Document Sample


School of Economics Year 1 Full time

CE / IBL Period 1

Contents:                                                                    Page

WEEK PROGRAMME COURSE 1                                                       3

ASSESSMENT & EXAMINATION                                                      4

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY                                                             5

TEXT 1                                                                        7
TEXT 2                                                                        9
TEXT 3                                                                       11
TEXT 4                                                                       14
TEXT 5                                                                       17
TEXT 6                                                                       20

NOTES ON NEGOTIATING                                                         23

SAMPLE AGENDA                                                                24

NEGOTIATING                                                                  25

CASE 1                                                                       29
CASE 2                                                                       32
CASE 3                                                                       34
CASE 4                                                                       38
CASE 5                                                                       41
CASE 6                                                                       45


week     Activiteit                                 Literatuur
 1       uur 1: introduction + formation of teams   Reader: study Executive Summary
         uur 2: executive summaries
                                                    Comspeak: study Accounting & Business
 2       uur 1: case meeting 1 teams A, B +         Reader: answer questions Text 1, prepare
         checking text 1 + grammar Units 1, 3       case meeting 1
         teams C, D
                                                    Grammar Workbook: study Units 1, 2, 3 +
         uur 2: case meeting 1 teams C, D +
                                                    do exercises Units 1 + 3
         checking text 1 + grammar Units 1, 3
         teams A, B
                                                    Comspeak: study Economics

3   uur 1: case meeting 2 teams C, D +       Reader: answer questions Text 2, prepare
    checking text 2 + grammar Units 4, 5     case meeting 2
    teams A, B
                                             Grammar Workbook: , study Units 4, 5 +
    uur 2: case meeting 2 teams A, B +       do exercises Units 4, 5
    checking text 2 + grammar Units 4, 5
    teams C, D                               Comspeak: study Law
4   uur 1: case meeting 3 teams C, D +       Reader: answer questions Text 3, prepare
    checking text 3 + grammar Unit 6         case meeting 3
    teams A, B
                                             Grammar Workbook: study Unit 6 + do
    uur 2: case meeting 3 teams A, B +       exercises Unit 6 (exc. 1-14)
    checking text 3 + grammar Units 6
    teams C, D                               Comspeak: study Marketing
5   uur 1: case meeting 4 teams C, D +       Reader: answer questions Text 4, prepare
    checking text 4 + grammar Units 6        case meeting 4
    teams A, B
                                             Grammar Workbook: study Unit 6 + do
    uur 2: case meeting 4 teams A, B +       exercises Unit 6 (exc. 15-26)
    checking text 4 + grammar Units 6
    teams C, D                               Comspeak: study Personnel
6   uur 1: case meeting 5 teams A, B +       Reader: answer questions Text 5, prepare
    checking text 5 + grammar Units 7        case meeting 5
    teams C, D
                                             Grammar Workbook: study Unit 7 + do
    uur 2: case meeting 5 teams C, D +       exercises Unit 7
    checking text 5 + grammar Units 7
    teams A, B                               Comspeak: study Accounting & Business
                                             Economics, Economics
7   uur 1: case meeting 6 teams A, B +       Reader: answer questions Text 6, prepare
    checking text 6 + grammar Units 8        case meeting 6
    teams C, D
                                             Grammar Workbook: study Unit 8 + do
    uur 2: case meeting 6 teams C, D +       exercises Unit 8
    checking text 6 + grammar Units 8        Comspeak: study Law, Marketing,
    teams A, B                               Personnel


You will be assessed during the seven weeks of the block with a Pass or a Fail for your:
A your active participation during the case meetings (see pp. 23- 47)
B your portfolio (see the bottom of this page!)


For your written exam you will need to study and practice:

 Theory Executive Summary
 Texts 1 – 6
 Grammar Units 1 – 8
 Comspeak:
   - Accounting & Business Economics
   - Economics
   - Law
   - Marketing
   - Personnel

The mark for your written exam will be the mark that you will score for English period
1, but this mark can only be processed if you have a Pass for your active contribution
during the negotiating and a Pass for your portfolio.

Portfolio 1CE
Each group will hand in a group portfolio consisting of:
* the agendas of the 6 case meetings (see sample agenda on page 24)

Portfolio 1IBL
Each group will hand in a group portfolio consisting of:
* the agendas of the 6 case meetings (see sample agenda on page 24)
* the culture assignments (see pp. 48/49)
* grammar assignments on p. 50


An executive summary is an informative one-page summary which can be read apart from
your business report. This summary describes the main points of your report, including your


The summary must contain an introduction stating the purpose of the report and the methods
of research.

The main body, which consists of three paragraphs, should be about the results of your
research and their consequences. Furthermore, various options with their advantages and their
disadvantages should be given in order to deal with the earlier mentioned consequences.

The final paragraph consists of your conclusions based on your findings, and also includes
your recommendations.


You should write your summary using formal language as it is an official report. Colloquial
language and slang are not allowed! Keep your point of view as neutral as possible, meaning
avoid words such as fabulous, superb, great, super, fantastic, unique etc.


Title: Executive Summary

Introduction: one paragraph

Main body: three paragraphs

Conclusion: one paragraph

Right and left margin: 2.5 cm

Top and bottom margin: 2.5 cm

Interval (regelafstand): 1

Font: Times New Roman 12, Arial 11, Universe 12

Writing techniques for executive summaries
1.      The summary should comprise the following elements:
        A Introduction
        B Research results & consequences
        C Options & (dis)advantages
        D Conclusions & recommendations
2.   An executive summary must be written from the point of view of the readers. Always
     keep in mind the interests of your readers. For example: present your research as a
     solution for a problem / present your report as a way of improving their company‟s
3.   Use the present tense; either present simple (I work) or present perfect (I have
4.   Use formal language. For example:
     WRONG: wanna, gonna, and stuff like that, Bucks, can‟t, isn‟t, won‟t, doesn‟t.
     CORRECT: want to, going to, and so forth, Dollars, cannot, is not , will not, does not.
5.   Always write all sentences one after the other in a paragraph, do not start a new
     sentence on a new line in the middle of a paragraph.
6.   As an executive summary is an informative and not a commercial text, the language
     which is used must be informative. This means that you must be as objective as
     possible. Do not use words such as „of great value‟, „striking quality‟, „unique‟, „the
     best‟, „leading‟, unless you can prove or explain why your product is „of superb
     quality‟, or „unique‟, or „the best‟ etc. For example:
     WRONG: Bacardi‟s latest Breezer is of fine quality.
     CORRECT: Bacardi‟s latest Breezer is of fine quality because no
     artificial substances are added to enhance the flavour.



My biggest mistake was failing to find out who was going to be in the audience before I gave
a speech. It was two years ago, when I had been invited to be guest speaker at the annual
management conference of a major clothing supplier, a company that relied on Marks &
Spencer for more than 75 per cent of its sales.
         My brief as guest speaker was to get the audience to think strategically about the
changing market. The conference was held at Gleneagles. I had to speak for an hour and a half
to 70 managers, and when I began they were very subdued. I decided to raise the level of
challenge in order to get some reaction. When my first attempts proved unsuccessful, I turned
to my last resort: I suggested that Marks & Spencer, their lifeline, was not the paragon of
business success they thought it was.
         Now this did spark some reaction, but the audience was still more subdued than most
groups - so I actually started being rude about their beloved Marks & Spencer. I justified these
insults by saying I needed to make them take a different perspective, and even commented that
I suspected the reason they were being quiet was because they were very loyal to their major
customer. I could see they were all thinking hard - they weren‟t asleep or anything - and I
assumed they were thinking about company issues.
         But at the end of the session, when we took a break for coffee, a senior director sidled
up and said he had something to tell me. He took me aside and informed me that the reason
they had been so quiet was because sitting next to him in the front row was their chief
customer in person: one of the head buyers of M & S. At that point, my heart hit my boots and
I realised I had made the most awful error of judgement.
         When I spotted the buyer, I remember going to enormous efforts to avoid him. I
managed to escape, but only at the expense of leaving my coat behind in the conference room,
where everyone had assembled after coffee. I couldn‟t face going back in. The other thing I
couldn‟t face was sending the company an invoice for the agreed speaker‟s fee or for my
expenses in travelling to Scotland.
         Looking back, I remember there was a lot of fidgeting going on during my speech. I
thought it was because I was talking about their most valued customer. It was the squirming of
the senior director in the front row that I remember most. Clearly, he was trying to make a
judgement about whether he should speak up and halt me in mid-flow. 1 think it would have
been better if he had. The night before, I had joined them for dinner and had become quite
chummy with a lot of them, which is probably why I thought I was safe in taking the risk of
winding them up. But it was a mistake to assume I understood why people were reacting the
way they were. It was a fatal assumption, because it was wrong. As a result, I was more
critical about Marks & Spencer than I normally would have been, and certainly more than was
I still can‟t believe that, doing the job I do, I didn‟t find out who was there beforehand. I‟ve
had no communication with the company since, but the lesson to be learned is quite simple. In
meetings, conferences or presentations of any sort, always make sure you find out exactly who
you are speaking to.


       1       What had the speaker been hired for?
               A     To entertain the audience for an hour and a half.
               B     To inform the audience about changes in the market and its
           consequences for their products and sales.
    C      To inform the audience about the sales figures.
    D      To inform the audience about Marks and Spencer‟s strategic plans.

2   Why were the audience subdued when he began?
    A    They would have to listen for an hour and a half.
    B    They were very impressed by the speaker.
    C    One of the head buyers of Marks and Spencer was in the audience.
    D    One of their best customers had recently contracted an other supplier.

3   “a senior director”. Of which company?
    A       Marks and Spencer.
    B       A major clothing supplier of Marks and Spencer‟s.
    C       Marks and Spencer‟s biggest competitor.
    D       A major customer of Marks and Spencer‟s.

4   What error of judgement had the speaker made?
    A     He made the wrong assumption about who were in the audience.
    B     He made the wrong assumption about why the audience was fidgeting
          during his speech.
    C     He made the wrong assumption about why the audience was subdued.
    D     He made the wrong assumption about how to obtain some response
          from the audience.

5   Was the speaker paid for his work?
    A     Yes, a speaker‟s fee.
    B     Yes, a speaker‟s fee plus his expenses in travelling to Scotland.
    C     No, he sent an invoice but he never heard from Marks and Spencer
    D     No, he was too embarrassed to send an invoice.

6   Did the senior director also make an error of judgement?
    A      Yes, he didn‟t stop the speaker in the middle of his speech.
    B      Yes, he was fidgeting too much during the speech.
    C      Yes, he didn‟t tell the speaker he was going to be in the audience.
    D      No, it was all the speaker‟s fault.

7   What was the fatal assumption?
    A      He thought he knew why people were reacting the way they did.
    B      He thought he had become quite chummy with some of the people in
          the audience.
    C      He thought he was winding up the audience.
    D      He thought he was more critical of Marks and Spencer than he normally
          would have been.

8   “doing the job I do”. What job?
    A      Acting as a consultant.
    B      Acting as an advisor to sales managers.
    C      Acting as an advisor to marketing managers.
    D      Acting as a guest speaker.


