After Thomas attempts at expanding the business to Hungary, he immediately faces a variety of issues, the one related to the culture being the primary reason for him to fail so miserably. Thomas has no idea how to motivate the local staff, as most of them either do not meet his requirements or leave on their own. The negotiation failure also points to the fact that Thomas is likely to face severe competition.
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Much to Thomas’s credit, he is trying to understand how the system that he has to work in operates. His endeavor at exploring the specifics of the local business opportunities and establishing solid and profitable entrepreneurship, though futile, are worth appreciation. However, there are a few dents in his strategy that Thomas is not aware of yet. Primarily, Thomas’s complete lack of regard for the specifics of the local culture, in general, and business culture, in particular, needs to be addressed.
In addition, Thomas seems to lack patience. As the description of the Hungarian business environment displays, the atmosphere in the designated area seems rather laid-back and inviting long contemplations (Gray & Larson, 2010). Thomas, on the other hand, is unwilling to take a back seat to the business process and dive into the exploration of the local culture and people. He is frustrated “because he had been assured by local officials that everything had been taken care of” (Gray & Larson, 2010, p. 562). Herein the nature of the conflict lies; Thomas is forced to work in an environment that he has no concept of, and he has little to no time to learn more about it, as he needs to help the business evolve.
One could also argue that Thomas could use more patience. While his willingness to give the project the momentum that it needs is understandable, his communication skills could use a grand improvement as far as the negotiation process is concerned (Trask & DeGuire, 2013). For instance, he should have spotted a problem at the moment that Koaly ignored his question and steered the conversation the necessary direction instead of letting his opponent call the shots: “At first Kodaly did not respond and simply engaged in side conversations with Annia and exchanged pleasantries with people who came by” (Gray & Larson, 2010, p. 562).
As has been stressed above, a misconception about how business in Hungary works is what stalls the entire process of Tomas’s entrepreneurial development. Instead of fighting the system and trying to change it, he should consider acclimatizing to it. It is only after he has made the necessary adjustments that will allow his company to adapt to the local climate that he can start introducing gradual changes to the corporate ethics and, thus, shape the staff’s organizational behavior. Studies show that, as soon as the corporate values are introduced to the staff that is motivated enough to accept them, changes will ultimately start taking the toll on the firm.
Foisting the latter on the staff members, however, would be inappropriate at present as the current goals of the employees, as well as their concept of corporate responsibility, do not align with the ones that Thomas has in mind after being in the environment of a completely different culture. The project in question needs very strong leadership and excellent guidance, which are only possible after Thomas recognizes the local values and takes them into account.
Gray, E., & Larson, C. F. (2010). Project management: The managerial process (5th ed.). New York City, NY: McGraw-Hill Education.
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Trask, A., & DeGuire, A. (2013). Betting the company: Complex negotiation strategies for law and business. Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press.