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Becoming a Board Member

Harvard Business School

Questions:

1. If you were Mark Fernandez, what would have been your approach under the circumstances as described in the case?

2. If Mark Fernandez is your colleague and you are his CEO, what advice you will give to Mark Fernandez?

3. What is opinion about the 'minority' executives rising to the key decision making position?

Answer

Abstract

The study attempts to present an overview of the contrasting cultures that prevails in the present day organisations. It depicts that how the cultural background of an individual influences the person’s attitude in the workplace. The number of individuals belonging to similar cultural backgrounds tends to influence the nature of dominance in an organisation. It clearly shows that the choices of the executives is influenced by their respective cultural backgrounds but are certainly not limited to it. The study also shows the dilemma that exists within an individual because of his cultural background. Some of the individuals’ boasts of their cultural backgrounds while there are others who consider it to be a hindrance for improving their career graph. Some of the representatives of the minority section executives do consider their section as a motivation that drives them to perform better regularly. While, there are some people who attributes their failings to their respective cultural backgrounds.


Case questions

Question 1

If you were Frank Fernandez, what would have been your approach under the circumstances described in the case?

On the eve of his 50th birthday Frank Fernandez was approached by CEO for acquiring a post at the managerial board. A conference that was represented by various delegations from different organisations was attained by Frank Fernandez. If I were Frank then I would have attempted to gather the perceptions of the different board members attending the conference. I would also ensure that I may present my leadership traits in order to hold a position in the board. In the context of the study it is noted that confusion prevails within Frank in joining a managerial board due to his cultural backgrounds. Accordingly, I would like to state that I would communicated my cultural richness and would never consider it to be hindrance for improving my career. 


I was influenced by the idea of proving my leadership qualities in order to ensure a position at the managerial board (Ferraro, 2017). The executive board sets their preference on individuals who can show tremendous judgemental capabilities and prove their excellence in the assigned job. I have decided on improvising my leadership qualities if I need to hold a position in a managerial board. I will try to improvise my skills of communication, knowledge about the prevailing cultural differences, understanding capability of a given scenario and my decision making attitude (Nahavandi, 2016). In order to implement the business models accurately I need develop my understanding skills of a business scenario. This will in turn ensure successful implementation of the organisational goals. I need to develop my attitude by improvising my leadership traits in order to achieve my desired goals. 

Question 2

If Frank Fernandez is your colleague and you are his CEO, what advice you will give to Frank Fernandez?

I will be advising Frank to acquire a position in a managerial board due to my long time association with him and as his superior in the organisation. I will attempt to drive Frank for ensuring a position at a managerial board by motivating him. I will suggest Frank to identify the hindrances that he considers may stop him from acquiring a position at the managerial board. Primarily, I will suggest him to overcome his cultural barriers and consider them as motivations for improving his career graph. I will advise Frank Fernandez to consider himself as a manager who happens to have a Hispanic background and not as a Hispanic manager. I will suggest Frank to derive methods for improvising his communicational skills so that he can improvise his leadership traits. I will ask Frank to boast of his Hispanic background and convey his cultural traits in an efficient way so that it can prove to be beneficial for an organisation. I will offer Frank my guidance and assistance if he requires for developing his leadership qualities (Nahavandi, 2016). Frank is considered as an eligible and efficient person by me for joining a managerial board in an organisation due to his prolonged experience. I will inform him that he may consider joining the managerial board in any other organisation or may pursue with our organisation by holding a position in the managerial board (Moran, 2014). I will ask Frank to specifically identify his shortcomings in order to act with appropriate measures for ensuring a position at the managerial board.   

Question 3:

What is opinion about the ‘minority’ executives rising to the key decision making position?

Frank Fernandez attained a conference in which he gathered the ideas of the different board members who were representatives of various organisations. The executives those who happen to have a Hispanic background are referred to as minority section of executives. The inadequate number of Hispanic executives creates sense inferiority among them. The existence of biases in the hiring of executives based on their cultural background was agreed upon by some of the board members. On the contrary, some of members indicated that there is an emerging trend of hiring executives irrespective of their cultural background. Some also stated that there are organisations which have been significantly benefited by hiring of executives from differential cultural background (Northouse, 2015). The minority section is preferred at times by some organisations that are willing to expand their business on the Latin American soil. The individual performance of the employees is what matters and their cultural differentiation can be ignored. Sometimes, an executive representing the minority segment can face more challenges in an organisation as compared to the majority section (Ortlieb, 2013). A minority representative has to repeatedly prove his contributions to their organisation. This implies that the majority segment is exposed to a low amount of pressure of performance if compared to an executive representing the majority segment. Some of the board members did agree that the extensive pressure faced by minority segment sometimes leads to improvised productive outputs by them. The case study indicates towards the prevailing confusion of the hiring procedure and its influence of the cultural traits,  The parameters of the executive selection is influenced by their respective cultural backgrounds but are certainly limited to it.  

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