Office Equipment Company 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 worldwide. 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 has recently 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. OEC 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, host – 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 dent that 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. Tom Zimmerman 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 about four – and – a – half years. Neither he nor his wife speaks any language other than English – their children 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. Bre tt Harrison 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. Carolyn Moyer Ca 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 – in – 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 Abhrams 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. Leon Smi th 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. Questions 1. Whom should the committee choose for the assignment and why? 2. What problems might each individual encounter in the position? 3. 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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