Cork Institute of Technology Bachelor of Business (Honours) in Information Systems – Award
(NFQ – Level 8)
Summer 2007 International Business (Time: 3 Hours)
Instructions Answer: Section A: Answer all question one on case study Section B: Answer three (3) from five (5) questions. % of marks allocated for this exam: 70 Do not write, draw or underline in red. Examiners: Ms. C. O’Reilly Mr. L. Elwood
Section A: Case study - John Higgins Answer all Question 1 Leonard Prescott, vice president and general manager of Weaver-Yamazaki Pharmaceutical of Japan believed that John Higgins, his executive assistant, was loosing effectiveness in representing the U.S parent company because of an ...view middle of the document...
Weaver’s management considered the Japanese operation to be one of its most successful international ventures and felt that the company’s future prospects were promising, especially given the steady improvement in Japan’s standard of living. Shozo Suzuki headed the subsidiary, but, as executive vice president of Yamazaki and president of several other subsidiaries, he limited his participation in
Weaver-Yamazaki to determining basic policies. Prescott, assisted by Higgins and several Japanese directors, managed daily operations. Weaver Pharmaceutical had a policy of moving U.S. personnel from one foreign post to another with occasional tours in the home office international division. Each assignment generally lasted for three to five years. There were a limited number of expatriates, so company personnel policy was flexible enough to allow an employee to stay in a country for an indefinite time if he or she so desired. A few expatriates had stayed in one foreign post for over 10 years. Prescott replaced the former general manager, who had been in Japan for six years. An experienced international businessman who had spent most of his 25-year career at Weaver abroad, Prescott had served in India, the Philippines, and Mexico, with several years in the home-office international division. He was delighted to be challenged with expanding Japanese operations, and after two years, he felt a sense of accomplishment in having developed a smoothly functioning organisation. Born in a small Midwestern town, Higgins entered his state university after high school. Midway through college, however, he joined the army. Because he had shown an interest in languages in college, he was able to attend the Army Language School for intensive training in Japanese. Fifteen months later, he was assigned as an interpreter and translator in Tokyo and took more courses in Japanese language, literature, and history. He made many Japanese friends, fell in love with Japan, and vowed to return there. After five years in the army, Higgins returned to college. Because he wanted to use Japanese as a means rather than an end in itself, he finished his college work in management, graduating with honours, and then joined Weaver. After a year in the company training program, Weaver assigned him to Japan, a year before Prescott’s arrival. Higgins was pleased to return to Japan, not only because of his love for the country but also because of the opportunity to improve the “ugly American” image held abroad. He language ability and interest in Japan enabled him to intermingle with broad segments of the Japanese population. He noted with disdain that U.S. managers tended to impose their value systems, ideals, and thinking patterns on the Japanese. Under both Prescott and his predecessor, Higgins’s responsibilities included troubleshooting with major Japanese customers, attending trade meetings, negotiating with government officials, conducting market research, and helping with...