ideology in Germany and most of Europe. So Weber asserted that the rise and flourishing of capitalist economic systems had their underpinnings in the Christian ethic. In other words, the seeds for the eventual flowering of industrial capitalism in Europe from the eighteenth century onwards were already evident in the moral fabric of society as conditioned by principles laid out by Christianity. Indeed, Weber believed that the political and economic institutions of a nation are shaped by its dominant religious ideology. (Sayer, 1991)
Despite the differences in their emphasis, both Marx and Weber greatly influenced scholars, politicians and commentators for generations to come. More importantly, their theories and insights have a direct appeal to lay people, for the state of economic and political organization of society has a direct and immediate bearing on its members. Marx and Weber can also be credited for making sociological discourse accessible to the general population. And by doing so, they expanded the reach of the discipline to a wider audience and enabled it to interpret commonplace events in uncommon ways. While Karl Marx will be remembered as the most influential political scientist of the modern era, Max Weber will be remembered for adding new dimensions and interpretations to Marx’s body of work. It is for this reason that Weber’s approach to explaining the rise of modern society can be stated as a ‘debate with the ghost of Karl Marx’.
Bakker, J. (1999). The Living Legacy of Marx, Durkheim and Weber: Applications and Analyses of Classical Sociological Theory by Modern Social Scientist. The Canadian Review of Sociology and Anthropology, 36(2), 286+.
Bonner, K. (1998). Reflexivity, Sociology and the Rural-Urban Distinction in Marx, Tonnies and Weber. The Canadian Review of Sociology and Anthropology, 35(2), 165+.
Sayer, D. (1991). Capitalism and Modernity: An Excursus on Marx and Weber. New York: Routledge.