Garnering Respect as a Circumstantial Foreigner Effective Management Strategies in an International Setting Chris Marler Liberal Studies Senior Capstone Complex Problem The complex issue I chose to examine is garnering respect as a foreign born white male in an authoritative role who is a circumstantial beneficiary in a foreign land. The challenge is being an effective leader and manager in a role of authority over native Bahamians in a post-Colonial country. The problems facing this career as a foreign born manager will stem from gender roles, historical events, and cultural differences. However, perhaps the most important area of focus and concern is that this job is being granted primarily because of the circumstantial fact of being a relative of the owner of this restaurant. Being in a higher paying position than many people in the restaurant, despite their superiority in experience only adds to the issue. Garnering respect from peers will be a very difficult task considering that being a white, foreign born manger is considered to be somewhat of a mirror image of the exact same Colonialist practices that have been prevalent in the Caribbean for over three hundred years. It’s even more daunting of a challenge by taking into account that native Bahamians, and people from the Caribbean, are innately very prideful. This stems from their freedom from the rigors and struggles to gain independence from situations of great to similarity to this throughout their ancestral heritage. Having a Liberal Studies background creates a better foundation in viewing this complex problem through several different academic fields of study. This background will assist in the implementation of various ideologies to be an efficient, effective, and most importantly successful International manager in the Bahamas. Difficult aspects including race relations, cultural differences, and International Management strategies in a foreign country can all be overcome by obtaining a deep understanding of the culture and traditions of a particular country and imploring the most effective management strategies from various concepts already in place. Once these two concepts are understood and applied, one can garner respect in this complex problem and still be a successful leader. Historical Aspect The first aspect in this complex problem will be the historical aspect. It is important to start here to fully understand where a majority of present day feelings and situations derived from. Bahamians are innately very prideful of their history and background, so an extensive understanding of their history is imperative in regards to respecting the Bahamian culture. It will also help make sense of some of the sociological tendencies that still remain prevalent to this day. While it is impossible to embody the great extent of a group’s culture, history has provided us with a very distinct timeline in the culture that stems from ancestral African heritage. This history is directly related to the people and countries of the Caribbean. It gives specific examples of events and individuals that directly pertain to the current social and economic situation that the Bahamas finds itself in. The Bahamas were discovered in 1492 when Columbus landed ashore the island of San Salvador1. However, like many current countries in the Caribbean, the Bahamas were later inhabited by another group of foreign settlers. Britain claimed the island as a colony of its own in 1670 and put them under the imperialistic rule of the British Colonial Empire2. The colonization of the Bahamas came from the islands being a destination for 1 Bahamas – History www.geographia.com/Bahamas/bahistory (April 21, 2010). 2 Ibid white Colonial settlers to establish a colony using the African slaves. Africans were abducted and enslaved from their own country in what is commonly referred to as the “diaspora” or dispersing of these people throughout the Western Hemisphere. It is here where the roots and inception of black history begin. The rich, deep, and prideful ancestral heritage of black history was forged through these harsh and inexplicable events. This is not only the origin of ancestral pride took place for many blacks that currently live in the Caribbean, but it is also where the origin of the disdain towards the foreign white male in a leadership role. Colonial Britain imposed its Imperialism on these countries due to what they saw as a “Divine Right” of rule based upon their race. This “Divine Right” led to the brutal oppression and abuse on a physical and mental level that is still being dealt with today. An issue this creates is how to effectively deal with what these events of the past will pose as problems today especially as an American in the Caribbean. It is a common issue for Americans to not be able to objectively think deeply into this matter and make a conscious effort to understand the effects of these horrific occurrences. America too is a nation with a history of racial issues, but often the occurrences are looked as the past being the past and to almost forgive and forget. However, these transgressions from British Colonialism have left a deep resentment in many blacks, especially in the Caribbean. The issue must be seen as more than just a surface level angst but rather a deep emotional and ancestral wound that has been left on these people. For many trying to work and create a successful life, it is difficult to use resources in relation to their work whether it is crops, rum, or tourism. This is because their ancestry suggests that they were merely considered nothing more than just a “resource” themselves. These historical events from colonization did not yield any improvement until the movement for Caribbean Independence began to emerge in the 1940’s with the help of some well respected figures. The islands of the Caribbean would reach independence in the 1960’s leading to an abundance of hope for individual successes. However, due largely to powers outside their own control, there were still many failures. These shortcomings proved to be almost as devastating as being under the unwarranted direction of foreigners in their own land. In the 1920’s, the islands of the Caribbean began to realize the possibility of their own independence. Throughout the next three decades the Caribbean countries became