The British swoon with delight over a television commercial showing a balding man who
cannot get a photo-booth to work and instead loses himself in the pleasures of a good cigar.
The French avidly follow the saga of two grandmothers holding forth on the shortcomings of a
yoghurt. Neither ad is considered suitable for any other country.
         That is the picture all over Europe. Films that aren‟t home-grown are referred to by
advertising executives as NIHs - “not invented here” - and are frowned upon.
         A study last autumn by the Alice advertising agency in conjunction with the Ipsos
research institute asked 600 consumers from Germany, Britain, France, the Netherlands and
Italy to watch 48 ads from all over Europe, all of which had won international awards. Even
though the ads had been translated, the consumers liked the films from their own countries
         The consumers only felt able to apply the label “pan-European” to a few of the
advertisements. The films which held their attention were the ones with the simplest situations
and the ones which appealed to their emotions or humour. Five of the 10 best-liked films were
British. Other popular commercials were a Spanish ad which shows a dog called Pippin
packing her bags because she feels neglected by her television addict of a master; the Levi
film in which a playboy uses his jeans to tow a couple in a car and takes advantage of the
situation to seduce the young woman, and the one about a blushing boy who has just bought
some condoms from a woman pharmacist.
         Alain Cayzac, chairman of RSCG France said: “There are certain„duty-free‟
campaigns, which are truly international, such as those by Marlboro, Benetton, Volkswagen
and certain perfumes. They show real imagination, valued in all latitudes, and they put across
for each of their products a feeling of serenity, fraternity, confidence or beauty.”
         But most commercials do not cross borders well. Françoise Bonnal, head of strategic
planning at Young and Rubicam, said: “Each country has its own rhythms and sensibilities:
the northern countries attach more importance to a rational element, while the south is more
sensitive to form. The French and the British think humour and variety are more important,
and the Spanish and Italians look for balance.”
         But how do you fuse the sparkling, lighthearted image sought by the French, the
British sense of humour, the seriousness required by the Germans and the subtle effectiveness
beloved of the Spanish and Italians?
         One solution consists of producing a script which is identical in each country, with
different actors and a translated soundtrack. This was done with Wash & Go, the shampoo
made by Procter & Gamble. The commercial used different actresses - blonde, brunette, sexy
or the girl-next-door supposedly in keeping with the sensibilities of the countries in which it
was shown: France, Spain, Italy and the Netherlands.
         However, if the production of ads on a pan-European scale is what many want, some
members of the profession remain prudent. „We should not fall into schemes for the profit of
technocrats thus emasculating creativity and production,” said Jacques Arnaud, managing
director of the Franco-American production company.
         He is among a number of advertising professionals who are calling for the European
Commission to prevent the harmonisation of national regulations which could extend to bans
everywhere on commercials for alcohol, children‟s toys, insurance and medicines. And if
tastes and regulations are different, the structure of the publicity markets is hardly
homogenous. In Portugal, where an ad rarely costs more than £20,000 (elsewhere the
minimum is nearer to £100,000), production houses frequently have to “handle the art of the
limited budget”, according to Joao Rapazote Fernandes, director of the production company
Panoramica. He said: “European advertising should not be allowed to crush small countries
which cannot participate in the creation of Europewide campaigns.”

    1   Explain the title.
        A      Europe is divided in its taste for boxes.
        B      Europe is divided in its taste for television.
        C      The mainland of Europe has a different taste for boxes than Britain.
        D      The mainland of Europe has a different taste for television than Britain.

    2   Why does the first commercial described appeal to the British?
        A     It appeals to their sense of humour.
        B     It appeals to their taste for cigars.
        C     Most British men are bald.
        D     Most British people hate photo-booths.

    3   Can NIHs be used when properly translated?
        A     No, translation only is not sufficient.
        B     No, translation will make them harder to understand.
        C     Yes, translation will make them easier to understand.
        D     Yes, translation modifies the message.

4       Account for the “pan-European” appeal of the ads described.
        A     The ads are clear and simple.
        B     The ads appeal to their emotions.
        C     The ads appeal to their sense of humour.
        D     All of the above.

    5   Why does Alain Cayzac call certain campaigns “duty-free”?
        A     They show real imagination.
        B     They are valued in all latitudes.
        C     Like duty-free shops are not bound by the laws of a single country, so are these
             commercials not bound by the preference of a single country.
        D     Like duty-free shops put across a feeling of confidence and beauty, so do these
             commercials put across a feeling of serenity and fraternity.

6       Why, according to Jacques Arnaud, should the European Commission not harmonise
        national regulations?
        A      Political regulations will emasculate technocrats.
        B      Political regulations will lower our profit.
        C      Political regulations will destroy the creativity and production of ads.
        D      Political regulations will increase profit, creativity and production.

7       “handle the art of the limited budget”. Whose budget?
        A      The budget of the Portuguese government.
        B      The budget of the production houses.
        C      The budget of the Portuguese consumers.
        D      The budget of the Portuguese companies which want to promote their products.


More than six years ago the US futurist John Naisbitt wrote: „...the more technology in this
society, the more people want to get together.‟ But even he could not have envisaged the
dramatic growth in the number of international meetings over the past few years.
         Unique with all these meetings, which range in size from a few to more than a
thousand, is that many of the participants leave their culture to meet in another. Unfortunately,
what is not unique is that many of the meetings fail to accomplish their objectives to a very
high degree.
         The purposes of these meetings are varied, ranging from exchanging information to
rewarding performance and creating opportunities for professional development. Often, as in
the case of IBM Europe and other companies, the meetings are staged to introduce new
products and make a sales pitch to top customers. IBM tries to get its top customers away
from their normal business environment and gather them in a location that creates an
atmosphere that „puts them in the right frame of mind and then allows us to do some high
level selling‟.
         During the past year, I have attended a number of international meetings and witnessed
first-hand serious administrative and planning problems, all of which undermined the chances
of success.
         A classic bungle was the arrival of participants‟ material three days after one meeting
ended. In another case, the audio-visual equipment required by a presenter was delivered as
the meeting was ending. At yet another meeting, the audio-visual equipment was the wrong
format, and the presenter was unable to show his video tapes.
         lnternational meeting organizers are sometimes guilty of even the most fundamental
blunders. For example, at one meeting, pork was the only meat served to the many Moslems
attending. At a three-day seminar, staged by an American company, the absence of any
scheduled social activities drew complaints from the many European participants.
         Company gatherings often show the most serious shortcomings. One very process‟
orientated meeting reflected the corporate culture. It encouraged small group discussions and
group reports. Many of the participants wanted, and were expecting, more formal
presentations by senior executives.
         International meetings can be costly to stage, especially if they are poorly organized
and fail to achieve the desired results. To have any chance of success, the foremost issue to
consider is the purpose of the meeting. Only when that has been clearly articulated can
organizers begin to plan the meeting and determine whether it has been a success.
         At international meetings with participants from many different cultures, unique issues
are bound to arise. For example, the timing of meals and the selection of the menu, the listing
of names and titles, the use and language of business cards, the necessity of interpreters or
translators and getting materials through customs are all factors that must be taken into
account by the organizers.
         It‟s especially important to allow participants who travel long distances sufficient time
to rest, physically and mentally, before the meeting begins. One large US-based organization
ignores this completely, expecting travellers from Europe after a nine-hour-plus flight to
attend a four-hour meeting the day they arrive. The following day, meetings are scheduled to
begin at 8 a.m. and 50 continue until 10 p.m. Most European participants are exhausted by the
demanding regime and find that they benefit only marginally from the meetings.
         A mini-checklist for any international meeting should begin with efforts to identify the
nationalities of potential participants and make provisions that cater to their specific cultural
         Warnings to avoid national stereotypes, condescending attitudes and above all jokes,
which are easily misunderstood, are among the tips given to organizers and speakers at
international meetings by Dr Ernest Dichter, a motivational psychologist. He suggests that
honoured attendees should be welcomed and that, when appropriate, deference should be
shown to participants because of their high-ranking positions.
        Speakers making presentations in English at an international meeting in a country
where it is not the national language, should tailor their presentation so that it will be
understood by the entire audience. There are important considerations for persons responsible
for the introduction of speakers. For example, personal information or the sharing of insights
about one‟s family life, which is common in North America, is not appropriate in Europe or


   1   „...the more technology...‟ being
       A        More ways of travelling.
       B        More ways of mass production.
       C        More ways of communication.
       D        More ways of mass communication.

   2   „Unique with all these meetings‟ as opposed to
       A     Political meetings.
       B     Private meetings.
       C     Meetings with fellow countrymen at home.
       D     Meetings with foreigners abroad.

   3   Why does an international meeting put top customers in „the right frame of mind‟ for
       „some high level selling‟?
       A      It makes them feel important and appreciated which induces (=uitnodigen tot)
              them to buy.
       B      It makes them feel neglected which induces them to buy.
       C      They are away from the boss so they can buy whatever they want.
       D      They are afraid to return to the home office without having bought anything.

   4   „One very process‟ orientated meeting reflected the corporate culture.‟ How can you
       define this type of corporate culture?
       A       A culture in which the superiors make all the decisions and then inform the
       B       A culture in which the employees make decisions together and inform their
               superiors how and why they have come to their decision.
       C       A culture in which the employees give suggestions to the superiors who then
               make the final decisions.
       D       A culture in which the superiors give suggestions to the employees who then
               make the final decisions.

   5   What is the basic requirement for the success of an international meeting?
       A      It must be clear what has been planned for each day of the meeting.
       B      It must be clear who and how many participants you can expect.
       C      It must be clear which materials should arrive when and where.
       D      It must be clear what the purpose of the meeting is.

   6   What is meant by „unique issues are bound to arise‟?
       A      Unique issues are always discussed at international meetings.
    B      Organizers try to avoid some issues at international meetings but never
    C      The fact that the meeting is international causes certain organisational
           problems to arise having to do with national customs (=gewoonten).
    D      Some national customs are always a point of discussion at international

7   Speakers should „tailor their presentations‟ at international meetings means that they
    A       always smile at the audience.
    B       not use long sentences and avoid complicated words.
    C       use a lot of pictures during their presentation.
    D       wear a smart suit.


