IBM Corporation in collaboration with Lenovo had initiated an English language skills improvement program for the workforce in order to mitigate the language barrier problems and to ensure that the certain level of proficiency in English is achieved by the Chinese workforce. However, the lack of basic knowledge about Mandarin across the IBM employees had resulted in the several language related issues.
Another measure of establishing a culture integration committee was developed that initiated wide range of programs to mitigate the primary language barriers. A program namely East Meets West was developed to teach the Chinese and American cultural foundations to all the executives of the global corporation. Program namely Lenovo Expression Workshop was developed for the Chinese managers to bring them to the western standards of communication. The basic communication forms of Executive Summary followed by US culture and Case Building form of communication followed by Chinese resulted in the development of programs that mentored the Chinese executives for undertaking western styles of communication and presentations. These initiatives were developed for the purpose of encouraging collaboration and mutual understanding despite of the wide range of differences.
However, it was found from the analysis that within 10 months of Merger, the American CEO had resigned from his position. This shows that to an extent inability to change was the underlying reason behind the resignation, since there were several challenges to develop strong cross-cultural and cross-functional teams.
The organizational attempt was to train the American and Chinese workforce about each other’s culture, way of working, beliefs, communication styles and management styles among more. However, it can be considered from the analysis of this case that cultural diversity was not effective promoted that can improve the identity of the corporate. Hence, the following section will elaborate on the manner in which cultural diversity can benefit IBM in future.
Hence, it has been established that while the organizations attempted to mitigate these challenges through deploying number of initiatives and diversity programs, but still the effective cultural diversity management was lacking that resulted in the American CEO to resign only 10 months after the merger. The organization developed several global communication style teaching programs and cross cultural introduction initiatives for instilling collaboration across the both US and Chinese employees. However, the lack of close association of cultural diversity with the business objectives and management practices resulted in the failure of these attempts. Therefore, it has been recommended through the suggestions that training the managers and holding them accountable for the development of diverse workforce and diversity related results will provide with a favourable outcome. This will ensure that the culturally diverse employees are effective managed, provided with the required support and input along with the a establishing the environment, where they feel that their opinions and contributions are not only important but also the key to the organizational development and growth in the future.