unified in aspirations of reaching this goal. The most imperative aspect to this freedom was the rise and emergence of their own individual leaders. The people had great admiration and reverence for three specific individuals, Alexander Bustamante and Norman Manley from Jamaica and Eric Williams from Trinidad and Tobago. All three were respected mainly because of their high level of education from Oxford University. In the same way that blacks in the Southeastern states revered Martin Luther King Jr. and believed he could aid in their eventual civil rights, the people of the Caribbean had very little doubts that not only would these three lead them independence, but also to a self- sustainability they had desired so long for. These leaders were important in the fact that being so highly revered it would be essential for them to implore a confidence back into the individuals who supported them. Another Caribbean social and political leader, James Brathwaite hoped these leaders would inspire blacks for independence saying they should “demand black self- determination”3. Rebellion and revolt led to the prominence of these three as the Caribbean was on the brink of independence. They were given a golden opportunity to lead these people from their struggles. However, things did not work out as well as many had hoped as Bustamante and Manley had a political power struggle in Jamaica and Williams proved to be completely incapable of efficient leadership in Trinidad and Tobago as the country is an economic depression with a severe lack of development which has led many to constitute the country as “third world”. This event only added to the cycle of psychological inferiority that people of the Caribbean feel. The failures to effectively lead their respective countries from independence during the time of post-Colonialism in the Caribbean are as detrimental in some regards as the mental abuse imposed upon these people by the actual British Colonialists. The political struggle in Jamaica is something that is common in many countries that are in their infant stages of independence. However, the complete demise of an entire country by Eric Williams was immensely defeating to these people’s new found self-confidence. It is imperative to see how this cyclical nature of what his failure meant to the present day Caribbean citizens to further understand the complex issue I have addressed. The reason why Williams is a great correlating example is that Williams was also a beneficiary of circumstance. Many confused his extensive and high level of education to be traits of someone who could take the form of a “savior”. They expected him to not only deliver them from outside oppression, but to turn this dependent and inferior colony into a prosperous country. He was an outspoken advocate against Colonialism saying, “the essential importance of the slave trade: on its success or failure depended the 3 W.F. Elkins, Black Power in the Carribean (New York:Revisionist Press, 1977) progress or ruin of all others.”4Prior to Williams, Trinidad actually had an efficient economy that was especially successful in comparison to many of its neighboring Caribbean countries. In 1962, before Williams became the Prime Minister, Trinidad was the wealthiest and most industrialized island of the Caribbean.5 However, after his term as the country’s Prime Minister, Trinidad has still yet to resurrect itself out of the economic death that Williams’ short comings caused. His failures would also further the lack of self-worth in the native people of these colonies. There was such a huge expectation of him, as well as Bustamante and Manley, and they were unable to come through. These shortcomings would only get worse as many began to realize the truths and legitimacy of what Caribbean independence actually entailed. There is no way to ever take anything away from any of the heroics of all the leaders of Caribbean during their course to independence, but there are discrepancies to what was the actual cause. What eventually would prove to be the primary reason for the lowering of Colonial Britain flags were not these heroic acts but several other factors. First, was the depletion in economic funding from the British government because of its ongoing involvement in World War II. Second, because these “resources” were no longer to any financial benefit for the empire, as their rioting for independence was merely viewed as a nuisance and reason to end what was quickly becoming a “bad investment”. The abrupt fleeing left the infant-esque countries in complete ignorance to the effective ways to run an economy, government, and country as a whole. The initial feelings of elation from independence were quickly overshadowed by doubt that these 4 Eric Williams, Capitalism and Slavery (Chapel Hill: The University of North Carolina Press, 1944) 5 Hans W. Hannau Trinidad and Tobago (Munich: Anderman-Publishers, 1966) countries could actually be dependent on their own. Many countries immediately faltered to create economic stability. This doubt and insecurity turns to negativity and lack of self- confidence leading to the re-emergence of the detrimental cyclical nature many in the Caribbean had become accustomed to. Racial Aspect The second aspect that adds to the difficulty of this problem is the impact of race and the significance of the role that race plays in the Bahamas. The historical aspect of this complex problem closely coincides with the racial aspect of it. Many of the feelings examined in the racial aspect were forged from countless events throughout Caribbean history. By strictly looking at race in the Bahamas from a statistical standpoint, the overwhelming majority of the population is black. This has been consistent for hundreds of years. Where the issue lies is that despite being much smaller in numbers, the whites that inhabit the Bahamas are predominantly wealthy and in roles of some sort of authority and/or power. A majority of the jobs worked by blacks are task-oriented and laborious whereas the whites are usually in authoritative roles. This creates a huge social division, as it has for the past three hundred years. In turn this separation creates several fears in many native Bahamians, which is projected through their own individual feelings and confidence even to this day. First, there is