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Sophia Tannis The European Transfer Case Solution

Solution Id Length Case Author Case Publisher
934 2570 Words (10 Pages) Gerard Seijts, Kanina Blanchard Ivey Publishing : W13410
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CPA has decided to move one of their competent employees Sophia Tannis to their European office. Through this strategy, they plan to link their corporate headquarter with the local European employees, as well as the general public. This is one of the major moves of Tannis career as through this she can either fly high, or fall. However, this relocation has its own challenges that Tannis must address in case she wants to fly high. Most of the European employees are reluctant in accepting American culture and policies. To them, Tannis represents global headquarter; therefore, this is one major challenge that she would face. Furthermore, the low ratio of women and minorities is another major challenge that Tannis would have to address immediately. The culture of the company is such that it does not promote information sharing and trust among employees.

Following questions are answered in this case study solution:

  1. Executive Summary

  2. Statement of the Problem

  3. Causes of the Problem

  4. Decision Criteria and Alternative Solutions

  5. Solution and Justification

  6. References.

Sophia Tannis The European Transfer Case Analysis

If Tannis is to survive in European office, she must devise some strategy in order to solve these problems. Since, she has been moved to European office, in order to serve as a link between corporate office and local employees, she must take steps that will help in aligning European local policies with global policies. Under the given scenario, the best strategy is to increase the number of relocations between the two regions. In order to improve the retention ratio among women and minorities, she should try to set a minimum ratio that should be maintained. Moving on to solving the long term problems, Tannis should increase the training and group activities that encourage information sharing and trust development among employees. By using all these strategies, Tannis can successfully accomplish the task assigned to her. 

Statement of the Problem

CPA wants to balance the international image of the company while retaining the link with local customers. Sophia Tannis, a multinational senior female leader is moved to European headquarters. This relocation is a big opportunity for Tannis, but there are numerous problems that she must first address before flying high or falling. Firstly, she is moving to a leadership position at a place where she represents corporate headquarter. Therefore, she will have to work hard, in order to build an effective relationship and develop trust with her colleagues and local environment. Secondly, European office has numerous gender and cultural issues that will pose a challenge to the performance of Tannis. The low retention ratio of women and minorities is against the international culture of the company. While these are the short term problems that Tannis will face, her inability to solve them would lead to problems would to long term issues. Employee’s inability to accept Tannis because of her ethnicity will affect her performance. Furthermore, the work environment of European office is such that it does not encourage information sharing and brainstorming among the employees. The top management shares information among them but at the lower level lack of trust discourages such behaviour. This will be one long term problem that she will face in the long run.

Causes of the Problem

Tannis has been moved to the office where for employees she is an icon of corporate headquarter. The main reason behind this problem is the difference in culture and policies between the two regions. European office had issues with the American office approach of professional dealing with other nations like the Middle East. Furthermore, global headquarter never appreciates European office efforts. Therefore, most of the employees were not willing to accept Tannis. Talking about the second problem, the main reason behind the low retention ratio of female and minorities are the culture and policies of the company. Most of the policies implemented in company locally are not in line with the international policies of CPA. The reason behind this is the local culture of the company, which encourages debate on topics like gender and ethnicity (Lampel, 2001). Moving on to long term problems, Tannis performance might be affected because of the unacceptance of the behaviour of her employees. Most of the European employees disapprove American people and their policies; therefore, they might not accept Tannis. Furthermore, the reason behind low information sharing among the employees is the lack of trust among employees. The culture of the company is such that it does not promote trust and loyalty among the employees; therefore, this leads to many problems, which include reluctance of senior employees to share their experience with new inductees; high turnover as the organizational culture does not value employee satisfaction; low consistency in output as the organization is in a constant phase of transition making it impossible for managers to focus on consistency etc.