Slowly they entered the room in ones and twos, anxiously looking for familiar faces. Some
took refuge in intense conversation to avoid the searching eyes of strangers. Others were
preoccupied rearranging papers.
         The Scandinavians were the first to arrive, conspicuous in their plaid jackets and open-
necked shirts. Exactly on the stroke of nine o‟clock the Germans entered, debating with their
Austrian colleagues. The US participants followed, introducing themselves to everyone they
         Then two hesitant figures in dark, pin-stripe suits filled the doorway, their formal
handshakes unmistakably betraying them as the British representatives. The seats around the
circle of tables were almost filled and the buzz of polite conversation began falling off when
the Italian participants, dressed in fine tailored suits, were the last to arrive.
         The group of managing and marketing directors from nine national subsidiaries of a
large international company had gathered in a European capital city for a three-day meeting
with a dual purpose.
         Their primary task was to draw up a pan-European marketing strategy to exploit the
EU‟s single market. The meeting was also seen as an opportunity for the executives to learn
about working within a multicultural team, and to recognise how it differed from their team-
working back home. I was one of two consultants assigned to facilitate the process and
crystallise the learning.
         As with many multicultural groups, the first difficulties emerged over language. The
meeting was conducted in English, but not all the participants were equally fluent or confident
about expressing themselves. Not surprisingly, native English speakers dominated the early
discussions, until the facilitator asked others for their ideas.
         This intervention, however, only exposed another cultural trait that impeded progress.
Impatient with the time it took others to formulate their views, British and US participants
frequently interrupted the long periods of silent contemplation with even more suggestions of
their own. To construct coherent arguments in a non-native language takes time and requires
         The use of only one language was the most obvious barrier to multicultural team-
working. As the first working session progressed, however, the comments made and ideas
proposed revealed how conscious cultural biases and corporate myths dominated the
participants‟ thinking.
         French executives argued for their proposal, since it was manifestly the most logical.
No, said the Germans, their approach should be endorsed because it was technically superior
and had a proven track record. No one gave serious consideration to the Danish proposal. The
ideas produced by the Italians were seen as elegant and seductive, but impractical.
         The members of this multicultural team, brought together for the first time, reacted
like all human beings: In the absence of more reliable information, they made liberal use of
preconceived stereotypes about the nations they did not know. Or where they had some
experience, they generalised by using one past incident to predict the behaviour of that
         Like „groupthink‟, where all members of a team home in on one powerfully argued but
possibly flawed idea, this multicultural team was taking refuge in simplistic stereotypes and
         To address this obstacle to effective team-working, time was taken to learn about the
characteristic behaviour of the nations present. Each national group had to act as informants
on their own culture, and heard how their cultural behaviour influenced the perceptions and
attitudes of others.
         This cathartic activity produced much laughter. The linear, time-conscious Northern
Europeans discovered the mysteries of their Latin colleagues‟ flexible approach to time and
capacity to deal with several projects simultaneously. The Anglo-Saxons learned about
alternatives to adversarial relationships in industry from the consensus-orientated
Scandinavian managers.
        Each group explored the emphasis it placed upon personal relationships in getting
things done, cultural preferences for long-term outcomes and the importance attached to being
liked, a theme that proved sensitive for many of the executives.
        Many significant messages and difficult observations were delivered in jest and
mimicry throughout the remainder of the meeting. But all the participants acknowledged the
pain of learning, and the importance of more accurate perceptions in putting together a draft
marketing strategy.
        Yes, they agreed, it might need more work, but their future efforts would be less likely
to be side-tracked by superficial differences of culture.


   1   What do paragraphs 2 and 3 describe?
       A     Who participated in the meeting.
       B     What time the participants arrived.
       C     What stereotypes the participants reflected.
       D     How the participants were dressed.

       2       „managing and marketing directors‟. What is the difference?
       A       A managing director is the boss of a marketing director.
       B       A managing director deals with sales and planning whereas a marketing
               director only involves sales.
       C       A managing director doesn‟t know anything about advertising in contrast with
               a marketing director who knows everything about that.
       D       There is no difference.

   3   What is meant by „exposed another cultural trait that impeded progress‟.
       A      Another typical type of behaviour was exposed which stopped progress.
       B      Another typical type of behaviour was exposed which slowed down progress.
       C      No progress was made because of strange behaviour of the participants.
       D      Progress was slowed down because of strange behaviour of the participants.

   4   Account for „the long periods of silent contemplation‟
       A     In some countries it is considered interesting to contemplate.
       B     In some countries it is considered polite to contemplate.
       C     English speaking participants do this so that the others will understand what
             they are talking about.
       D     Non-English speaking participants do this because they need time to phrase
             their thoughts into English sentences.

   5   Why did no one give serious consideration to the Danish proposal?
       A     It was a stupid idea.
       B     The Danish could not speak understandable English.
       C     The Danish are often considered as being unimportant because they are from a
             small country, which is why the managers don‟t take their proposal seriously.
       D     The Danish do not represent a large company, which is why the managers don‟t
             take their proposal seriously.
6   Why did the members of this multicultural team use stereotypes or generalise?
A   Because all managers actually met the requirements of stereotypes, as was
    described in paragraphs 2 and 3.
B   Because all managers were unaware of the fact that they were generalising.
C   Because all managers were trying to take into account all the cultural
    differences amongst them.
D   Because all managers were ill-informed about the customs of the others and,
    therefore, relied on what they knew: stereotypes.

7   What did the participants learn from this meeting?
A   That they will have to learn from each other and get to know each other before
    they can draw up a marketing plan.
B   That they have to know as much as possible about each other‟s cultures to be
    able to draw up a marketing plan.
C    That they have to know as much as possible about stereotypes to be able to
    draw up a marketing plan.
D   That there are too many cultural differences to be able to draw up a good
    marketing plan.


A strong ‘corporate culture’ is said to help firms succeed. Does it?

The greeter at a Wal-Mart store might be surprised to know he is living proof of one of the
oldest saws of management theory. Instilled by the late Sam Walton, Wal-Mart‟s deeply
ingrained corporate culture of frugality, hard work, service to customers and paternalism
towards employees has contributed as much to its success as its slick distribution system and
„everyday low prices‟.
        Management thinkers have long associated a strong corporate culture - the beliefs,
goals and values that guide the behaviour of a firm‟s employees -with superior long-term
performance. The theory is that strong cultures can help workers march to the same drummer;
create high levels of employee loyalty and motivation; and provide the company with structure
and controls, without the need for an innovation-stifling bureaucracy.
        In a new book, John Kotter and James Heskett, both professors at Harvard Business
School, report on their four-year study to examine the link between corporate culture and
economic performance. To do this, the authors calculated (from survey responses) „culture-
strength indices‟ for over 200 big American firms. Companies such as Wal-Mart, J.P. Morgan
and Procter & Gamble scored highest; bankrupt, but still operating, American airlines scored
among the worst.
        Messrs Kotter and Heskett then tried to correlate the strength of the firms‟ cultures
with their economic performance over an 11-year period. Their analysis did show a positive
correlation between strong cultures and long-term economic success, but it was a weaker
association than most management theorists would have expected. Strong-cultured firms
seemed almost as likely to perform poorly as their weak-cultured rivals. The popular view that
a strong corporate culture invariably leads to success, they concluded, was „just plain wrong‟.
Perhaps they should not have found this so startling. Strong cultures, even those
which once made a company successful, can also be an obstacle to change - just ask the top
managers at IBM. Too strong a culture can lead to corporate arrogance and insularity.
America‟s General Motors and Britain‟s BP are two notorious examples. At its worst, a strong
but misdirected culture can lead all of a firm‟s employees to run, hand in hand, in the wrong
direction. So what makes a corporate culture a competitive weapon, rather than a liability?
        To find out, the researchers dug deeper. Two smaller groups of strong-cultured
companies were selected for closer study. The first comprised high-performing firms whose
net profits had, on average, increased by three times as much over an 11 -year period as those
in the second group. A group of investment analysts, who between them had followed the 22
companies in the two groups, were then asked whether corporate culture had had any impact
on each firm‟s performance.
Overwhelmingly - and surprisingly, since culture is the sort of „soft‟ information that
analysts are thought to ignore - they said that a strong culture‟ had helped the high performers.
They were equally convinced, however, that the low performers had been hindered by their
        What is it about the cultures of the high-performing companies that makes them
successful? The authors‟ theory is that firms whose cultures seem consistently to produce
longterm economic success share one fundamental characteristic: their managers do not let
the short-term interests of shareholders override all else, but care equally about all of the
company‟s „stakeholders‟.
        Over the long-term, mind you, the authors believe that these interests converge.„Only
when managers care about the legitimate interests of shareholders do they strive to perform
well economically over time, and in a competitive industry that is only possible when they
take care of their customers, and in a competitive labour market that is only possible when
they take care of those who serve customers - employees.‟ That sort of thinking seemed to go
out of fashion in America in the takeover and debt-crazed 1 980s, when many firms paid so
much attention to the short-term interests of their shareholders that customers or employees
often seemed to have been forgotten.
         To test their idea, Messrs Kotter and Heskett asked the investment analysts to rate a
larger number of firms by how much each valued customers, shareholders and employees.
Managers and employees at the companies were also interviewed; their views closely matched
those of the analysts. Of these, 12 firms were identified whose cultures stressed all of the three
big corporate constituencies - customers, employees and shareholders. A further 20 were
identified which did precisely the opposite (whose managers, according to the analysts, cared
mostly about „themselves‟).
Over the 11-year period, Messrs Kotter and Heskett found that the 12 firms in the
first group increased their revenues, on average, by four times as much as the 20 companies in
the second group; their workforces expanded by eight times as much; and their share prices
increased by 12 times as much (by 901 %, against 74% for the second group). Perhaps most
impressively, however, the net profits of firms in the first group soared by an average of 756%
during the period, compared with an average increase of just 1 % for companies in the second


Describe Wal-Mart‟s corporate culture in your own words.
       1     Wal-Mart‟s corporate culture can be described as:
       A     Working hard, generosity, being friendly to customers and employees.
       B     Working hard, generosity, being friendly to customers, ignoring the employees.
       C     Working hard, not wasting any money, being friendly to customers, having
             strict rules for the employees and looking after the employees‟ welfare.
       D     Working hard, not wasting any money, being friendly to customers, asking the
             employees‟ opinion about everything.

       2       Describe traditional management thinking about corporate culture.
       A       A strong corporate culture leads to higher profits.
       B       A strong corporate culture leads to hard-working and loyal employees.
       C       A strong corporate culture leads to bureaucracy.
       D       A strong corporate culture leads to continuous innovation.

       3       „Bankrupt, but still operating, American airlines scored among the worst.‟
               On what?
       A       A strong corporate culture.
       B       Net profits.
       C       Customer service.
       D       All of the above.

       4       In what sense was the outcome of Kotter and Heskett‟s analysis surprising?
       A       A strong corporate culture always leads to success.
       B       A strong corporate culture never leads to success.
       C       A strong corporate culture does not always lead to success.
       D       A strong corporate culture does not have any effect whatsoever.

       5       Drawbacks of a strong corporate culture are:
A   Arrogance and bad manners.
B   Arrogance and having no regard for the environment.
C   Arrogance and not paying attention to changes and developments.
D   Arrogance and not paying attention to employees.

6   Who are a company‟s „stakeholders‟?
A   Shareholders.
B   Employees.
C   Customers.
D   All of the above.

7   What was Kotter and Heskett‟s final conclusion?
A   Companies are most successful if they take into account the interests of their
B   Companies are most successful if they take into account the interests of their
    shareholders and customers.
C   Companies are most successful if they take into account the interests of their
    shareholders, customers, and employees.
D   Companies are most successful if they take into account the interests of their
    shareholders, customers, employees, and the environment.