a fear to trust “the white man”, as it again seems to be a mirror image of the same Colonialist acts and characteristics since England first assumed it’s self-proclaimed “right” to these countries. Second, there is a fear within them to think that they are not good enough or smart enough to be successful. This in fact was actually a principle that England wanted to psychologically impose upon its colonies. Colonial Britain successfully oppressed the citizens by keeping them uneducated and by denying them basic human rights in order to deplete any sense of self worth. Though extremely manipulative, the principle was very effective as many people from the Bahamas, and the Caribbean, doubt the capacity of their own individual potential to this day. This is because of the low feeling of self worth that Colonial Britain strategically embedded into their minds. This feeling stems from many individuals spending a lifetime of seeing an almost predestined disadvantage of their own futures dictated by race. This is the same feeling that important figures during the revolution of Caribbean Independence, such as Eric Williams, Bustamante, and Norman Manley tried to denounce. Despite these leaders’ efforts, perhaps the biggest fear of Bahamians, and people of the Caribbean, is that they will never truly be self-sufficient, as individuals or their respective countries, and that they truly are a dependent group of people. This racial gap leads to a unique mindset that most Bahamians have in regards to race. This mindset is that the perception of individuals is purely phenotypical. Many assumptions are made based by these perceptions, and many believe it to be an exact assessment of an individual as a person. Basically, a person is initially judged based solely off their race. For example, Harry Pikramenos is the owner of both a hotel, The El Greco, and a restaurant, Café Johnny Canoe on Nassau. He is white, but he is also a native of the Bahamas. He has lived in Nassau for a majority of his life, and Café Johnny Canoe has been one of the most prominent restaurants on the island since its inception ninteen years ago. However, his race is what is initially noticed before his nationality despite being a Bahamian citizen for nearly fifty years. Basically, race in the Bahamas truly is seen strictly as black and white. What these fears and perceptions lead to is a certain level of resentment from blacks towards whites and also a sense of entitlement from the whites inhabiting the island. Since many jobs worked by whites in the Bahamas are those in authoritative roles many blacks perceive the jobs as roles in a power structure that is unattainable for them. Whites who are in authoritative roles are essentially groomed for these roles as they have been in place for hundreds of years. There is almost a concrete model to follow for manipulative success if they choose to do so. This longstanding manipulation in turn creates a mindset of entitlement that is shared by both blacks and whites. However, the sense of entitlement desired and pursued by black Bahamians deals more with a socialistic outlook on financial equality. Many feel their social equality achieved through national independence should be replicated through financial equality as well. This is due to the insecurity that many feel in regards to financial stability. Philip Sherlock explained this in his book West Indies, saying “The problem is not political but economic because they have no security through economic development…”6Almost as important as race, financial status creates a huge social division between Bahamians as well. Since this resentment is so long standing, there is often a belief that if one individual owns something of materialistic value then they too should own the same thing. The result of these mindsets is the difficulty to motivate workers if they differ in race from their manager. The combination of all these elements is what makes race such a difficult aspect in regards to being able to effectively manage as a white male in foreign land. The 6 Phillip Sherlock, West Indies (London: Thames and Hudson, 1966) feelings of resentment and entitlement that resound between both races are cyclical and sometimes seem unending. Navigating through the resentment many natives will have at the mere presence of yet another white foreigner in an authoritative role is a daunting task. There is no way to bridge a racial and social division that has grown exponentially for the past three hundred years over night. The best way to attempt this feat is by a cognoscente understanding of the origins of these feelings by both races. This must be done by taking an in-depth approach to understanding the culture, traditions, perceptions, and the history of this country to understand where the Bahamas are today. However, it must also be done by taking a look at effective managerial strategies as well. Managerial Aspect The last aspect of this complex issue is the management aspect. It is necessary to look at the subject as a whole and then also specifically researching the subject of International Management. A large reason for the economic failures of the Caribbean after independence was their misplaced power in the wrong leaders. However, the main reason for their lack of failure was despite their high level of knowledge in the world of academia very few people in the Caribbean at this time were educated, let alone experienced, in the realm of management and/or leadership. This is why it is so imperative to be well versed in the area of management, and furthermore International Management, to be a successful leader in the Caribbean. In researching a field as broad as management it is first necessary to have a basic foundation of knowledge in the field of management as a whole. “Managing and motivating your staff” by Dr. Jan Flynn allows an in-depth look into the close relationship that effective communication, motivation, and managerial success have with each other. Flynn suggests that perhaps the two most important factors that lead to effective management is communication and motivation. The steps in learning to be an effective manager start with making a conscious effort to be a better communicator with his/her employees. This will allow the manager to understand the coinciding perceptions of both the employee