Training Programme for Production Manager

Top-Toy AS is a multinational company headquartered in Denmark with offices and outlets in Finland. This company produces and markets toys in many countries. In order to reduce manufacturing/production costs, Top-Toy AS has moved its production of some toys to China. Top-Toy AS has also begun a new policy of shipping its products directly to its distributors in various countries rather than to Denmark to eliminate some of the costs of getting the product to market. Top-Toy has positioned a manager in China to facilitate communication between its headquarters and the manufacturing plant in China. One of the tasks of the China-based manager is to help establish Top-Toy’s global organizational culture that has made Top-Toy so successful in other markets. The managerial position in China is a three-year posting of an employee from either the Denmark headquarters or their Finland branch. This is a highly sought after post because it increases the value of the employee to Top-Toy AS and almost assures that employee a promotion upon their return to Europe. Top-Toy AS’s challenge has been to set up an appropriate training program for prospective managers.
The prospective manager chosen for the next three-year rotation is Finland native Frans Gustafsson (hypothetical character). Frans is a thirty-five-year-old married man with two young sons. Frans attended university in the United Kingdom and holds an MA degree. His native language is Finnish and he also has a good command of the English language. Frans’ wife Hanna and his two sons Bo and Luukas will accompany him on his rotation. He has one year before his rotation begins and must use that time wisely to prepare.
Frans is in luck! Top-Toy AS has developed a training program for its managers. Frans will complete the training program with an alternate candidate (chosen in case Frans can’t go) who is first in line for the following rotation. The men’s wives have been invited to attend various portions of the training program as well.
The first issue to be addressed are the language skills the Fran’s will need to communicate with his Chinese counterparts. Both couples were provided with a program called "RosettaStone level one Chinese that claims that you can "Learn a language naturally with Dynamic Immersion" (Rosetta Stone website). Both couples were also enrolled in an intensive Chinese language and culture course at the University of Helsinki. A very important part of the course at the university is a study in the cultural differences that exist when conducting business. Frans and the others were encouraged to focus on the cultural differences that exist between Chinese workers and Scandinavian workers. In China, managerial relationships with workers have traditionally focused on relationships and family backgrounds. The factory took care of your family while you worked hard for the factory (Su Yi, pg 1.). In contrast, western European managerial/worker relationships are based upon qualifications, competency, and performance. Fran’s, and the others have to learn how to effectively manage in the Chinese workplace.
Frans and his alternate will communicate frequently with the current manager in China to get a feel for the managerial style that is currently being used at the factory.&nbsp.