Brands are among a company’s most valuable assets

Brands are insubstantial things, mere symbols, names, associations. Sometimes they signal
real differences between products. Sometimes they are pure illusion. Either way, brands are
akin to a product‟s or company‟s reputation, and they influence consumers‟ perceptions. The
wearer of a Rolex watch is concerned with more than keeping time; the BMW driver with
more than getting from place to place. Brands add value by making customers loyal and,
often, willing to pay more for the things branded. Roses by another name might smell as
sweet, but they would no longer fetch $30 a dozen.
        Despite the evidence of the value of brands, creating and sustaining that capital are
often neglected by consumer-goods companies. Under pressure to make big shortrun gains in
sales, many brand managers are cavalier about the long-term commercial health of their
products. Increasingly they are abandoning brand-building activities, such as advertising, in
favour of tactics, especially price promotions, which aim to increase market share quickly. In
1980 promotions accounted for about a third of all spending on marketing, with advertising
taking up the rest. Now, remarkably, the proportions have reversed.
        A book by David Aaker, a marketing professor at the University of California at
Berkeley, tries to cure brand managers of this myopia. Often, Mr Aaker argues, managers are
not sufficiently aware of the damage that short--term thinking can do to good brands. A
marketing plan centred on discounts and promotions, along with corner-cutting on quality,
caused Schlitz, an American lager, to lose its position as a premium beer. In just five years,
Schlitz went from $48m in net profits to $50m in losses.
        Rarely can rivals inflict such severe damage. To launch a new consumer product in
America can cost $75m-lOOm; even then, most fail. At the same time, old favourites become
virtually invulnerable. In 19 of 22 standard product categories, today‟s leading brand was also
on top in 1925. In the category of food blenders, consumers were still ranking General
Electric second -- 20 years after the company had stopped making them.
The failure of challengers to overcome the resilience of familiar names has led to
another tactic also prone to shorttermism: brand-stretching. In their eagerness to extend a
popular brand‟s recognition and reputation to a new type of product, says Mr Aaker, managers
often overlook basic problems with the“fit” between the old name and the new item. Levi
Strauss‟s attempt to stretch itself to cover a line of smart suits failed dismally. Worse, it hurt
the core brand: it took a snappy advertising campaign to get Levi‟s jeans business back on
        More perilous still are attempts to milk additional sales from premium brands by
taking them downmarket. Cadillac‟s reputation has still not recovered from its effort to attract
lower-income car buyers with its cheaper Cimarron model in the early 1 980s. Diluting
Cadillac‟s snob appeal put off image conscious buyers who might normally have been keen on
the car. Undisciplined use of the Gucci name almost brought the company to ruin; at one point
there were some 14,000 different Gucci products.
        Part of the problem is that the organisation of most consumer-goods companies
favours short time horizons. Brand managers at firms such as Unilever and Philip Morris
usually stay in their jobs for just a year or two. Brand oversight by top management is
generally ad hoc.
        One solution suggested by Mr Aaker is for companies to hire or appoint people
solely to monitor the status of brands. These “brand-equity managers” would be charged with
taking a long view on guarding products‟ images, name associations and perceived quality.
They would have the final say over marketing plans and the decisions of ordinary brand
managers. Such a system is being tried at Colgate-Palmolive and Canada Dry.
But unless the incentive structure within the consumergoods companies is changed,
“brand-equity” managers will provide little more than another layer of bureaucracy. As Mr
Aaker points out, the main reason for brand-related shorttermism is shareholders‟ expectations
of sparkling quarterly earnings. Because brand equity is hard to put a price on, punters must
use returns as a guide to future performance. This is the source of pressure on brand managers
to turn to promotions and to boost sales.
Price promotions can have a dramatic short-term effect on a brand‟s sales, especially
for some sorts of good. For fruit drinks, increases of more than
400% during the first week of a promotion are common. But a new study by the London
Business School shows that such promotions have no lasting effect on sales or brand loyalty.
Some consumers switch temporarily to the promoted brand, but once the promotion ends,
almost all of them go back to the one they normally prefer.
        Promotions that merely offer a discount or a rebate can cheapen a brand‟s image.
Since price is often a signal to consumers of a product‟s quality (witness luxury drinks like
Chivas Regal), a brand that is always on special offer loses its appeal. Better, says Mr Aaker,
to try promotions that reinforce the brand‟s image, such as American Express‟s leather
luggage tags, or increase brand awareness, such as Pillsbury‟s baking contests.
Similarly, thoughtful brand-stretching can not only help a new product break into a
crowded market but can also enhance the core brand‟s value. Frozen-juice bars and vitamin-C
tablets have reinforced Sunkist‟s orange-tinted image of good health. But even a good “fit”
has limits. Despite the association of a fruit-processor like Dole with all things tropical, Mr
Aaker says the company would be stretching things too far if it opened a tropical-travel
service. His advice to brand managers echoes the words of David Ogilvy, a legendary adman:
“The consumer is no moron; she is your wife.”


       1      What is meant by: „Either way, brands are akin to a product‟s or company‟s
       A                                              Whether or not a brand indicates
              features of a product, a brand determines a product‟s or company‟s reputation.
       B      Whether or not a brand indicates features of a product, a brand destroys a
              product‟s or company‟s reputation.
       C      Whether or not a brand indicates features of a product, a brand always gives
              false information about a product.
       D      Whether or not a brand indicates features of a product, a brand always gives
              correct information about a product.

       2      What is meant by: „Roses by another name might smell as sweet, but they
              would no longer fetch $30 a dozen.‟
       A      Customers are willing to pay a lot of money for roses that smell sweet.
       B      Customers are willing to pay a lot of money for any type of flower that smells
       C      Customers are only willing to pay a lot of money for roses because they have a
              certain reputation which other flowers do not have.
       D      Customers are only willing to pay a lot of money for roses because there are no
              other flowers that smell so sweet.

       3       What is meant by: „creating and sustaining that capital‟.
       A       Making profits and making sure that these profits will not decrease with the
    help of brands.
B   Getting high sales figures and making sure that these sales figures will not
    decrease with the help of brands.
C   Obtaining a large capital from selling shares and making sure that this capital
    does not decrease with the help of brands.
D   Creating a good reputation for your company and products and making sure
    that your reputation does not deteriorate with the help of brands.

4   What is meant by: „tries to cure brand managers of this myopia‟.
A   Managers do not know how valuable brands are.
B   Managers do not know how to maintain the value of brands.
C   Managers do not know how to profit from the value of brands.
D   Managers do not know that too much short-term thinking can damage the value
    of brands.

5   What is brand-stretching?
A   Maintaining a brand as long as possible.
B   Using a brand as a means to take out your competitors.
C   Using a brand as a means to expand your market share.
D   Using a brand as a means to introduce completely new products on the market.

6   What is meant by „to milk additional sales from premium brands by taking
    them downmarket‟
A   Obtaining additional sales by using your brand name for new products which
    are sold in market places.
B   Obtaining additional sales by using your brand name for new products which
    are sold at a lower prices than your old products.
C   Obtaining additional sales by using your brand name for new products which
    are sold at a higher prices than your old products.
D   Obtaining additional sales by using your brand name for new products which
    are sold in discount stores.

7   „A brand that is always on special offer loses its appeal.‟ Why?
A   Customers will buy the product so often that they will grow tired of it.
B   Customers will see the promotions so often that they will grow tired of the
C   Customers prefer expensive products to cheap ones.
D   Customers link the price of a product to its quality.

8   It is better to use promotions that „reinforce the brand‟s image‟ or „increase the
    brand‟s awareness‟. What do these promotions do exactly?
A   The reputation of the brand will be made stronger and the number of people
    that know this brand will increase.
B   The reputation of the brand will be improved and the number of people that
    know this brand will increase.
C   The reputation of the brand will be changed and its market share will increase.
D   The reputation of the brand will be enhanced and its market share will


You are expected to attend all case meeting sessions. Make sure to carefully read the case in
advance and look up any words you don‟t know.

Divide the roles in advance. Also decide who will be chairman.

The chairman will provide the teacher and all the members of the meeting with an agenda
(hand-written agendas are not acceptable). The chairman is in charge of the meeting. He/she
opens and closes the meeting, makes sure that everyone gets a chance to speak and
summarizes what has been said, before moving on to the next point on the agenda. Before
closing the meeting the chairman will repeat all important points/decisions that have been
made during the meeting.

If you come to class unprepared or miss any of the case meetings, for whichever reason, this
will immediately result in a Fail. You can alter this Fail into a Pass by joining another team
for a meeting the following week. If you fail to catch up by joining another team or if there are
not any more meetings, you will have to make an appointment with the teacher and do a 20-
minute presentation about a company/product/service. You must approach the teacher in order
to set a time and date. If you fail to make this appointment within lesson weeks 8, 9, (10) of
that same lesson block, you will receive a Fail which you can retry no earlier than the
following course year!

How to prepare

1      detailed study of facts and figures at home
2      planning session: chairperson, names, jobs and job titles; determine your position and
       viewpoint, anticipate theirs and prepare your response
3      rehearsal in English
4      include every aspect of the meeting:
       greeting, introduction, business deal, questions, refreshments (non-alcoholic, and no
       smoking!), recapitulation, interruptions, social talk, appointment for extra meeting if
       necessary, goodbye
5      have your figures ready for reference; you are not allowed to read out passages, either
       from the syllabus or from your own notes
6      all members speak for about the same length of time; plan for a 10 minute session



1. Opening

2. Minutes of the last meeting

3. Announcements (=Mededelingen)

4. Purchase of new equipment

5. Fashion show

6. A.O.B. (=Any Other Business =Rondvraag)

7. Closing


How to be a good negotiator

-      try to get on well with your opposite number
-      use emphatic language
-      show respect for your opposite number
-      make suggestions to resolve disagreement
-      have clear objectives
-      be determined to win
-      say 'I don't understand', if that is the case
-      listen carefully
-      always compromise
-      discuss areas of conflict

The Art of Negotiating

There has been a great deal of research into the art of negotiation, and, in particular, into what
makes a 'good' negotiator. One point most researchers seem to agree on is that good
negotiators try to create a harmonious atmosphere at the start of the negotiation. They make an
effort to establish a good rapport with their opposite number, so that there will be a
willingness - on both sides - to make concessions, if this should prove necessary.
Good negotiators generally wish to reach an agreement which meets the interests of both
sides. They therefore tend to take a long-term view, ensuring that the agreement will improve,
or at least not harm, their relationship with the other party. On the other hand, a poor
negotiator tends to look for immediate gains, forgetting that the real benefits of a deal may
come much later.
Skilful negotiators are flexible. They do not 'lock themselves' into a position so that they will
lose face if they have to compromise. They have a range of objectives, thus allowing
themselves to make concessions, for example, 'I aim

Poor negotiators have limited objectives, and may not even work out a 'fall-back' position.
Successful negotiators do not want a negotiation to break down. If problems arise, they
suggest ways of resolving them. The best negotiators are persuasive, articulate people, who
select a few key arguments and repeat them. This suggests that tenacity is an important
Finally, it is essential to be a good listener and to check frequently that everything has been
understood by both parties.

Do's and Don'ts

-      Remain polite at all times.
-      Use language which your opponent can understand.
-      Don't use slang or inappropriate language.
-      Show respect at all times.
-      Don't shout or offend your opponent: force of argument is best increased by choice of
       words -and intonation, not by volume or gestures.
-      As a guest, don't speak unless invited to.


