Denso is a well-established, multinational company with more than 15 years of experience in the e…
Denso is a well-established, multinational company with more than 15 years of experience in the energy sector and is a trusted manufacturer and supplier of electrical power distribution equipment in Japan and abroad, exporting to over 22 countries. The company’s headquarters are located in Tohoku, Japan.
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Denso has expanded far beyond what CEO Sessue Hayakawa started with back in 1971. With annual revenues of USD$467 million, Denso has continued to strengthen its industry leadership in the global electrical power distribution equipment market.
With growth has come difficulties of coordination, maintaining efficiency, meeting customer expectations, and managing employees. Hayakawa realized that leaders who can manage global enterprises and take advantage of strategic opportunities are critical to the success of multinational organizations such as Denso. In other words, leaders who manage integrated enterprises across borders where they encounter different cultural, legal, regulatory and economic systems require a set of skills entirely different from those needed by their domestic counterparts. These leaders must be able to operate in multiple environments trying to achieve a common objective.
Likewise, Hayakawa knew that global teams were making an increased number of decisions in multinational organizations, addressing challenges broad in scope and critical to performance. Much of the decision making and operational implementing in these organizations, however, is being done by teams.
To give his employees the flexibility and freedom they need to move quickly and help Denso remain a dominant manufacturer and supplier of electrical power distribution equipment in the world, Hayakawa decided to restructure Denso by emphasizing the team approach to getting work done.
Tsai Chin is the Vice-President, European Region Division for Denso and located in Kiev, Ukraine. ChinĂ˘â‚¬â„˘s responsibilities involve managing the European Region which includes different types of subsidiaries with different entry mode strategies and markets. All of that indicates a fairly high level of complexity. She manages people that are geographically dispersed and who are involved in a range of issues, from the strategic to the operational. Subsequently, she interacts with subordinates, customers and other stakeholders across a wide range of cultures within the European region.
Tsai has been with Denso for 12 years and traveled to the other divisions located in other parts of the world, but not had extensive experience managing or doing business in other locations. She has dealt with the various ups and downs of domestic markets and extensive
knowledge about business in general but has not had much experience working in the global environment.
Following that corporate directive , China had directed her executive team to create and empower more global virtual teams(GVTs)to enhance the divisionĂ˘â‚¬â„˘s performance and competitiveness.
One of the new GVTsis the engineering product development team which is responsible for developing new products related to power conversion, power quality and energy storage
for theEuropean Region.The team wasto be a close-knit group that depends on each otherto accomplish their job and have substantial autonomy over the work it does. Theteam members wereEricBraeden, the Team Leader (based inMannheim, Germany), Huang Woo(based in Tokyo, Japan), GwanJeong (based inIncheon,South Korea),Puneet Singh (basedin New Delhi, India) and Aijie Ramos (based inPorto, Portugal). HuangandAijiehadbriefly at a meeting inKiev, Ukraineduring a industry seminar, but never met Puneet,Gwan orEric, althoughtheyknew they were electrical engineeringprofessionals.
As part of theDensoĂ˘â‚¬â„˘sstrategy for attracting new business, two weeks ago the firm askedthe team todevelop a newelectrical design of power distribution systems and subsystems. The team had to shareits thoughts on various approaches, agree on a new plan, and write a unified submission to Liv Ullman, Managing Director of theEuropeanRegion(a member of ChinĂ˘â‚¬â„˘sexecutive team).
For the past 18 months,all was going well.
Recently, EricBraeden, theTeam Leader has beennoticing that although all of the members of the teamare electrical engineers, the differences between them are becoming more andmore apparent.
Huang WooandAijie Ramoshave already had three Ă˘â‚¬Ĺ“misunderstandingsĂ˘â‚¬Âť about their different perspectives on delicate matters in the strategic plan.Theworst of thesedisagreements required all of four of them to meet a number of times to resolve the matter.Except for the most basic matters, it seems that the team could not understand each other,let alone agree on key issues. WhileHuangand Aijie seem to agree on most points, theoverall team cannot form a common vision or strategy.
EricBraedenstarted to realize that each of the team membersbackground playedinto how theywere dealingwithresolvingthis conflictand addressingtheseshort-term issues that will have long-term implications regardingdeveloping thenewelectrical design ofpowerdistributionsystems and subsystems.He questioned whenUllman had selected themembers of the team, she took into account their cultural and functional backgrounds andhow theyapproach relationships andmake decisions.
Since the development of the new electrical design of power distribution systems and subsystems is of great strategic importance to the company, he knows that the corporate directive represents an extremely challenging management situation. Does Chin and Ullman and the rest of the executive team understand exactly how their leadership roles and responsibilities impact and affect the deliverables?