and employer relationship. Furthermore, it will allow the manager to understand ways in which to effectively motivate his/her employees. Flynn states that “unclear and ambiguous communication can lead to unhappy and unsatisfactory performance” from the employees resulting in a negative employee and employer relationship7. This literature she has provided stresses communication as an important variable that cannot be overlooked in effective management guidelines and strategies in order to produce a beneficial product as defined by a company’s expected objectives and expectations. However, she does also stress that though closely related, communication and motivation are separate entities on their own in that negative communication will most likely lead to lower levels of motivation, but positive communication may not always lead to higher motivation. This is true primarily because of the fact that motivation is “purely a personal choice”, as Flynn states, ”All we can do is recognize the factors that lead to motivation, and work to create a climate where people make the conscious choice to motivate themselves.” This is an important concept to understand as a manager. There are so many factors that lead to positive communication, and it is difficult to accept the fact that sometimes, despite continuous efforts, there may still remain a gap, between employee and employer. All one can do in their efforts is to prepare themselves as best as possible to place themselves in the best position for their desired outcome. In 7 Dr. Jo Ann Flynn. Managing and Motivating Your Staff (2003) regards to managerial success, an effective preparation of communication and motivation is a must because to achieve overall success it is necessary to understand what motivates people. Along with effective communication, motivation is the second factor that goes into a positive outcome in the efforts of reaching a company’s goals and objectives. It is imperative to not overlook the significance in motivation. It is impossible to narrow down a concise list that is concrete in absolute fact in regards to factors in motivation, but there are many ideas that give managers a base to work with into what might motivate people. These specific examples can in turn lead to discovering an effective strategy in the implementation of different Motivational Strategies. From there managers can find strategies that specifically pertain to an individual company’s needs and/or specific situation that may be unique from other companies. The most common things that people are motivated include the following: their needs, their perceptions, the rewards they expect, their understanding of goals and objectives, and the clarity in their duties and responsibilities that the employees will have. With an understanding of these specific factors in motivation a manager can now make an educated approach in regards to the correct managerial strategy needed for implementation. One way to look at effective strategies is by classifying which reason of motivation the specific strategy may address as well as the intent of the strategy upon implementation. Perhaps the best place to start in looking at these different factors is Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs. This concept is based on the idea that everyone is driven, at least in some degree, by levels of basic human needs. Maslow outlines a “ranking system” of sorts of basic human needs like: physiological, safety, social, esteem, and self actualization needs in a hierarchal pattern8. For instance the most basic human needs are food and shelter, and these would serve as the base for the hierarchy of needs for any human. From here a manager can look at other strategies that will cover factors in motivation such as rewards they expect and their perceptions of their work environment. There are three main motivational strategies involving expected rewards that I researched. The Equity Theory from J. Stacey Adams is a concept based on the notion that people want to be treated fairly in relationship to other people. Another example would be Frederick Taylor’s Scientific Management Approach, or Victor Vroom’s Expectancy Approach, which both correlate to the factor of motivation involving rewards people expect. The Scientific Management Approach assumes that money is the primary motivation of people, so a great deal of the motivation of a company’s workers would come from their own financial expectations from working at a given company9. The Expectancy Approach differs in that it views that a workers motivation may not be completely based on monetary expectations but possibly rewards that are not purely materialistic10. The Expectancy Approach also believes that motivation derives from an individual’s sentiment that an increase in their own effort will lead to an increase in their rewards11. It is important to understand motivational tactics not just as a whole from a company’s standpoint but also to be understanding of how motivation can be achieved as it pertains to each individual worker. 8 Dr. Jo Ann Flynn “Motivational Strategies” International Management (Spring 2009) 9 Flynn. “Motivational Strategies” 10 Ibid 11 Ibid This approach is one reason for the economic failure in the Soviet Union, as their communist approach left little feeling of motivation because of financial equality which was often undesired by the individual workers. Though this is an extreme example because the differences created between a free based market and a command market like the Soviet Union’s, it is still important to understand the role motivation had in this particular example. This is also a reason for the disdain many people in the Caribbean have towards white managers because the same financial one-sidedness in the Soviet Union was the basic practice from Colonial Britain throughout the Caribbean for hundreds of years. It is an important task of a manager in this social setting to make sure that the correlation of these two instances from a race standpoint are not mirrored or felt through a monetary standpoint. Managers must be cognoscente of their own monetary reward system to ensure their own practices are indeed fair so there are no feelings of resentment from their workers which would have a negative effect on motivation. A desirable outcome by a manager