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Time for a change: managing cross-cultural issues in Barbados (A) 2004-53.1

28 March 2005



Vinette Daley put down the phone after a lengthy and stressful conversation with the director of one of her partner agencies, with the question echoing in her mind. After three years in her current stint as chief executive of the Barbados subsidiary of Global Network Services (GNS), this call placed her dilemma sharply in focus: could she continue to support Komo, her Assistant Manager who had worked so well with her in Africa five years ago; or should she let him go and put his hitherto promising career in a downward spiral? Komo’s technical strengths had provided good support to her initial reorganisation efforts, but now that the company was beginning to increase its portfolio of projects, Vinette was concerned about the increasing rifts between Komo and the predominantly female staff. She had to decide by next month: could she maintain the momentum of change in the company, and keep Komo?

This case can be used to examine the factors that promote or inhibit organisational change. It describes a human resource management situation that commonly confronts the management of multinational and multicultural organisations – how to manage clashes between management style and cultural expectations, as well as between a male manager and female staff.

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Authors: Norma Shorey-Bryan
Published Date: 28 March 2005
Author Institution: University of the West Indies
Content Length: 6
Product Type: Case with teaching note, Part A, Primary resources