Negotiators should not mispronounce the following words

absen'tee                   There are always more absentees in February
ad'ministrative             These are General Administrative Measures
ad'vertisement              Did you read their advertisement yesterday?
'analyse                    Have you analysed the new data?
a'nalysis                   We want a clear analysis of the problems
ap'propriate                Would that be an appropriate solution?
cash'ier                             Who's the cashier at that bank?
'catalogue                  Have you got our latest catalogue?
'colleague                  He gets on well with his colleagues
'competence                 You must prove your competence for this post
com'petitors                They are our main competitors
com'ponents                 Most of the components come from Taiwan
'compromise                 No compromise has been reached yet
'concept                    His design was a new concept in planning
con'trol                    It's operated by remote control
'deficit                    The real problem is the budget deficit
des'sert                    We had strawberries and cream for dessert
de'ter                      We should deter crime by heavy sentences
de'velop                    We are developing a new product
de'velopment                It's the latest development in HDTV
dis'crepancy                I have found several discrepancies
dis'tributor                We are the distributors for The Netherlands
e'conomize                  The government feels it should economize
'emphasis                   Our emphasis will now be laid on marketing
e'numerate                  Could you enumerate the differences?
ex'amine                    Their accounts need to be examined
ex'clusive                  They've got the exclusive distribution rights
exclu'sivity                We offer you exclusivity in distribution
'execute                    How are we going to execute these orders?
ex'ecutive                  He's the Chief Executive Officer now
extra'ordinary              We have made extraordinary progress so far
ex'travagant                Their prices are absolutely extravagant
'genuine                    I think their interest is genuine
gra'tuities                 He was given a gratuity when he retired
i'dea                       That was your idea, I believe

.in'surance                 Insurance is to be paid by you
in'terpreter                I'll need an interpreter when I go to Turkey
'inventory                  We need an inventory of your total stock
ir'revocable                We'll open an irrevocable credit
i'tinerary                  I haven't fixed my itinerary yet
maga'zine                   The Economist is not a business magazine
'maintenance                What are you going to charge for maintenance?
mis'take                    That was a confusing mistake in pronunciation
per'cent                    We'll raise that amount by two percent
per'centage                 By what percentage could you lower the cost?
person'nel                  Our personnel department in understaffed
per'suade                   How can we persuade them to buy our products?
'preference                 They have a preference for upmarket products
'premises                   There was a fire in the adjoining premises
pro'cedure                  What procedure are we going to follow?
'processor                  Could you supply a faster processor?
'produce                    Greece is dependent on its farm produce
pro'posal                   We await your counter-proposals
'purchase                   The purchase of the building was a hasty matter
'recipe                     There is no recipe for success
'reference                  Please state two firms as references
'registered                 The company is registered in the Bahamas
'series                     They've had a series of disasters
'strategy                   We need a totally new sales strategy
sub'sidiary                 We are the Dutch subsidiary of a Danish parent
'surcharge                  There is a surcharge on first-class mail
'surplus                    Japan has had a trade surplus for years
sur'veillance               Trainees should be under constant surveillance
tech'nique                  We use up-to-date spraying techniques
'theory                     It sounds all right in theory
trai'nee                    We want five-month placements for our trainees
'transfer                   Please sign the transfer documents
un'animous                  That was a unanimous decision
'venue                      The venue for the seminar is the Hilton Hotel


don't say                                          say

according: according to me                         in my opinion
account: it's for your account                     it's to be paid by you
agree: agree with your terms                       agree to your terms
also: we also don't know                           we don't know either
as: our price is lower as theirs                   lower than theirs
assortment: our - includes                         our product range includes
at last: at last I'd like to...                    Finally I'd like to
better: we can better do it now                    we had better do it now
buy: we buy it by you                              we buy it from you
capable: capable to negotiate                      capable of negotiating
choose: choose for option 5                        choose option 5
come back: come back on this later                 come back to this later
coffee: coffee with milk please                    white please
control: control the figures                       check the figures
devaluate                                          devalue
discuss: we'll - about that later                  we'll discuss that later
divide: divide in three parts                      divide into three parts
explain: can you explain me...                     can you explain to me
function: the function of manager                  the post / position of manager
future: in future we'll send...                    from now on we'll send
gonna: we're gonna send                            we're going to send
good: it suits us very good                it suits us very well
good in: good in problem solving           good at problem solving
how: how do you call this?                 what do you call this?
increase: increase with 2%                 increase by 2%
inform: inform if we can get a loan        inquire if we can get a loan
left: to my left you find...               on my left you find...
like: I like to start with...              I would like to - with...
look: look to my graph                     look at my graph
lower: lower our price with 2%             lower our price by 2%
Mr: I'm Mr Jansen                          I'm Kees Jansen
much: too much of the products             too many of the products
multiply: multiply with 5.2                multiply by 5.2
number: a great number                     a large number
opinion: to my opinion                     in my opinion
pay: we pay the goods                      we pay for the goods
pieces: order 30 pieces                    order 30 items
problems: that will give problems          that will cause problems
problems: we have no - with that           that is no problem
rise: you cannot rise your price           you cannot raise your price
react: react on their suggestion           react to their suggestion
sell: these goods sell good                these goods sell well
sheet: look at my sheet                    look at this overhead
ship: transport by ship                    transport by sea
suggest: I suggest to sell                 I suggest (that) we sell
that: that are the figures                 those are the figures
want: do you want coffee?                  would you like some coffee?
want: I don't want that they sell          I don't want them to sell
wanted: coffee is a wanted product         there's a demand for coffee
welcome: welcome at the meeting            welcome to the meeting
word: I'll give to word to Mr T            May I ask Mr T to tell us


Case 1         SITING A STORE


Hampson & Walker is a large retail group owning some 75 stores throughout the UK. The
group is going to open a new store in either Letford or Branton. There are two possible sites
available in Branton and one in Letford.

Study all the information on these sites and decide which one Hampson & Walker should
choose. You may find it useful to look at the details about the Hampson & Walker store in

The Prestby store has a sales area of 20,000 square feet. As a general rule, takings reflect the
size of the store. The annual takings at Prestby are 10,000,000. The annual profit of the store -
about 25% of takings - 2,500,000. Like all Hampson & Walker stores, it has two main
departments, Food and General. The General Department is made up of childwear, ladies
outerwear, ladies underwear, menswear and homewares.

Population: 35,261.
Early closing: Thursday
Tourist information: 7 Miller St.

Letford is a thriving market town in the Midlands, 25 miles north-west of Oxford. The town
has a long history and is mentioned in the Domesday Book. Industry in the town revolves
around agriculture and is rapidly expanding. Farm machinery and animal feedstocks are
already manufactured in the town and a fertilizer factory is soon to be opened. As a result of
these developments, the north-east of the town has been designated a 'new town' area with
both commercial and residential property being built to attract people and business to the

Old Letford has many well preserved old buildings with St Mary's church, built in 1793, being
a notable example. The old town centre has many shops and the traditional shopping area
around the Market Square has many Georgian and Victorian buildings. Further shopping
facilities can be found in the New Letford Precinct on the Stratford Road.
For tourists, Letford is a good base for exploring the northern Cotswolds, there being many
delightful hamlets in the area. The Kings Arms Hotel is highly recommended and there are
several private guest houses that reflect the charming rural atmosphere of old Letford. The
town lies on the main Oxford-Birmingham railway and there is a regular bus service to
Evesham and Stratford.

The building is a modernized two-storey Victorian one. It is adjacent to a new precinct and
has 22,000 feet of sales area. Delivery is underground.

Population: 36,914
Early closing: Wednesday
Tourist information: 11 Kent Rd.

Branton is a busy small town set in an attractive part of south-east England, 12 miles north of
Hastings. The town was purely a market town until the late 19th century when a small
engineering factory opened. Now, there are a number of precision engineering firms based in
the area, and these together with agriculture provide the main employment opportunities for
the people of Branton. The town lies in a conservation area and no further industrial
development is planned for the town.
        In recent years, the town has enjoyed an increase in tourism as it lies on the main
Maidstone to Hastings road. Branton makes an ideal halt on this journey, with local attractions
being the Town Hall, built in 1895, Branton Manor Costume Museum to the west of the town
and The Common which has been developed as an official picnic area.
        The town has several hotels, a cinema, a good municipal library and the Branton Golf
Club can be found on the Maidstone Road. There is a regular train service between Maidstone
and Hastings and bus services to Hastings, Tunbridge Wells and Ashford.
        The Kent Road building is a two-storey one. It has a central position, a modern facade,
18,500 square feet of sales area and delivery at rear.
        The building in the St James Shopping Centre is a brand new shop in a purpose-built
shopping centre, which has its own car park. The building has 17,500 feet of sales area and
underground delivery.

 Age in     Number of people       Number of people in      Number of people in
 years      in Letford             Branton                  Prestby
  0- 5       1,321                   635                      978
  6-15       1,849                   900                     1,370
 16-20       3,487                  2,070                    2,631
 21-30       9,215                  6,371                    7,524
 31-45       8,421                  7,532                    7,003
 46-65       7,261                 10,885                    9,528
 66+         3,706                  8,521                    6,349
 Total      35,261                 36,914                   35,383

                Number of          Additional population         Income distribution of
                unemployed         within 10 mile radius         families (%)
                                                                 low    average high
 Letford        571                42,000                        17     62      21
 Branton        394                58,000                        10     55      35
 Prestby        762                47,500                        20     58      22


                                   Letford           Branton              Branton
                                                     Kent Road            St. James
 Rent                               583,300           500,000             625,000
 Service charge (precinct only)      18,300              0                 18,400
 Head Office                         80,000            70,000              66,500
 (administration costs)             550,000           458,300             441,500
 Heat, Lights etc.                 1,000,000          875,000             850,000
                                    128,300           108,500             101,600
 Total costs                       2,359,900         2,011,800            2,103,000

Starting-up costs
Shopfitting and decorating        700,000        650,000        600,000

Case 2         Eastern Architects

Until three years ago, Eastern Architects and Designers Ltd. (EAD) was a highly profitable
business with more work than it could comfortably handle. But then the property market
collapsed and, like many architectural firms, EAD found itself struggling to survive.
        EAD boss, Barry Jones, had always been on excellent terms with the architects who
worked for him. A close-knit group, everyone at EAD got on well with everyone else. They
worked hard in the office - and socialised a great deal after work. However, Barry was
beginning to wonder how long the friendly atmosphere could last. Losses for two years
running meant EAD could no longer afford to keep everyone on - there simply was not
enough work to go round. He had to get rid of some of his staff to survive. The question was
which of his architects should be made redundant? And how could he say to them, 'Thank you
very much, but goodbye'?

Barry thought about the problem and identified four possible approaches to reaching a fair
1      Last in - first out (LIFO): those architects with the shortest periods in service in the
       company should go first.
2      Voluntary redundancy: a generous severance package would be offered to anyone
       willing go take early retirement.
3      Selection on merit: Barry would decide which employees were least useful to the
       company and make them redundant.
4      Peer selection: the employees would meet to decide which of them should leave.

One of you plays the role of Barry Jones, chairing the meeting to discuss which of the four
approaches - or a combination of these- should be chosen. Each of the other group members
plays the role of one of the architects described in the roles.
Discuss which role each person will play and prepare carefully for the meeting by reading the
role card and thinking about your situation. Barry Jones should read all the other group
members' roles.

Now hold a second meeting using the approach selected to decide which two architects should
be made redundant.