after all these factors would be that the job they are offering would be considered an incentive as a whole, so the staff members would truly appreciate working there. International Management Aspect The last aspect that makes up this complex problem is the International Management aspect. Not only will a manager have to research and be cognoscente of all the aforementioned areas of concern, but they will also have to have a deep knowledge and familiarity with the culture and history of the region that specifically pertains to their own company and/or situation. It is important to be knowledgeable on a wide array of different strategies and guidelines to choose which will be most effective and in turn successful in their specific situation because not all the issues a manager will be confronted with will be addressed or covered in one particular strategy. This means that not all strategies and guidelines will be universal in their effectiveness but need to be looked at in more of a regiocentric and even polycentric approach. International Management is simply defined as applying management concepts in different environments. Though miniscule in word length, the content of this task is of enormous depth in magnitude and significance. This is because despite the definition, one cannot simply apply management concepts in different environments. There are too many external factors involved that will dictate managerial success. Despite it taking more individual responsibility to adjust to foreign markets the advantages far outweighs the disadvantages. According Jeffrey Harrison, author of Hospitality Strategic Management, market research shows that “international markets are more profitable than domestic markets.”12 The first two important factors in cross-cultural management are the spoken language, or languages, in a certain country as well as the extent of the development of the country. This is for two reasons. One, language is the number one barrier of global trade. Two, 80% percent of International Investments are in developed countries. These two reasons are part of the historical success the Bahamian economy has had until its current state. They are also the initial two factors that will supply me with a familiarity and comfort zone to be in upon my future endeavors there. Despite various dialects and accents, the most common spoken language in the Bahamas is English. Also, the Bahamas is considered to be a developed country which is important for a multitude of reasons, but mainly because it leaves the door open for future investments and growth 12 Jeffrey S. Harrison, Hospitality Strategic Management (Hoboken, NJ: Wiley and Sons, 2005), 16. which will be largely beneficial as both an incentive for future investments that will re- stimulate the economy. By being able to overcome these two concrete obstacles in International Management the next two most important aspects of International Management can be looked at, culture and diversity. Culture is an important aspect of International Management no matter what geographic setting a business is in. However, it is especially important in a place like the Bahamas. This is in large part because of the historical events and racial disparity that have been aforementioned in this complex problem. Another reason for this though is the global perception of Americans that is both negative and widely congruent in sentiments worldwide. Many people in the world regardless of geographic region consider Americans to be arrogantly ignorant to the learning or understanding of any culture that differs from their own despite the “melting pot” of cultures that their own country was founded upon. This proverbial beating of their chest can be personified as a masculine attempt to claim an elite status on a global scale. However, it is more accurately defined as an ignorant characterization of parochialism and simplification in regards to understanding other cultures. Conquering this perception is vital for garnering respect as an American manager in a foreign land especially that is enriched with so much pride, history, and culture. It is vital to do so as American tourists make up a majority of one of the two micromarkets for this complex problem. The Service Industry in the Bahamas primarily consists of two customers: Bahamians and Americans. It is important to make a compatible environment for both sides and avoid market segmentation. Market segmentation placing emphasis of promotion to one specific micromarket13. Culture can be defined as the acquired knowledge people use to interpret experience and generate social behavior. This behavior can be learned, shared, patterned, adaptive, or trans-generational which is often the case in regards to the Caribbean. For instance some cultural characteristics of the Bahamas are a relaxed attitude, unique menu of food and drink, emphasis on family, and the tradition of Junkanoo, a Bahamian celebration about a traditional Bahamian folk hero Johnny Canoe. One dimension that culture is largely comprised of is values. Values are looked at as the basic convictions people have regarding right or wrong, good or bad, and important or unimportant. There is a close relationship between a country’s culture and values, and it is equally important to understand both and how they relate to the work environment in an International setting. One way to characterize the role culture plays in International Management is to look at Hofstede’s “Dimension Culture” diagram that characterizes culture in the workplace by four main categories: Power distance (accepting unequal power) , Uncertainty avoidance (feeling threatened by ambiguous situations), Individualism (primarily looking after their own interests), and Masculinity (where a person’s dominant values are materialistic). There are two of these that specifically pertain to International Management in the Bahamas which are Individualism and Power Distance. In regards to these two dimensions from Hofstede it is vital to ensure that Individualism is not the cultural dynamic of the workers but instead a manager would strive for a situation in their workplace where each individual member is conducive to the benefit of the entire staff and organization. Also, Power distance is also important, as it is just as vital to ensure 13 Paul S. Bierdman, Travel