Challenges of Bolshevik Biscuit Factory

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Since 1992, Danone, although holding a majority share (87%) in Bolshevik, has had an only consulting status that changes could take place only with the approval of the Russian management. Danone took full managerial control of Bolshevik from 1997. The present staff at Bolshevik are said to be apparently having problems to include the nuances of having a multicultural workforce (ibid.). This report provides some four challenges met in the case and suggests for changes so that Bolshevik may become compatible with the Danone Group while allowing for Russian cultural context in fulfilling their objectives. These challenges may somehow overlap in some ways. The facts used in the following discussion lean heavily on the de Vries et al. (2004) case study.
Challenge 1) Power structure and reaching out to all or integration. A local Russian worker said, ‘We need to understand what the priorities are. This is very clear to westerners because they are working in their own system. It’s not clear to us because capitalism is very new to us. It is very important to know what the consequences are for certain actions or non-achievement of tasks. We are playing a new game and the rules need to be explained clearly.’ (Quoted from Camiah and Hollinshead. In: de Vries 2004). There is a need to reach out to all workers, no matter how subordinate they are in the power structure of the business.
Managers must pass on relevant information to all workers in the system. This means providing equally all employees with what they need to know about career advancement, communication, leadership, management, organizational culture, power, networking, interpersonal skills, and all the other unwritten rules, norms, and cues for success (Copeland 2003).
The following ideas can help integrate cultures like those of Russians who prefer a more defined corporate structure where leaders lead and employees follow, with other cultures who like a much looser exchange of ideas even on coffee shops (Noik-Benet 2004).
Moving from diverse to the diversity-aware organization. There is also the need to be trained in cultural diversity. People from different cultural background have diverse world views based on religion, philosophy, experience. From diversity to diversity-awareness, groupings should not be emphasized but the wholeness of the organization, therefore as much as possible groups should be treated as one without impinging on the rights of subordinate groups.
Diversity awareness training (Payne 2003). Diversity is said to be one of the most serious issues for workers today, but employers are not even prepared for it. They are actually culturally deprived, not having experienced the kinds of situations arising in today’s multicultural settings. Russians and Fins and Americans in Bolshevik or Danone may undergo these training.
Diversity awareness training [offered by some organizations for the purpose] provide an understanding of the issues underlying cultural systems, to help improve communication and its effectiveness in distinct multiculturalworkplaces. There are hidden meanings underlying communication. These trainings are self-paced and highly interactive and participants work through authentic cases and learn relevant concepts.