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Lecture 3

BUSI 2301 Lecture Notes - Lecture 3: Korean Confucianism, Maquiladora, Reward System

Course Code
BUSI 2301
Alan Cai

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Case : Samsungs Maquiladora plant
1. When looking at the perspective of the South Korean managers in this conflict, they want the
Mexican workers to separate work and leisure time. As well, Korean managers have different
value conflicts than the Mexican workers. Where, the Korean managers had a deep appreciation
and sacred duty towards their work whereas Mexican workers think of these jobs as a means to an
end. Korean managers believe that the Mexican employees don’t take work seriously enough. For
example, the managers are willing to work 15 hours a day whereas Mexicans don’t think that is
realistic in the work environment of Mexico.
In addition, when looking at the perspective of the Mexican employees they viewed the
Korean managers to be offensive by trying to impose their own value system in Mexico and not
their home country. They also abide by criterion culture and ethics based on Korean ‘Confucian
values.’ To an extent this shows disrespect to the Mexican work environment by trying to seem
superior in their own heritage ways of work. Mexican employees want the Korean managers to
stop setting unrealistic goals and assigning unnecessary blame to unfinished and unrealistic
demands. This causes friction between the managers and employee work relationship by causing
disruption in flow of communication, and thus lowering productivity. Mexican workers feel their
poor performance is because of Korean managers unwillingness to include them in the
production-planning process. By including the Mexican workers in collective decision-making,
this creates an incentive by allowing them to feel like they are creating an impact as well as
showing the appreciation for their input in the company. This will drive the passion for them to
work harder.
2. The concept of physiological contracts helps understand this conflict. Culture influences on
individuals’ cognition and expectations. They play a key role in the motivation and subsequent
actions. The way mexican workers and korean managers were raised and their own personal
experiences have created their own evoked set for expectations and perceptions of different
situations. The expatriate managers from South Korea and the Mexican employees have a
misunderstanding of the psychological contracts. When looking at Mexican employees,
“Researchers have identified an equity principle in many westerners countries.” (Nardon, 2nd
edition. Pg. 304). This means everyone should be treated fairly based on their contribution. For
example, since mexican employees are not included in the planning process they show lack of
commitment and motivation towards their work. On the other hand, South Korean employees
readily accept their position of a state of inequity to preserve societal harmony through an
equality reward system. For example, even though Korean workers won’t be paid overtime they
will still work 15 hours to ensure work is done whereas Mexican workers feel the exchange of
overtime pay to show reciprocity is essential. The two groups have different attitudes. The South
Korean employees are monochronic, and Mexican employees are polychronic. The Mexican
workers value collectivism and allow for distractions such as loud music and socializing with
employees. This allows for a friendly work environment whereas South Korean employees value
time; by accomplishing one task at a time and prefer no distractions when focusing on work.
3. When looking at finding motivation for a set group, they all have their own personality built on
their own values and goals. For example in the work environment of Mexico, ““everything is a
personal manner;but a lot of foreign managers don’t get it. To get things done, the managers
need to be more of an instructor, teacher or parental figure than a boss.”(Nardon, pg 263).
Whereas, the South Korean companies prefer rigid and often autocratic organizational hierarchies
in which everyone knows his/her position. Due to the differences in the global motivation there
are 4 ways to handle these contrasting values. First the expatriate managers must expand their
understanding when entering any local work environment. They have to understand their value
system and what goals they wish to accomplish. Secondly, they need to understand the variation
in managerial roles. They need to understand the varying incentives and reward systems that
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