Posted: September 17th, 2017
Read the “Office Equipment Company” Given the case scenario, among the five candidates, whom do you think the committee should choose for the assignment? Please explain the creteria you develop for the review process.
The Office Equipment Company
Office Equipment Company (OEC) must identify a manager to help set up and run a new manufacturing
facility located in the Palestinian
controlled Gaza Strip. The
position will have a minimum duration of three
years. OEC manufactures office equipment such as photo copying machines, recording machines, mail
scales, and paper shredders in eight different countries. OEC’s products are distributed and sold
Currently, OEC has no manufacturing facility in the Middle East but has been selling and servicing
products in Israel since the early 1970s. OEC sells its products in Israel through independent importers,
but is now convinced that it needs to have a lo
cal manufacturing facility in order to take full advantage of
the new, more peaceful situation in the region. Despite occasional turmoil that interrupts new moves
towards peace, OEC’s sales in Israel have been improving, with increase in profitability. OEC
been contacted by distributors in Jordan and Egypt about possible sales of OEC products. Incentives for
foreign direct investment in Gaza Strip could help OEC develop extensive operations in the region at
considerably reduced cost.
hopes to begin constructing a factory in Gaza Strip within the next six months. This factory would
import products and assemble them. The construction of the assembly plant would be supervised by an
US technical team and a US expatriate would be assigned t
o direct the production. This expatriate
manager would report directly to the headquarters of OEC at US.
The option of filling the position of managing director with someone from outside the firm is alien to
OEC’s policy. Otherwise the options are fa
irly open. OEC uses a combination of home
country, and third
country nationals in top positions in foreign countries. It is not uncommon for managers
to rotate among foreign and domestic locations (in the US). In fact, it is increasingly evi
international experience is an important factor in deciding the persons who will be appointed to top
corporate positions. The sales and service operations in Israel have been controlled through OEC’s
European regional office located in Podernone,
Italy. A committee at the European regional office has
quickly narrowed its choice to the following five candidates.
Zimmerman joined the firm 30 years ago and is well
versed in all the technical aspects
required for the job. Zimmerman is a
specialist in start
up projects, and has supervised the construction of
new manufacturing facilities in four countries. He has never been assigned to work broad permanently.
His assignments have usually been in developed countries and for periods of less t
han six months. He is
considered to be extremely competent in the duties he has performed during the years, and will retire in
half years. Neither he nor his wife speaks any language other than English
have grown and are liv
ing in the US. Zimmerman is currently in charge of an operation about the size that
the one in Gaza Strip will be after the factory begins operating. However, as that operation is being
merged with another, this present position will become redundant.
At age forty, Brett has spent 15 years with OEC. He is considered highly competent and
capable of moving into upper
level management within the next few years. He has never been based
abroad but has frequently travelled to Latin America. Bot
h he and his wife speak Spanish adequately.
Their two children, aged fourteen and fifteen, are just beginning to study Spanish. His wife is a
professional as well, holding a responsible marketing position with a pharmaceutical company.
rolyn joined OEC after getting her BS in engineering from Purdue University and an
MBA from the prestigious Bond University in Australia. At the age of 37, she has already moved between
staff and line positions of growing responsibility. For two years, she
was the second
command of a
manufacturing plant in Texas about the size of the new operation in Gaza Strip. Her performance in that
post was considered excellent. Currently, she works as a member of a staff production planning team.
When she joined OE
C, she had indicated her eventual interest in international responsibilities because of
a belief that it would help her advancement in career. She speaks French well and is not married.
Francis is currently one of the assistant managing
directors in a large Mexican
operation, which produces for and sells to the Mexican market. He is a Jewish New Yorker who has
worked for OEC in Mexico for five years. He holds an MBA from New York University and is considered to
be one of the likely candi
dates to head a Guatemalan operation when the present managing director
retires in four years. He is 35, married with four children (ages two to seven). He speaks Hebrew
adequately. His wife does not work outside the home and speaks only English.
At 30, he is assistant to the managing director at the Athens manufacturing facility, a
position he assumed when he joined OEC after completing his under
graduate studies in the US seven
years ago. He is considered competent, especially in production
operations, but lacks in managerial
experience. He was successful in increasing OEC’s production output in Athens during his tenure in
Athens. Leon travelled extensively in the Middle East. He went to the college with a number of students
from Saudi Arabia
, Jordan, and Egypt. These individuals came from prominent political and business
families in their countries, and Leon has visited them during his travels. He thus has the advantage of
being reasonably well
connected with influential families in the regio
n. He is not married.
Whom should the committee choose for the assignment and why?
What problems might each individual encounter in the position?
How might OEC go about minimising the problems that the c
hosen person would have in
managing the Gaza Strip operations?
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