You are talented, especially in the area of marketing, but very emotional. Last year you had a
nervous breakdown, but are slowly recovering, due to the support you are receiving from
senior colleagues at work. You want the firm to diversify into new areas, such as the design of
hypermarkets and apartment buildings - this is where the big money is to be made. You think
the traditional LIFO system is the fairest way to solve the present problem.

You joined the firm three years ago. You have just bought a large new house since you are
getting married soon. You are a brilliant young architect and have just submitted plans for a
major building project on the River Thames. You will know soon whether your plans have
been accepted by the local council. You quite like the peer selection approach to the
redundancy problem in the firm.

You are Japanese and very business-minded. You have excellent contacts with Japanese
companies wishing to set up companies in England, but EAD does not seem interested in
exploiting them. You like the job, but do not enjoy living in London. You must stay there,
though, because your wife - an English woman - has an excellent job as manager of a fashion
house. You believe firmly that consultation is very important in decision-making.

Unmarried, you are well-connected socially. You went to the right school, and know all the
right people. You are fairly talented and very popular. You are a sociable and extrovert
person, liked and trusted by the financial experts in the City. You spend most of your time
having lunches with well-known business people. You love working for EAD and do not
intend to retire. You believe there is no substitute for experience in your profession.

You are American-born and very efficient. You organise everyone - including Barry Jones!
You feel that EAD would not be losing money if it were better managed. You want the firm to
be more international, and to look for business in Europe. You believe that EAD should
reward first-class architects (like yourself) and that the company is 'carrying' too many low

You joined the firm five years ago, but have long and varied experience as an architect. You
believe that, more than anyone else, you have kept the firm afloat in these difficult times - that
is why Barry depends on you so much. You have a personal problem. You have an elderly
mother who is in very poor health. Because of her, you might be willing to take early
retirement if you were offered enough money to keep you and your mother in comfort until
she dies.

You are the 'life and soul' of the firm - full of energy and ideas. However, you have a
weakness. You are a big spender and always heavily in debt. You live life 'in the fast lane', as
they say. If you are made redundant, you will face financial ruin. You like Felix / Felicity,
whom you consider to be the best architect in the firm. In the present situation, you believe
selection by merit is best for the company.



Two candidates, Jim Collier and Bernard Wheeler, are being considered for the position of
General Manager with the Victor Motor Company. The two men have been interviewed by the
Managing Director and a number of board members. They have also been interviewed by an
industrial psychologist, who has carried out a number of tests. The candidates have also had
lunch with the interviewing team and the industrial psychologist. The wife of Bernard
Wheeler was present at the lunch.


The Managing Director and a team of senior executives analyse the strengths and weaknesses
of the two candidates that applied for the position of general manager. Decide who should be
offered the position, noting the reasons for your choice. Make sure that three of you are in
favour of Jim Collier, and that the others are in favour of Bernard Wheeler. One of you should
chair the discussion.


Anyone who is interested in sports cars will know all about the Victor Motor Company
(VMC). For those who don't, here are some brief facts:


Location:              Maybury
Size:                  Medium-
Main products:         A range of high-performance sports cars
Main markets:          Exports 60% of its output to USA and Canada, plants to increase sales
                       to Germany, Switzerland, Sweden and the Middle East.
New project:
                       aim to launch in 2000.
Main objective:        To treble turnover by 2002
Future:                VMC faces tough competition from rivals; labour relations could
                       become strained.


Date:          18 June 1997
To:            All board members
From:          Brian Lockley
               Personnel Director
Subject:       Appointment of a new General Manager

As I am sure you are all aware by now, Anthony Hiller will be retiring at the end of this year,
which leaves us a little over two months in which to appoint a new General Manager.

The post is currently being advertised in both the national press and the leading trade
magazines and I intend to begin the first round of interviews in mid July. The advertisements
contain the following description of the General Manager's duties:

*       to have overall responsibility for the running of the plant
*       to coordinate the work of the management team so that the company's targets and
        objectives are met
*       to advise on new product development
*       to negotiate with trade union representatives
*       to accompany the Sales Manager on overseas sales trips, whenever possible
*       to represent the company when the Managing Director is unavailable


Curriculum Vitae

Personal details
Name:                  Jim Collier
Address:               18 Acacia Drive, Manchester
Date of birth:         21-10-60
Marital status:        divorced
Nationality:           American

Qualification:         Diploma in Business Administration
Establishment:         Los Angeles Adult Training College
Dates:                 1983-1984

Work Experience
1979-1980    Formula One Mechanic                     Lotus Racing Team
1980-1983    Formula One Driver                       McClaren Racing Team
1986-1988    Sales Representative                     Houseman Automobiles
1988-1990    Sales Manager                            Houseman Automobiles
1991-1994    Assistant Production Manager             Flintstones 1995-
             Head, Production Control                 Flintstones

Extract from psychologist's report on Jim Collier

Mr Collier is a man of very high intelligence. He is creative, imaginative, and good at problem
solving. When put under pressure, he kept cool and showed a sense of humour. Although he
appears to be calm and cheerful, he is an emotional man. He is deeply dissatisfied with his
personal life. He is still upset and shaken by the breakdown of his marriage to his English
wife. Note: during the interview it came out that he had been expelled from two schools for

Extract from interviewing team's notes on Jim Collier

Super confident; at times almost aggressive; extremely ambitious; wants to have own car
manufacturing company one day; frank and outspoken in opinions; believes that 'winning is
the only thing that matters in life'; seemed to be a relaxed, calm personality; admitted he could
'blow his top' if people did not do their job properly' in a letter of reference, a previous
employer suggested he was 'charming, but could be very moody when he did not get what he
wanted-not an easy person to work with'.


Curriculum Vitae

Personal details
Name:                 Bernard Wheeler
Address:              229 Station Road, Warwickshire
Date of birth:        02-01-60
Marital status:       married, three children
Nationality:          English

Qualification:        M.A. in Engineering
Establishment:        Cambridge University
Dates:                1984-1985

Work Experience
1985-1987    Executive R&D Department                Philips
1988-1990    Production Trainee                      Toyota
1991-1993    Production Supervisor                   Toyota
1993-1995    Project Coordinator                     Toyota
1995-        Assistant Works Manager                 Toyota

Extract from psychologist's report on Bernard Wheeler

Mr Wheeler has above-average intelligence. He is a logical person, with good powers of
reasoning. He has planned his life carefully and knows where he is going. He is not
particularly creative. When put under pressure, he became ill at ease, and finally lost his
temper. He is devoted to his wife and three children. As he says: 'They come before
everything.' He is serious, with no apparent sense of humour. Perhaps this is because he was
an only child, and his parents separated when he was young.

Extract from interviewing team's notes on Bernard Wheeler

Gave long, thoughtful replies; knew a great deal about Victor Motor Companies; well-
prepared for the interview; a patient man; polite but did not take to him very much; not
particularly likeable, showed strength of character; wishes to leave Toyota because of
personality clash with Works Manager; when questioned on this he said: 'I prefer not to
discuss this matter'; main ambition: to become a company director; in letters of reference,
described as 'efficient', 'dependable', and 'self-reliant'.
Note: At the lunch his wife did not shine; nervous, unsure of herself and of limited



CIAO! makes stylish clothes for teenagers and the under-twenty fives. The company supplies
the New York fashion trade, and it operates in competitive conditions. To survive it has to
react quickly to changes in consumer taste, produce goods lightning fast for clients, and keep
costs low.
        Life has been hard during the last five years. During this time the firm's pre-tax profits
have fallen from $4.5 million to $200,000. Cheap foreign imports have been partly to blame,
but another reason is that the management have been unable to control production properly.
Because of this stocks have been built up to high levels. And there have been bottlenecks in
production, leading to cancelled orders.
        Lily Jacobavitz, Chief Executive of the company has thought a lot about the problem
of rising production costs. Now she thinks she has the answer. Recently she held a meeting to
discuss her ideas with two colleagues, Sydney Gorman, her Production Manager, and Gloria
David, Personnel Director. On the next page you can read about their reactions. Next Lily
Jacobavitz decides to hold a management meeting:


Your are to enact this management meeting. The meeting is attended by the Chief Executive,
who should act as chairperson, the production manager, the personnel director, a union
representative, the sales manager, and the financial director.
The purpose of the meeting is to discuss thoroughly the proposal to introduce the Kellerman
process and to decide whether or not to buy the system.

The two managers looked at her in surprise. Gloria David was the first to speak. 'Do you have
that kind of money to throw around?" she asked.
'We have for the Kellerman system,' Lily Jacobavitz replied, just a little coldly. 'It will
increase the productivity or our machine operators by 30%-50% and cut costs. That is what
we want, isn't it?
At this point, Sydney Gorman cut in. 'I think we had better talk about your proposal at our
next management meeting, don't you?'
'Sure,' answered Lily Jacobavitz. 'But I would like a decision on this one - fast.'

The Kellerman process consists of electronic machines which are linked to a computer
system. The sewing-machine operators key in their daily output on their own machine as soon
as they have finished their batch of materials. The output is displayed on a small screen
opposite their target production figure. The screen shows what percentage of the target they
have achieved, and also if they have produced more than their target. All the information from
the machines is fed into the computer, so management know exactly what is going on in the
production process at any time.
The manufacturers claim that operators using Kellerman machines work harder. Also, because
of improved production control, management can step in if there are problems like bottlenecks
of high stock levels.
'It should make things easier for the Accounts Department as well.' thought Lily Jacobavitz.
The sewing-machine operators - a hundred and fifty in all - were paid a certain amount for
each garment produced. At present, operators filled in work sheets which were attached to
bundles of materials. The job of collecting and recording the information on these 'work
tickets' was time consuming for the accounts staff. 'If we get the Kellerman system,' Lily said
to herself, 'the operators may get off my back about getting them a new canteen. They might
even start meeting their targets for a change.'


You are strongly against buying the Kellerman system. You represent about seventy non-
union operators - all older women. You and the other workers like the present system of
production. You can work at your own pace, and, whenever you like, go outside to have a
cigarette or a cup of coffee. The 'work ticket' procedure is easy to understand and carry out.
You are all suspicious of the Kellerman system. The management just want to squeeze more
work out of you. The factory is becoming more like a sweatshop every day.

The Kellerman process will make your work a lot easier, so you are in favour of it. All you
want is an easy life. You are tired of hearing the production workers complaining about their
working conditions. They should see the tiny office you work in! If the new system is
introduced, output will be much higher. Therefore, you will expect a large salary increase.

You want to but the Kellerman process. Most of the operators in your union are young. They
think that, with the new system, they would be able to earn a lot more money. Some of them
should be able to earn even more than their supervisors.! Production will be more efficient, so
the company's financial situation will improve. The process is easy to install and run, so there
will be no bad effects on production.

You are not certain what to think about the proposal. Manufacturers always say that their new
process is wonderful, but do the systems always work well in practice? In your opinion, the
company should get some sort of guarantee from the manufacturers. For example, if
productivity did not increase by 20% within six months, they should take back their
equipment. You are also worried about how the older workers will react to the Kellerman
system. They are generally suspicious of new technology.

