This paper is aiming at, firstly, identifying a suitable example from the case study “Ellen Moore: Living and Working in Korea” (1997) and secondly, applying the theories of Trampers and Hampered-Turner (2012) on cultural diversity within a global business context to the situation in question. This paper is limited to their thoughts on “How we accord status” as their framework provides a holistic view on the different aspects of status, which help to understand the “clash of cultures” e. G. Those in the Ellen Moore case:
On the one hand co-manager of the project, Jack Kim, has recently achieved a Ph. D. From a leading US university. However, he has never worked on a consulting project. On the other hand, there is Ellen Moore who studied towards a MBA and gained relevant work experience abroad and in managing consulting teams, before approaching the Korean project. However, her evaluation suggested that she did not have the skills to lead this project while she believes that it is Jack’s management style, which is responsible for a major delay.
Trampers and Hampered-Turner’s framework (2012) identifies the reasons for this conflict by the distinction in achievement vs.. Ascription- based cultures. In achievement-oriented cultures, individuals derive their status from what they have accomplished such as status linked to performance. Ascription-oriented cultures value what a person is and how others relate to his position. Here, status is linked to age, connections, gender and family name. Figure 1 shows the relative positioning of countries on the scale. Figure 1: Relative positioning of cultures: Achievement vs..
Ascription Source: Trampers and Hampered-Turner (2012), p 128. The discrepancy in values upon which a culture accords status identifies the reason for the conflict: Jack does not respect Ellen as co-manager due to her being female and to not having achieved a similar academic degree as him. Unlike in the US, her actual achievements are not taken into consideration in the Korean ascription-based cultural setting.