and Tourism (Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice Hall, 2008), 484. there are no misconceived perceptions that there is a gap of unequal power which would lead to an unsettling feeling and gap between management staff and work staff. Another cultural area that pertains to International Management is organizational culture. Organizational culture is defined as the pattern of basic assumptions developed by a group. This concept specifically outlines dimensions of culture that are specifically definitive of the workplace not necessarily involving the actual culture that is geographically existent to where the location of the business is. It would be beneficial to have an understanding to which pertain to a manager’s business, so one can identify the present situation and make changes if necessary for the improvement of the company. Along with culture, diversity plays an integral role in the success of International Management. In fact one text even went so far as to say that International success depends on managing multiculturalism and diversity. Diversity groups in the workplace can be designated into four main categories amongst the staff: homogeneous (all are of the same background), token (all are of the same background but one), bicultural (2 different backgrounds), and multicultural (3 or more backgrounds). The diversity group that my complex issue pertains to can be categorized by either bicultural or even multicultural since there will be a blend of American, Bahamian, and even some Hatian culture. These differences in culture could bring about some of the disadvantages that coincide with diversity in an International Management setting which may include: mistrust of others, perceptions and stereotypes of others, and also inaccurate biases based on preconceived notions of different cultural backgrounds. However, the advantages of diversity seem to pay off far greater beneficial dividends for International Managers. Advantages of cultural diversity include: enhancing creativity, better decisions, and more effective, and productive, performance both the individual members of the staff as well as the company as a whole. By obtaining a conceptual understanding of the role that culture and diversity play in the workplace a manager can now look at different managerial strategies and ideologies of implementation on an International scale. These strategies must include the cultural awareness previously obtained to garner a cross-cultural adaptability for their business in order to be successful in an International market. Important concepts to implore, as well as implement, into any International business start with effective communication and motivation, but there are several other concepts that are consistent in any strategy or guideline for International Management. In correlation with communication, it is imperative to give positive performance feedback amongst the staff as well as imploring equal amounts of power to workers who share the same responsibilities and duties for their respective role in the company. Identifying goals and allowing everyone’s suggestive voice to be heard to allocate a feeling of equality and importance amongst the workers in regards to their place in the company. It is not that it’s necessarily imperative for there to be diversity in a company in order to obtain success, but rather it’s imperative to be able to effectively manage the diversity by being adaptable in a cross-cultural environment. Current State of the Bahamas To understand the difficulties I will be facing it is imperative to understand the various differences between the Bahamas and the United States; specifically regarding the economic state of each nation. Prior to 1950, the Bahamian economy was described as “stagnant agricultures and heavy unemployment”14. The United States’ economy is a “free market” based economy where capitalism reigns supreme. Despite the recent downturn, the US economy is still successful especially in comparison to the Bahamian economy. The US remains a dominant presence in many foreign markets. It still has many foreign investors itself, and is “prime” for expansion. This is much different from the Bahamian economy. This is due to a number of things, especially geographic limitations. For instance, the entire island of Nassau is only twenty-one miles long and only seven miles wide. Another reason is the difference in economic ability. The United States economy is multi-faceted and very complex whereas the Bahamian economy, like most Caribbean countries, has a simplistic economy that is primarily comprised of the Tourism/Service Industry. In fact, eighty percent of the Bahamian workforce work a job specific to the Tourism/Service Industry. Also, the biggest “consumer” of this Bahamian industry is the United States. This is not necessarily by choice, but rather because of the close geographic proximity of the two countries. The current recession that is taking place in America has had devastating effects on the Bahamian economy. There is a common Bahamian saying that if America catches a cold the Bahamas gets pneumonia. There are several other reasons for the terrible state of the economy such as bad investments and ignorance to economic efficiency as these are common mistakes by countries in their “infant” stages of freedom like the Bahamas are. In summation though, the Bahamian economy is in very poor shape with no real signs of improvement as of yet. This economic downturn will have a large impact on the financial successes expected of me in this job. 14 Lester D. Langley The United States and the Caribbean (Athens: The University of Georgia Press, 1982) Case Study With all the research that I have conducted it is just as beneficial to learn from real world examples through a case study. The case study I have chosen to research is the actual restaurant, Café Johnny Canoe, which will be my future employer upon graduation. The restaurant is owned by my aunt and uncle, Harry and Denise Pikramenos, and this is why the complex issue pertains specifically to me being that I will be a circumstantial beneficiary being a relative of the owners. The restaurant is a perfect subject for a case study into the complex issue I have addressed because it is run by two white managers in a predominantly black