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Case Analysis Report on a Communication and Ethics Audit of Koalacorp

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Table of Contents

  • Introduction
  • Discussion
  • CONCLUSION

This report was commissioned to conduct a communication and ethics audit in identifying the causes of KoalaCorp. The problems are the sales and share price has dropped 15% and 9% respectively. The partners of KoalaCorp also found that the morale in the headquarters are low and increase in staff turnover. The report will start with an introduction to the case and the analysis. This analysis report will then discuss several issues which are ethical issues, cultural issues, attitude and behavior issues, and communication issues. These issues will be concluded in the conclusion part. At the end of this report will be recommended some solution in solving analyzed problems.

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Introduction

This report will overall be discussing the issues and causes of the problem that arose in KoalaCorp. The discussion will relate to a few workers that involve in this problem which came from a different background. Then several recommendations will be suggested to settle these issues. The whole report consists of multiple references that majority of them are from the course material and the academics.

Discussion

Based on the case study, there are numbers of issues and ethical problems that were contributing to the problem faced by the company.

Ethical issue

Utilitarian can be found on both Chuck and Shannon as they value results and profit for the organization as explained by Bentham & Mill. This teleological ethics can be proved when the Chief Executive Director, Chuck, said his view of ethics, “they often got in the way of profits”. Using metaphors which is one of the use figures of speech prove that Shannon has a fantastic skill in presenting himself in dealing with the clients. He also utilizes his facial expression and hand gestures. This excessive use of kinesics communication however has caused some people to dislike it. In appealing to customers, Shannon has applied Rank’s model of persuasion that consists of two significant models to achieve goals. He promotes the product by intensifying them. For instance, the clients were told by him that the product was processed in an eco-friendly way and KoalaCorp used products that committed to CSR. This has led to clients who have initially been happy with the product they used suddenly begin to doubt it as the new product offered by Shannon seems to be more attractive. However, by exaggerating the quality and sustainability of products for persuading the client to buy it have arisen matter of ethical issue. This is also known as Utilitarianism. He even defended himself in saying that “it’s the results that really matter.” This ethics of Chuck and him will further create an unethical problem that not only affects the profit but the organization as a whole.

On the other hand, Ying who worked as the sales director, however, believe in Universal rules where she emphasizes to her staff the importance in doing what is right in working regardless the consequences.

Cultural issue

Below are shown the comparison between United States (green bars), Australia (blue bars) and China (purple bars).

Ying who was born and raised in China. According to Hofstede’s Cultural Dimensions, China shows Collectivism or low in Individualism. According to Crossman, Bordia & Mills, 2011 in MBC, 2017, this means the people have the preference for taking care of the family or group. First, Ying has shown this when she put her family as her priority. She brought her family when moved to Sydney. Ying was also willing to take off two half days a week to take care of her parents. Second, in the working environment, she acts as a friendly manager by providing excellent facilities such as serving tea and cakes for her manager. She also shows her leadership by involving the managers in decision making. However, the Chuck has a different point of view where he finds the involvement of the managers is time-consuming as reflected the Individualism.

Next, Ying shows how she preserve a good relationship by giving Chuck a gift that contains $A 100.00. In China, it is known as part of the business relationship which reflects the long-term orientation value. However, Chuck has misinterpreted it as a bribe.

Charlie showed an Australian Indigenous Cultures when he referred the CEO as Chuck even though it was clear that Chuck wants to be called as Mr. Clooney. In this issue, Charlie shows a traditional Indigenous culture which means he did not differentiate between living and working. Furthermore, when Charlie provided some of his wages to his family, he was proving the collectivist values of Indigenous communities.

Attitude and behavior issues

The first attitude of Chief Executive Officer is known as Immediacy Principle. This means individuals are attracted to those who are more like them. It was illustrated by Chuck when he had lunch with the same managers that joined him at the football stadium. He also developed an unconscious bias towards these people as they received more bonuses compared to others. His preference for male Caucasians can further prove it.

