Chapter 16. Combating Confusion: Virtual Teams That Cross Borders

Sue Freedman

A U.S. executive, concerned about the security of one of his factories in Korea, ordered the installation of a new alarm system. To ensure that those responsible understood exactly how important the system was, he arranged to inspect it personally. Several weeks later, the executive arrived as scheduled. Four of his Koreans subordinates, including the factory manager, met him at the entrance. After appropriate greetings, he walked up and pushed on the door equipped with the new alarm. Nothing happened. No sound at all. The executive was a patient man and understood that sometimes things got confused. He explained very slowly, in precise terms: "When ... I ... push ... ...

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