environment and more importantly has been one of the most successful restaurants on the island of Nassau since it opened nineteen years ago. It is a longstanding favorite in the community and is immensely popular amongst tourists visiting Nassau. This is due to a number of reasons. The menu is extensive and offers a variety of food specific to American and Bahamian cuisine. There are also affordable prices which are important because the Bahamas can be an expensive vacation from the price mark ups on various items because of the non tax structure of the country. Service is also a main point of emphasis of the restaurant. Service is a point of pride of Café Johnny Canoe because it is a concept that is not widely practiced on the island. This is mainly due to the relaxed attitude of the island, or the commonly overused cliché of being on “Island Time”. Café Johnny Canoe has almost cornered the market in their respective industry as they serve quality food in a very short time. This principle is basic in the service industry because it is beneficial to both the producer and consumer. It makes the customer happy by giving quality service and food in an exceptional short amount of time, and it helps the restaurant be able to turn tables faster thus allowing for more customers to be served and in turn creating more revenue. With all these great intangibles that make Café Johnny Canoe a successful restaurant it is its authenticity that has been most beneficial to its success and is also what will dictate the future success of this restaurant in the current economic state it finds itself in. Though very complex, the service industry’s most basic concept to understand for success is making your customer feel appreciated. Customers in the Bahamas can be broken down into two separate demographics: local Bahamians and tourists, and there is no way to sustain success in this particular market without catering to both groups. This idea was lost in a lot of foreign owned business in this industry while the economy was booming in the early part of the decade, as many foreign investors opened establishments that were only geared to the service of one of these groups which was often the white tourists. Even Johnny Canoe estimated that the ratio of customers between tourists and Bahamians were about four to one respectively. However, it is their emphasis of staying authentic, and entrenching itself in its own Bahamian roots, along with the attention company put on its local Bahamian customers that will be the backbone of their financial stability upon the reopening of the restaurant in the current economic state. My own Implementation strategy After reviewing all the aforementioned aspects that make up this complex issue, I have been able to develop some of my own ideologies, strategies, and methods that I will try to implement when I become an International manager in the Bahamas. The first area from which I sill draw from is my academic knowledge that I have obtained through the inter-disciplinarian methods from my Liberal Studies degree. Liberal studies has allowed me to have an extensive academic background involving courses in International management and Caribbean history to provide me with a better understanding in these areas. For instance, a majority of my academic research from this complex problem pertaining to the race and cultural aspect came from my coursework in Dr. Ahmed Reid’s Modern Caribbean class. I was able to draw from many different examples to be better prepared in my approach to solving my complex problem. Also, a majority of my knowledge and research in management guidelines came from my courses in International Management and Travel and Tourism Management in Dr. Jo Ann Flynn’s class. I have also been fortunate enough to have worked in the specific restaurant, Café Johnny Canoe, for my case study. This has provided me with a first hand experience that cannot be learned about by turning pages in a text book. My time with the restaurant has provided me with a basic model comprised of strategies and guidelines of how to sustain success as a restaurant manager in an International setting. Lastly, I was also to learn another business model from my internship with TOMS shoes that will benefit me in my future employment as it has provided be with different ideas that allowed another business to be successful. It is my hope that I will be able to use an Inter-disciplinarian blending of all these experiences with the acquired academic knowledge to create my own method that will be unique, creative, and, hopefully, successful. In large part my own creative management method is fairly simplistic, as it is primarily borrowed from other models that have seen a great deal of success like Café Johnny Canoe and TOMS. First, I would like to be as knowledgeable as possible in regards to the culture. Two, I would like to implore the same characteristics and principles previously used by Café Johnny Canoe that have garnered them so much respect and success. Quality food and exemplorary service will continue to be the foundation of Café Johnny Canoe. Lastly though, I would like to initiate some aspects of the TOMS shoes company model. The mantra and motto of TOMS shoes is “One for One”, as for every pair of shoes sold they donate an additional pair to a child in need. I would like to initiate various social programs to receive money from the revenue generated at Café Johnny Canoe, and I would like to do this for two reasons. One, I believe it to be good business, as the philanthropic approach taken would garner a great deal of respect in the community. But two, and most importantly, I would like to begin a re-investment back into the Bahamian economy and community in order to see some progression in Nassau and the Bahamas as a whole. This “home first” attitude is something I think that has been missing from the Bahamas, as well as the Caribbean, for quite some time now. I believe it is especially my duty being a second party national in the country to re-invest into a country that will have been so beneficial to both me and Café Johnny Canoe. Prescription My own prescription for my managerial ideologies would be a well thought out chronologically driven timeline in which to implement my various ideas. As aforementioned, the racial and social gaps that are prevalent