Decision Criteria and Alternative Solutions

Tannis had shown her leadership skills and abilities in numerous challenges that CPA had assigned to her. Relocation to Europe represents the lifetime opportunity for her. In Europe office, there are two main challenges that await Tannis, and in order to solve them, she must first identify the criteria against which she will evaluate the alternative solutions. As per case study, one of the key factors that Tannis must take into account before taking any decision is the acceptability to management. While the geographic and business vice president strongly supported Tannis, they still wanted to maintain their autonomy and the power to accept or reject changes. Furthermore, the European office had an organizational culture of its own and not all employees were in favour to implement the American corporate culture. In fact, most of the management was against American office because of their approach to relationship building and their lack of ability to appreciate the European culture (Dwyer, Richard, & Chadwick, 2003). Therefore, while taking decision Tannis must first evaluate it on the basis whether the top management will accept it, or not.

Analysis of case study shows that she has many possible alternative solutions for both problems. The first alternative can be to improve the negative global corporate image of America. First of many options available to her is to request the top management of European region to relocate or send some of the European employees to United States for short assignment, training, or experience. This would better help them understand the American culture and would also allow them to form an image based on their actual experience rather than on rumours. These employees will also assist Tannis and the top management in spreading the right image of the company, in the European region. Furthermore, Tannis should also get some relocation done in European office from American Headquarter. Through this, Tannis would not only improve the ratio of minorities in the office but will also provide a chance to better understand the culture of the other region. This will also add to the learning experience of the employees which will further benefit the company. However, there are few concerns associated with this strategy, as well. Though, the relocation between the two regions would aid in resolving many differences; but on the other hand, it might deteriorate the situation. Failure of employees to adjust in the new environment will affect the performance. In America, major topic of debate is religion; while, in Europe it is ethnicity (Holvino & Kamp, 2009). This difference of approach and mindset might further aggravate differences between the two regions. Feedback of employees having a bad relocation experience will also affect the opinion of other local employees. Therefore, in case the company prefers the relocation strategy, it should make sure that cultural training is provided to each employee so that they have the ability to respect the diversity of the local and international culture. Apart from this, another concern with the relocation strategy is the high cost. Relocating multiple employees would require not only an increase in their monetary reward, but also an expense for their accommodation.

The second alternative can be to figure out and understand the reasons why European office employees are against the policies implemented by Global headquarters at United States. An ideal way of resolving this issue would be to conduct individual interviews of all employees and enquire about their perception regarding head office and their policies. This would provide Tannis an opportunity to understand core issues and problems. She should actively listen to all concerns and should try to resolve them. The most important challenge for Tannis is to be flexible enough to understand the point of view of local employees so that she can identify the root cause. In addition to this, to increase the ratio for women and minorities, she should set a minimum ratio that the company must maintain.

If the second strategy is implemented it will also have it pros and cons. Talking about the pros, through dialogues Tannis can solve the problem at a very low cost. She can effectively communicate the American point of view and can understand their problems. This will also help her in dealing with them. But this strategy has some challenges, as well. Many people already consider Tannis as an icon of headquarter. They might not share their opinion with Tannis openly out of the fear that she might reprimand them or report them to the top management. In addition to this, Tannis might fail to convince and change perspectives of employees because of employee resistance. Furthermore, through this Tannis will only develop tolerance among European employees, and will fail to change the attitude of American office towards other regions. Even setting a minimum ratio will increase women and minorities but it might deprive the company of many competent and deserving employees (Fitzsimmons & Stamper, 2013). Therefore, it is essential for Tannis and the top management of both the European office and headquarter to address the issue from both ends. The idea should be to change the perception of European employees towards the company head office, as well as to allow an opportunity for the top management of American office to change their attitude towards regional offices.

Solution and Justification

Under the given scenario, the best strategy for Tannis is to increase relocation among the employees. While dialogues will help Tannis to solve the problem to a certain extent, but her headquarter image might impede in it. Increasing relocation will not only help company, but also provide employees an opportunity to develop tolerance for other cultures and religions. A good experience of American employees in European office will help them appreciate the Europe office, and a good experience of European employee will help remove the negative impression of global corporate head office. She should introduce a minimum ratio of female minorities among the employees. This would help improve the ratio. In order to develop the trust factor among employees, she should try to introduce activities that promote team spirit. (Crutchfield & Roughton, 2013).

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