Seeing himself as an assertive person and controlling what he can do such as by wearing American style cowboy rather than a business suit to his workplace putting himself in internal locus of control as described by Greenberg & Barron. Moreover, by wearing those outfit, Chuck present an artifacts which means it expresses something about one’s self to others. Dyssemia was also shown in this situation where Chuck unaware of the insulting attitude even though some employee response disapprovingly. According to Eunson, 2012, Dyssemia is when people have difficulties in interpreting others’ nonverbal communication.

Oppositely, external locus of control describes as perceive themselves as powerless as shown by Ying when she felt she had no control over her life. This behavior of her also said as low in emotional intelligence. Robertson, 2017 defined emotional intelligence as an emotionally intelligent person can understand their emotions & how they are likely to influence human interaction. Chuck also demonstrate himself in “High Power” body language when he was sitting alone at the end of the table in the meetings with hands folding at the back of his head, leaning back in the chair and sometimes also put his feet on top of the boardroom table. He did this to show that he is the one that controls. The way he sat in the meeting also display himself in proxemics as an indicator of power and dominance. He portrayed himself as the person who has authority by giving orders. Dominance was expressed when he did not want his orders questioned. Another example of this proxemics can be found when he asks the managers who want to speak outside meeting to make an appointment through his Executive Assistant.

Next, Shannon was classified in an unconscious competence stage of intercultural competence as he is good in adapting others cultures. As an example, he displays himself in cowboy boots and hats imitating Chuck. Moreover, he did this masculinity values in him as he wants Chuck attention which in future will develop a bias towards him. Later, attitude presented by Charlie when he arrived late to his working place. This attitude is part of polychronic cultures where his approach of time is, ‘may arrive late to appointment’ as describe by Bjerke, 1999.

Communication issues

Collectivist also is known as high context. Ying being polite is one of the examples. High context culture also emphasis on face-saving. In contrast, Chuck is a low context culture where he directly stated what is on his mind. Having this differences context culture can be found by the way Chuck managed meeting and frequently saying things that embarrassed her in front of her co-workers.

His status as Chief Executive Officer has influenced him in putting a personal space as explain by Burgoon, n.d in Griffin, Ledbetter & Sparks, 2015, in Proxemics-Expectancy Violations Theory. This theory can be proved when he was making junior staffs to address him as Mr. Clooney rather than being called by his first name or nickname. Chuck shows that he was in Unconscious Incompetence stages of intercultural competence when he was raising fact on why Ying Mei need to take care of her parents when she can pay anyone else to do it for her. According to Crossman, Bordia & Mills, 2011, in MBC, 2017, Unconscious Incompetence is when people are assuming that others cultural are the same as themselves. This issue is also addressing how Chuck stereotype Ying by generalizing she into a group of people who cannot pay others to look after her parents. Even though Ying later working, she seems to be not productive in managing the business.

Valuing harmony in her management team, Ying has caused some managers to not questioning any issues. However, Janis said that this illusion of unanimity symptoms which silence interpreted as consensus can lead to groupthink.

CONCLUSION

As a conclusion, every single one who worked in the company has their issues and problems. In this organization, attitude and behavior issues are discussed the most. As this will contribute to problems occurring between the staffs that can affect the company’s performance. Cultural issues were also one of the main issues that can cause disagreement in managing the business. Moreover, communication issues can lead to difficulty achieving a target sales. Lastly, the ethical issues where performing duty unethical can result in not only the company’s profit but the whole organization in future.

Recommendation

To expose the cultural difference between the employees, the founder should organize a cultural program involving all of the headquarters staffs. This program can be done twice a year to keep reminding the current situation. This program can be reduced or even stop once they improve their performance in teamwork.

Chuck and Shannon need to take an ethics training program concentrating on business practice. This program will be done practically once every three months.

Chuck must participate in training on managing a business. The KoalaCorp’s founder then should frequently monitor Chuck while performing his duty. This need to be done abruptly to make sure that he is doing better.

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