As Chairperson, you must ask for the opinions of all the members of the meeting. However,
you will try to persuade everyone that the Kellerman process should be bought. The
manufacturers of the system have assured you that it will reduce costs and increase
productivity. You think that, with the new system, the operators will be motivated to exceed
their targets, probably by as much as 30%-50%. If the process is not introduced, you might
have to think of hiring a more efficient Production Manager.

You have a difficult decision to make. On the one hand, you hate to see the company spend
any money at all in the present financial situation. On the other hand, you think the system
might benefit the firm. Perhaps CIAO! should wait for a year or two until the process has been
used by more organisations. It would be clearer then how efficient it was. You may prefer to
listen to the opinions of other members before giving your own.

You are against the proposal. If the company is going to spend $200,000 the money should go
to the Sales Department. You need at least three more sales staff, but you have not been
allowed to hire them. In your opinion, CIAO! needs to increase sales greatly if it is to survive.
Actually, you think the firm should forget about teenagers and start producing fashions for the
well-off, thirty-year-old executive market.

You are against buying the Kellerman process. In your opinion, this is the wrong time to
spend such a large sum of money. There is no guarantee the system will work well. If it is
introduced, the production process may become disorganised and the workers unhappy -
especially the older ones. You want more money to be spent on improving working
conditions. You have been trying for months to persuade the Chief Executive to repaint the
interior of the factory. Relations between you and the Chief Executive are not good at present.

You are responsible for scheduling and processing orders. You make up your own mind about
the new process. However, what worries you is that, with the new system, the machine
operators may earn more than you do! You work like a slave meeting deadlines and dealing
with difficult customers. The job is tough, but you work for peanuts!

Case 5         THE BENSON GROUP


The Benson group is a chain of department stores in the south of the USA. Its performance
over the last five years has been poor. It has lost market share to its two main rivals, Hi-Mark
and Levinson Brothers. This year's annual results, just announced have fallen to $6.6 million,
causing the share price to drop to $7.

To get a good idea of the situation read the two newspaper articles and fill in the "Company


You are directors of the Benson Group. The purpose of the meeting is:
1      to decide how Benson can improve its performance and increase its market share;
2      to decide what its future strategy should be.

The Chief Executive will chair the meeting.

Note: The information on the roles is given as a guide to how you should act in the meeting.
You may, however, add any information you wish. Prepare for the meeting by studying your
role card only.



Benson Inc., the department store group, announces this year's annual results on Wednesday.
Once again, profits are expected to be well below expectations. Benson built its first store in
1952. It now owns ten stores in the southern region of the United States, and two in Ontario,
Canada. All the stores are on prime sites in the high streets of major cities. The Group's head
office is in Petersville. Recently, Benson's performance has been extremely disappointing.
Two years ago, pre-tax profits had fallen to just $8.3m on a turnover of $225m. This year,
profits are expected to be down yet again. Sales per employee are also much lower than the
industry's average. Fortunately for Benson, it still has a number of loyal customers who would
not think of shopping elsewhere. However, the Group is facing fierce competition from Hi-
Mark and up-and-coming Levinson Brothers. Hi-Mark are well established with a clearly
defined up-market image. It has a reputation for selling good quality merchandise but at high
prices. Levinson Brothers target consumer is the 16-25 wage-earner. Nevertheless, it attracts
to its stores people of all ages and from all income groups.
Levinson Brothers' marketing is more aggressive and effective than that of its two main
competitors. It often cuts prices, and even offers goods at give-away prices to get people into
its stores. It advertises heavily in local newspapers and on local television. Its special
promotions are always accompanied by a great deal of razzmatazz. Levinson Brothers' share
price stands at $12 - its highest r this year. Even so, the share is still probably a good buy for
investors. In order to compete more effectively, Benson changed its business strategy about
eighteen months ago. It began to rent space to outside firms on a concessionary basis. Almost
20% of its stores' space was rented to selected companies from outside the organization.
Unfortunately, this strategy has not been too successful. Several firms renting space complain
that their sales have been poor. Benson's stores were redecorated recently. This 'facelift' has
met with mixed reactions from its customers.

The layout of the stores continues to confuse customers. They complain that departments are
not grouped together logically. As a result, shoppers get tired looking for the goods they want.
At present, it looks very much as if Benson has lost its dynamism and sense of purpose.
Investors holding shares in the group might be well advised to sell.


When Benson announces its annual results on Wednesday, it is expected that the group's
profits will be around $6m. This will mean a drop of some 25% compared with the previous
year. Today, Benson's share price fell to just under $7 in anticipation of the results. Two or
three years ago, it will be recalled, the share price stood at $10. One of Benson's biggest
problems is that it lacks a clear image. Although some well-off customers have stuck to
Benson through thick and thin, many others have moved on and now shop at Hi-Mark. These
customers seem to prefer Hi-Mark's tasteful decor and high-priced, exclusive goods. Another
of Benson's disadvantages is that its merchandise does not particularly appeal to younger
buyers. These prefer the self-service, down-market approach of Levinson Brothers - Benson's
other rival. Both Hi-Mark and Levinson Brothers are profitable organisations. Hi-Mark's
strategy is, essentially, to maintain good profit margins on all its merchandise. Levinson
Brothers, on the other hand, aim for high volume and lower margins.
All three organisations face a common problem. They are all aware of the threat coming from
the new multiple stores - retailers like Klassic, Marginal and Clinique. These are 'muscling in'
on the other groups' traditional markets on clothing, home decoration and food. The new
multiples have been very successful at attracting to their stores fashion-conscious customers,
both young and old. They seem to have the knack of offering exciting, stylish goods at prices
people can afford. Rising costs have been the main cause of Benson's low profits. Stock levels
tend to be high, but very often goods are not available when required by customers.
At present, goods are kept in warehouses at each store. Benson are considering changing this
system. It may build one or two huge distribution centres which will supply all the stores. This
could be a less costly way of organising its warehouse facilities. In addition, it has been
suggested recently that service at Benson's stores is not what it used to be. It is believed, also,
that staff turnover and absenteeism is too high. Unless Benson's management take action soon
to revive the group's fortunes, it would seem that the outlook for the organisation is bleak.


You will chair the meeting. You must ask people for their opinions and encourage them to
discuss fully the questions on the agenda. At the end of the meeting, you and your board of
directors must try to agree on the future strategy of the company. Personally, you are not sure
what to do in the present situation. You are retiring in five years' time and you hope there will
be no big changes in the organization before you go.

You think that Benson should compete strongly against the Hi-Mark stores, and forget about
Levinson Brothers. Therefore, Benson should make every effort to up-grade the quality of its
goods. By doing this, it will be able to create an image of quality and luxury. It should also
concentrate more on fashion clothing. The stores could sell more designer clothes and well-
known brands which appeal to young people. They could buy high-quality goods and sell
them under the Benson brand name, too.

In your opinion, Benson cannot compete successfully against Levinson Brothers and Hi-Mark.
You would like the company to loin with Levinson Brothers to form a merger. Suggest that
your Chief Executive meets the President of the Levinson organisation as soon as possible to
discuss this possibility. A merger is a good idea because:
1       the new organisation - Benson-Levinson- would appeal to all age and income groups.
2       Levinson's cash resources could be used for Benson's future development.
3       Levinson would bring to Benson new ideas, management expertise and dynamism.

For some time, you have wanted to have a three-week training programme for all sales staff.
After the programme, they would be allowed to choose which department they wished to work
in. Whenever you have suggested this scheme, the Finance Director has opposed it. 'We
cannot afford it,' he always says. Try once again to persuade the board to agree to the proposal.
You think, also, that Benson should stop all its concessions. Outside firms renting space in the
stores should be encouraged not to renew their contracts. The company must sell its own
goods and build up its own image. In the long run, you would like an architectural solution to
Benson's problems. Stores should have a central elevator system and an ultra-modern
shopping arcade on the top floor, under a giant glass dome.

Discuss Benson's problems with your colleague, the other non-executive director on the board.
You may, therefore, make any suggestions or comments you wish concerning Benson's
strategy. Be ready to criticise proposals made by other directors.

In your view, the present Chief Executive is no longer suitable to lead the Benson Group. He
is too old and has 'lost his touch'. Try to suggest - in a diplomatic way - that he should give up
the job. You would like to bring in someone from outside to run the Group. This person
would probably be the successful head of another organisation. To attract the right candidate,
Benson should offer a top salary, a share in profits, and other benefits. As a long-term
strategy, the company should consider building huge stores in out-of-town locations where
customers would have a lot of parking space.

You feel strongly that Benson must go down-market and compete directly with Levinson
Brothers. Young people are pouring into the South, so Benson must aim its marketing at the
15-25 year-old consumer. After all, these days, young people have plenty of money to spend.
Therefore, you want Benson:
1      to redecorate the stores in bright colours, blue and yellow perhaps.
2      to change its sales approach by gradually offering more goods appealing to young
3      to introduce new types of racks and counters which allow self-service.
4      to have eye-catching window displays to attract teenagers and young adults.
You will, of course, have other suggestions for attracting young people.

You have no doubt that the company must cut costs and increase its cash flow as quickly as
possible. Benson needs cash to reduce its loan capital - this is much too high- and to finance
its future development. To cut costs, the company must reduce its work force by 20%. The
Group must also have a new distribution system, with one or two large centres supplying
goods to all the stores. This will reduce stock levels. You have plenty of ideas for improving
the cash flow. For example, the stores could increase the profit margins on goods which were
selling well. In addition, they should be ready to buy up cheap, good-quality merchandise.
This could be sold in a special part of the stores, known as The Market Place.



General Plastics Plc is located in the north-east of England - an area of high unemployment.
The company is a subsidiary of Northern Oil Products (NOP). Some years ago General
Plastics was in financial difficulties, but things changed when Sir Gerald Harper became
Chairman. He introduced a tough, no nonsense style of management. Some people, such as
union officials, did not like it, but it paid off. The company is now profitable again.

Gina Marsden is Director of Personnel at General Plastics. About a year ago she got the
results of a survey into managers' attitudes to their jobs, conducted by head office. The results
confirmed what she had been thinking for some time. The company had to do something
about its system of promoting staff. Far too often, managers had complained to her that they
had been 'forgotten' when a position became vacant. More than once she had heard it
suggested that X had been promoted because he/she was a favourite or protégé of Y.

Linked to this was another problem. Gina Marsden knew, from conversations she had had
with staff, that many managers were in the wrong job. They were unhappy because they felt
they were 'square pegs in round holes' - unsuited for the work they were doing. They thought
they could be more effective in other departments, or even in other subsidiaries within the


First read the texts about 'Setting up the Assessment Centre' and 'The Case of Dennis Paulson'.
Subsequently you are to enact a management meeting, chaired by the Director of Personnel.
There are two items on the agenda:
1       Progress report on the assessment centre; members views;
2       The case of Dennis Paulson

Give your reactions to the progress report and then decide what to do about Dennis Paulson.

Setting up the Assessment Centre
Gina was sure that an Assessment Centre would solve these problems. She knew about such
centres because she had studied in the United States. Over there, they are common in large
companies. Assessment Centres are set up within the company. They are places where staff
can be evaluated. They are used for selecting, developing and promoting staff. Applicants for
managerial positions, middle managers and senior managers attend the Centres for a period of
time - two or three days, or perhaps even two weeks. At the Centre, they are given
psychological and aptitude tests by highly trained psychologists. They take part in group
exercises simulating management situations. Their performance is evaluated by colleagues,
and by outside observers such as senior managers and members of the Personnel Department.
Finally, they are interviewed at length.