in Bahamian society today cannot be overcome over night. It is imperative that I understand this. My overall success will be judged and marked by smaller successes leading up to my overall goal of an effective partnership with my peers. In my first six months I would simply be training under management. It would be best to do this for a multitude of reasons. First, it would allow me time to adjust to the unfamiliar settings. I would be able to get my feet wet without plunging in the deep end into a situation that may be over my head. Second, by initially training it would give the perception to my peers that I am not trying to simply be handed this job, but that I am making the necessary steps to earning it. Though it will not completely dissolve the perception that I am simply a circumstantial beneficiary, I believe it will help aid in my efforts to garner the respect of my peers. Third, by simply taking a position in training, my salary will not be very high. My hopes would be that making a similar wage initially would create a commonality with my peers and help with the issue of the power distance between us. During this time of training I would like to have the opportunity to work in each position of employment at the restaurant. Working as a manager, expediter, cook, dish washer, and server will allow me to understand each integral part of the restaurant. However, it will most importantly show my efforts to bridge the power distance gap that many of my peers will initially think is much wider than it truly is. After the training stage would be complete I will move into a role of restaurant manager. I will be prepared at this point to take on the everyday managerial duties that this position would require. Upon reaching this stage I would like to slowly begin the implementation of the philanthropic ideas I previously mentioned. Initially I believe it would be best to focus on two groups that would be beneficiaries to the restaurants philanthropy: the Café Johnny Canoe staff and the Bahamian community as a whole. As discussed in my exit interview there are many positives to focusing on both groups. However, with the lackluster state of performance that the Bahamian economy is in I think it would be best to initially focus efforts here. It would be difficult to decide a specific area for the allotment of charitable contributions right away. However, my experience while working with Liberty Tap Room and Grille has given me a few ideas on where to start. While working with Liberty, we performed a promotional night every first Tuesday of the month. It was called “Little Black Dress”. It was a cocktail party that had various discounts and specials at the restaurant and bar, and all donations, as well as 10% of profits, would go to supporting a local breast cancer awareness group. Not only was this philanthropy great for public image, but it was continuously the most profitable (non-weekend) night of the month every single month. Where this translates to the Café Johnny Canoe would be the inception of a similar promotion with the proceeds going to help the Bahamian community. A themed night at the restaurant with discounted prices would see similar, if not greater, results. I believe this estimation to be true especially because the immense amount of national pride among Bahamians. Seeing a direct impact and benefit to their own community would be even more of an incentive to eat at Café Johnny Canoe. The proceeds could go to various social programs and be the re-investment into the Bahamas it so desperately needs. With the reopening of the restaurant coinciding with these ideas, I think the program will see great success. After a six month to year timeline of being a manager I will have completed a full year of working in the Bahamas. I think that continuing this community involved philanthropy for at least six months would be beneficial for Café Johnny Canoe for two reasons. One, it will create an even better public image for the restaurant. Two, it will allow for a measurement to the effectiveness of the idea by being able to judge its success through the financial statistics of the restaurant. From, here we can gauge how effective the program has been as well as identifying areas for improvement. Next, there can be a direct reinvestment into the restaurant and its staff. The timeline given to me by the owners of Café Johnny Canoe would suggest that by my third to fifth year I would be an operating partner in the restaurant. This would mean that in addition to my salary I would receive a percentage of the Café Johnny Canoe’s overall profits. Once I am in this role I would begin the reinvestment into the staff of Café Johnny Canoe. The main area of emphasis that would be most effective would be in the area of education. Education has long been held in high esteem in the Caribbean despite the almost unavoidable ceiling over many of its citizens. There are many different ways to go about this idea. One, is the inception of a scholarship to be awarded. The scholarship could be for a worker looking to continue their own education, or it could be awarded to one of the staff’s children with the same aspirations. By implementing this idea it would be my hope that the opportunity of this scholarship would create an atmosphere where workers truly enjoyed their job. I believe it would create more motivation as well. After addressing these two important areas in the initial five years of my employment I would hope to continue these charitable efforts. Keeping with the educational theme there can be donations to The College of the Bahamas located on Nassau. As discussed in my exit interview, there are numerous underfunded institutions that could benefit from this. For instance, there are three orphanages on the island. The population of all three is very high especially after the recent events in Haiti. However, the Ranfurly Home for Children is underfunded because of no outside investment. Aiding in their efforts would be a great opportunity in helping the restaurant’s image of social responsibility in the Bahamian community. Social responsibility is the ideology driven by ethics, morals or values that an individual or company has a responsibility in the aid of their own society. At Café Johnny Canoe, I will look to implore the importance of this ideology.