Sealed Air Taiwan's Case Study
By Ravi Warrier, Ashridge MBA 2010
22nd February, 2010
Table of Contents
1 Introduction 3
2 Underlying Phenomenon 4
2.1 Cultural differences 4
2.2 Hierarchy of Needs: Nevis' pyramid 4
3 Observations 6
3.1 The Sales Processes 6
3.2 Kayser's (and Sealed Air's) Management Style 6
3.3 Team performance and motivation 8
4 Recommendations 9
4.1 Understanding Cultural Differences 9
4.2 The Sales Processes 10
4.3 Management Style 10
4.3.1 Kayser's Development as a General Manager 10
4.3.2 Team Organization 10
4.3.3 Performance Payout Systems 11
5 Conclusion 12
6 References and Bibliography 13
As an adventurous bid to expand their international business, Sealed Air established a fully owned subsidiary in Taiwan in 1984. Taiwan, like any other Asian country had a booming economy and boasted of a growth rate of 6-7% per year. Sealed Air Taiwan (SAT) was enthusiastic of having a good share of that pie.
However, as with most other rushed in ideas, this plan did not play out as anticipated by the parent organization back in the US. SAT faced many challenges; of which the sluggish rate of sales was far below any acceptable expectation of the region.
The subsidiary had seen the succession three different general managers in seven years and despite that it had seen no real gains in sales or profitability. In 1991, Kayser arrived to take control over the operations of SAT. Though optimistic, he presumed that matters were simple and could only get better.
The United States and China are two polar opposites on the cultural gamut.
The US believes in empowering its people, giving them the freedom of choice and opinions. And most of the US markets conform to the standard contemporary marketing philosophies published. On the other hand, China and territories like Taiwan have cultures that are based strongly upon the Confucian theories of social...