Huang knew that the other team members knew it is important to understand the cultural differences in communication but was more concerned about the lack of understanding for the regional differences. For example, people who live in Tokyo tend to place distance between themselves and others, while Kansai people are very direct. Huang is from the northeast region of Japan and is very shy. While these examples may seem trivial to the other team members, to Huang when the other team members do not recognize this, he feels somewhat offended. As a result, he tended to withdraw and not join in any discussions and/or participate in meetings. Huang had no idea that his preference contributed to mistrust amongst the other team members.
During the weekly remote meeting, there was a rousing discussion about what the goals and objectives and success criteria are for the team and for the members. Lately, there have been disagreements around task completion, accuracy and deadlines and how they fit into the global picture.
The team agreed that their opinions are often ignored, and it is difficult to find a time to exchange ideas, and even if they do manage to connect, they cannot get a word in edgewise. Ă˘â‚¬Ĺ“We represent the most challenging regions in terms of diversity and institutional hurdles. Top management does not understand this region, said EricĂ˘â‚¬Âť
After the weekly remote meeting, Eric, Puneet and Gwan stayed behind to talk. Puneet said Ă˘â‚¬Ĺ“maybe we need somebody who has led a GVT before in terms of being able to see how it is done and what was done to establish a more effective way of doing it. I would just like to know more of what some of UllmanĂ˘â‚¬â„˘s needs and challenges are. I think she takes a lot on her shoulders that, at times, we could probably assist with.Ă˘â‚¬Âť
Eric raised his concerns with Liv Ullman at a recent GBV Team Leader meeting. He explained the recent events, and his concerns that the members of this GBV may be lacking in the skills, experience, knowledge needed to function on a global front.
He felt that if the issues with the team were not dealt with, the market forces, technology shifts and the changing dynamics of the global economy would impact the teamĂ˘â‚¬â„˘s development of product. What he kept to himself though speaks volumes of what he considered to be lacking and critical to global team functioning. And does DensoĂ˘â‚¬â„˘s leadership understand the relevant trends, and how to capitalize on them and critical global leaders are to the success of GBV’s
At the Monday morning senior executive meeting at DensoĂ˘â‚¬â„˘s Tohoku head office, the problems being experienced by the electrical design of power distribution systems team were discussed. Sessue Hayakawa, the president asked Ă˘â‚¬Ĺ“did we give these people the appropriate environmental conditions to get the job done? Do we have the right leadership in place? The issue is Ă˘â‚¬Â¦ people have to work together. We need to expand our business in that region and new equipment is critical to allow us to continue to strengthen our leadership in the global electrical power distribution equipment market and GBVĂ˘â‚¬â„˘s teams are key to our success.Ă˘â‚¬Âť
Question 1 (225-250 words):
In the required course reading by Lussier, R., Achua, C. (2015). Leadership: Theory, Application, & Skill Development (6th Edition) Texidium version, it is noted that many organizations have re engineered their work processes and procedures to be performed by teams. The reasons for this trend are obvious. Many companies, large and small, face serious challenges from a dynamic and complex global economyĂ˘â‚¬â€ťchallenges that have put in question the effectiveness of individual or non-team efforts to getting work done. However, not all team efforts have resulted in success. In some cases, the use of teams has resulted in such negative outcomes as increased costs, stress, and lower group cohesion.
discuss and explain any five concerns noted in the case that demonstrate that the team managed by Eric Braeden is experiencing negative outcomes which may result in lowering group cohesion.
Question 2 (225-250 words):
In the required course reading by Lussier, R., Achua, C. (2015). Leadership: Theory, Application, & Skill Development (6th Edition) Texidium version, it is noted that the team approach, though beneficial in many ways, also presents organizations with many challenges. Failure to effectively address these challenges often results in dysfunctional or ineffective teams.
In the case, according to Eric Braeden, Ă˘â‚¬Ĺ“if the issues with the team were not dealt with, the market forces, technology shifts and the changing dynamics of the global economy would impact the teamĂ˘â‚¬â„˘s development of product. identify and discuss the key indicators of the Denso teamĂ˘â‚¬â„˘s dysfunction.
Question 3 (225-250 words):
Leaders play a critical role in developing effective teams. discuss how well Denso managers performed their roles in developing effective teams. Support your discussion with evidence from the case. discuss how well Denso managers performed their roles in developing effective teams. Support your discussion with evidence from the case.
Question 4 (50-75 words):
Based on your analysis, what would you recommend to Sessue Hayakawa, CEO & President of Denso that he might use to resolve this matter? Provide your reasoning. Support your discussion with evidence from the case. Your recommendation must apply analytical models from the course and in accord with your discussion for questions 1, 2