At the end of all this, the strengths and weaknesses of each participant are assessed. Talented
staff can be identified, a pool of promotable managers can be formed and plans for staff
development can be worked out.
Gina put her idea for an Assessment Centre to the Board. It was approved within a matter of
weeks. Six months later, the first group of managers came to the Centre.
The case of Dennis Paulson
At the beginning, everything went well. The Board was delighted. It soon became company
policy that all managers should attend the centre. All, that is, except the most senior managers
like the Financial Controller and the General Manager of the company.

Then, an unexpected problem arose. Dennis Paulson, a senior research worker, refused to
attend the Centre - under any circumstances. Dennis Paulson was a scientist in the Research
and Development Department. He had been with General Plastics some ten years, and was
now in his late thirties. A brilliant, creative person, he had developed a new range of products
which had become known all over the world. At least a hundred employees in the company
owed their jobs to his remarkable talents.
When Gina met Dennis Paulson to arrange for his attendance at the Centre, she was amazed at
his reaction. 'There is no way I am going go take any tests, and be spied on by psychologists,'
he told her. 'If the company doesn't know my potential by now, it jolly well ought to'.
Gina explained the thinking behind the Assessment Centre, adding, 'In two years' time, the
head of your department will be retiring. Surely you want to be considered for the job,
'You can say that again. And I will be very upset if I do not get it. Mike Westbrook (the
department head) has as good as promised me the job when she leaves.'
Gina Marsden looked Dennis Paulson straight in the eyes. 'Would you please think again
about attending the Centre? It is company policy that all managers must be assessed there.'
'I am not going - that is all there is to it. I am not a 'yes-man' like a lot of people round here. If
I was, I would not be a top research worker. We have got to have the freedom to do our own


You must attend the Centre next month. You are not too happy - you hate psychological tests.
Members at the meeting may decide to make an exception in Dennis Paulson's case. If they do
this, make sure that you do not go to the Centre either! Basically, you are sympathetic to
Dennis Paulson's point of view.

Start by giving a progress report on the Assessment Centre. Be positive. The Centre has been
a great success and is popular with executives. It is particularly useful in identifying staff who
can fill higher management positions. It has given staff the opportunity to look at their careers,
and to plan their future in the company. In your opinion, all executives must attend the Centre.
If you make exceptions, there is no point in having a Centre. People like Dennis Paulson must
learn to follow company rules and policies. This is the attitude you will have at the meeting.

You - and Sir Gerald Harper - think that the Assessment Centre is an excellent training
facility, although you have never had to attend it personally, for obvious reasons. Try to find
the opportunity during the meeting to praise the Director of Personnel for his/her marvellous
idea. You admire Dennis Paulson, but feel he should resign from his job if he refuses to attend
the Centre.

You are not so happy about the Assessment Centre as you used to be. The reports and
paperwork connected with it take up a lot of your time. The Director of Personnel and the
Training Manager seem to spend most of their time at the Centre - they never seem to be
available when you want them. Some executives have criticised the Centre - privately. They
hate doing the psychological tests. You are not sure what to do about Dennis Paulson. Make
up your mind during the meeting.

You are against the Assessment Centre. You think it is a waste of company time and money.
The old system worked well, on the whole. Now, the company has had to hire two
psychologists - at great expense. And the Director of Personnel is continually asking senior
executives to act as assessors at the Centre. You think that the Director of Personnel has
introduced the Assessment Centre so that he/she and the Training Manager will have more
power and influence. Make up your mind what to do about Dennis Paulson.

You are in favour of the Assessment Centre. Since it was introduced, you have had many new
ideas for training schemes and have already arranged useful courses for executives. Many
members of staff have praised your efforts. Last week, you received a letter from Sir Gerald
Harper congratulating you on your fine work! You think that all managers - and even ordinary
workers - should attend the Centre. If that happened, you would be a powerful person in the

You are in favour of the Assessment Centre. However, you feel that the top management - and
especially the Chairman - are far too tough. Sir Gerald acts like a dictator, expecting everyone
to obey him without question. It is time for the company to be more flexible with staff and
treat them as human beings. The management must show that it cares about each and every
employee. Make up your own mind what to do about Dennis Paulson.

In your opinion, the company must give people like Dennis Paulson a lot of freedom.
Brilliant, creative workers are different from other staff. The company must be flexible and
understanding with them. You think that Dennis is the ideal person to take your place when
you retire. You like Dennis, and you meet him socially quite often. You do not want him to
waste his time attending assessment centres.

Culture Assignment for Language Portfolio 1IBL students:
In each mini-case study there is a basic cultural conflict between the actors involved. Try to
identify the source of the conflict and suggest how it could have been avoided or minimized.

A well-known dairy factory wanted to introduce baby food in Kuwait. They organized an
extensive publicity campaign and advertised their product in the following way: on the left hand
side of the posters you saw a crying baby, in the middle there was a packet of the baby food and
on the right hand side a contented smiling baby. To the advertisers'astonishment the campaign
was a downright disaster.

Tom Forrest, an up-and-coming executive for a US electronics company, was sent to Japan to
work out the details of a joint venture with a Japanese electronics firm. During the first several
weeks Tom felt that the negotiations were proceeding better than he had expected. During the
third week of negotiations Tom was present at a meeting held to review their progress. The
meeting was chaired by the president of the Japanese firm, Mr Hayakawa, a man in his mid-40s,
who had recently taken over the presidency from his 82-year-old grandfather. Also attending the
meeting was Hayakawa's grandfather, the recently retired president. After the plans had been
discussed in some detail, the octogenarian past president proceeded to give a long siloloquy
about how some of the features of this plan violated the traditional practices on which the
company had been founded. Much to Tom's amazement, Mr Hayakawa did nothing to explain or
defend the policies and strategies that they had taken weeks to develop. Feeling extremely
frustrated Tom then gave a fairly strongly argued defence of the plan. To Tom's further
amazement, no none else in the meeting spoke up in defence of the plan. The tension in the air
was quite heavy and the meeting adjourned shortly thereafter. Within days the Japanese firm
completely terminated the negotiations on the joint venture.

A large Baltimore manufacturer of cabinet hardware had been working for months to locate a
suitable distributor for its products in Europe. Finally invited to present a demonstration to a
reputable distributing company in Frankfurt, it sent one of its most promising young executives,
Fred Wagner, to make the presentation. Fred not only spoke fluent German but also felt a special
interest in this assignment because his paternal grandparents had immigrated to the United States
from the Frankfurt area during the 1920s. When Fred arrived at the conference room where he
would be making his presentation he shook hands firmly, greeted everyone with a friendly
'Guten Tag', and even remembered to bow the head slightly as is the German custom. Fred began
his presentation with a few humorous anecdotes to set a relaxed and receptive atmosphere.
However, he felt that his presentation was not very well received by the company executives. In
fact, his instincts were correct, for the German
company chose not to distribute Fred's hardware products.

Randy Hightower, recently appointed to manage his firm's office in Singapore, was anxious to
do well in his first overseas assignment. Shortly after his arrival he called his first staff meeting
to outline the objectives for the coming fiscal year. He had already met with his staff individ-
ually and was feeling quite confident about the prospects for having a good first year. Toward
the end of the staff meeting, Randy, in his characteristic upbeat fashion, told his employees that
he looked forward to working with them and that he anticipated that this would be their best year
ever. To emphasize his optimism for the coming year Randy punctuated his verbal remarks by
slapping his fist against his palm. The reaction was instantaneous.
Most people laughed, giggled or looked embarrassed. Unfortunately, he felt that the point of his
dramatic climax was lost amid the laughter.

Fred Gardener, a 31-year old sales manager for a small boat-building firm in Connecticut,
decided to stop off in Lisbon to call on several potential clients after a skiing trip to Switzerland.
Having set up three appointments in two days, he arrived for the first scheduled meeting at the
appointed times but was kept waiting for about thirty minutes in each instance. Based on these
two experiences Fred assumed that the Portuguese, like other 'Latin' types, must be 'mañana'
oriented and not particularly concerned with the precise reckoning of time. With this in mind, he
was not particularly concerned about being on time for his third appointment. Instead, he
extended his visit to the local museum and arrived at his third appointment more than 40
minutes late. However, Fred sensed that the Portugal business people were quite displeased with
his tardiness.

Bob Tunis, marketing vice president for a Seattle-based lumber company, was making a sales
presentation to a plywood wholesaler in Tokyo. Bob had just proposed what he considered to be
a fair price for a large shipment of first quality plywood. Much to his amazement, the three
Japanese executives did not respond immediately, but rather sat across the table with their hands
folded and their eyes cast downward, saying nothing. Finally, Bob became rather exasperated
and said with a good deal of irritation in his voice 'Would you like me to repeat the offer?' From
that point onwards the talks were stalled and Bob never did successfully negotiate a contract for

Grammar Assignment for Language Portfolio 1IBL students:
1. He used to drink a lot of coffee but nowadays he ………………(prefer) tea.
2. Sonja ……………(look) for a place to live. She ………….(stay) with her sister now.
3. I ……….(walk) along the street when suddenly I ………..(hear) footsteps behind me.
    Somebody ………….(follow) me. I was frightened and I ………….(start) to run.
4. The police …………..(arrest) three persons last night.
5. When I arrived, Kate …………(wait) for me. She was rather annoyed because I was late;
    she ……………(wait) for a very long time.
6. If you took more exercise, you ………….(feel) better.
7. The information ………….(give) to the police.
8. If someone …………(walk) in here with a gun I would be very frightened.
9. I do not mind you ……..(use) the phone as long as you pay for your calls.
10. I wonder where we ………..(live) in ten years‟ time.
11. I learned to swim when I was very young. I ………(teach) by my mother.
12. My bag has disappeared. It must …………(steal).
13. I am looking forward to ………(go) on holiday.
14. Yesterday the phone …………(ring) three times while we ………(have) dinner.
15. I must remember ……………(phone) Tim tomorrow.
16. I do remember him ………(tell) me that awful story.
17. Sarah gave up ……….(smoke).
18. Mary usually ………….(phone) me on Fridays but last Friday she ………..(forget).
19. We did not play football yesterday. The match ………..(cancel).
20. We cannot go out now. It ……………..(rain).
21. “Remember …..(phone) Tom tomorrow”. “Okay, I will not forget”.
22. The water here is not very good. I would avoid …. (drink) it if I were you.
23. Dublin Castle ….. (damage) in a fire last night.
24. My grandfather was a builder. He …..(build) this house many years ago.
25. The house is quite old. It ….. (build) over 80 years ago.
26. If I did not do my job properly, I …………(sack).
27. Linda was busy when we ….(go) to see her last week. She ….. (study) for an exam. We
    …..(not want) to disturb her, so we ….. (not stay) long.
28. The sun …….(rise) in the east.
29. If you …….(have) enough money to go anywhere in the world, where would you go?
30. Mary …. (learn) English for two years now.