Some companies have a clear indigenization policy. Diversity is never on the table. One high level manager in such a company said within hearing of my assistant, “Play along with the (Expat ) GM. Don’t worry, he will be gone soon enough” One Fortune 100 company I know of had an honest high engagement environment which when indigenized became a back door, playing favorites culture. I would not call that Chinese but succuming to a Chinese tendency and saying that is Chinese.
A policy of indiginizing or sending back expats seems out of line to me in my experience.
Why not have a policy of filling roles with the best quality person at the best price? This could lead to a Chinese person, an Expat, or a local hire Westerner.
Unfortunately, most companies do not have clear guidelines on what values they will use to promote and hire managers. JD’s do not say – ” Need to be on line with and championing company culture. ” That is understandable as people can pretend and grandstand to make points, but soomeone has to be checking boxes on maintaining and improving the culture. I have heard people say thay want a tough person for this position which is good to know but still a far cry from a global culture where we can all really talk to each other. Politics and the resulting high turnover of good people is way too costly to be allowed to bloom because no one is tracking the trend of people who are not political and other factors.
Comments On Fit Are Not Usually Enough
It might be that Shobert is hearing about business leaders who want leaders who know the business in terms of knowing the culture of their business. A simple example would be they want someone who can sell their product on its value and not its price or as a solution and not a product. This could be a culture question. Often it is a person’s values and how they see your product that create a misfit. However, it is a rare company that is looking deep enough at this question to avoid costly troublsome political problems.
If you cannot figure out what values you need, then I guess you better stick with Western people and hope they have the values that you have. That does not seem like a good bet either once you send them to China.