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BBA3 S2 2019-2020


Weekly oral activity - Unethical Company - Presentation and Peer Review Date: Presentation partners: 1: 2: 3: 4:


Table of contents

(1) NEW BUSINESS ................................................................................................................... 5 Miho Brings Bagels to Tokyo. ................................................................................................. 9 (2) ETHICS ............................................................................................................................... 12 Honesty and Dishonesty ....................................................................................................... 12 A Question of Ethics ............................................................................................................. 13 Hummingbird Teas............................................................................................................... 14 E-Mailing .............................................................................................................................. 16 Promoting Ethical Business.................................................................................................. 17 No Hiding Place for the Irresponsible Business ................................................................... 18 (3) QUALITY ............................................................................................................................ 21 Quality Control and Customer Service ................................................................................. 22 Miele ..................................................................................................................................... 23 Customer Service Problems .................................................................................................. 25 (4) OUTSOURCING ................................................................................................................. 28 Outsourcing to Earn India $ 60bn ........................................................................................ 28 (5) LEADERSHIP ..................................................................................................................... 33 Management Styles............................................................................................................... 33 The Glass Ceiling .................................................................................................................. 34 The Johari Window .............................................................................................................. 37 SUPLEMENTARY MATERIAL ................................................................................................ 38 Facebook Fans do Worse in Exams .......................................................................................... 39 e-mail and Chat Acronyms ....................................................................................................... 41 Business Scenarios ................................................................................................................... 43 Presenting Factual Information ............................................................................................... 46 Green Cars ................................................................................................................................ 49 Leadership ................................................................................................................................ 51 Become a Chief Executive Officer ............................................................................................. 55 Management Problems Quiz: What Sort of Manager Are You?................................................ 60 Management Problems 2 ......................................................................................................... 62 the decision game ..................................................................................................................... 64




(1) NEW BUSINESS Working with Words / Starting up a new business. 1)Business start-ups James Murray Wells and Jurga Zillinskiene are both very successful owners of business start-ups. Listen to them talking about their experiences and complete this table. What do you think the most important factor in their success was?

James Murray Wells

Jurga Zillinskiene

Nature of business:

Sources of finance

Biggest problem



2) Vocabulary builder Match these nouns and noun phrases from the audio to definitions 1-12. gap in the market

business plan

venture capitalist


return on investment


business model

business angel


financial backing

start-up capital

network of contacts

1) someone providing money for a business 2) share in a business-you gain if it succeeds 3) profit from shareholding 4) opportunity to sell something not yet available 5) document containing financial estimates for a business 6) group of people who can be helpful to your business 7) someone providing experience and money for a business 8) support in the form of money 9) money to fund a new company 10)amount of business done in a given period of time 11)money which is lent or borrowed 12)the way a business operates to make money

3) Complete this advice about funding a start-up with the phrases in 2. When you have spotted a

for a product or service, one of the biggest

challenges is to raise enough be able to get a bank

to get your new business started. You may if you can show you have a good

for the

operation of your business , plus a _____________that contains detailed financial estimates . Alternatively , you could approach a __________or__________ to secure the funding you need . Either way , your investors will want a __________ in the new company-maybe 50% or even more-and will feel confident they will get a high ___________. Once your business is started , it is a good idea to build up a who might be able to help you find further increased enough for you to make a profit.





4) Listen to eight extracts from James’ and Jurga’s talks. What adjectives come after adverbs 1-8? 1. Hugely


2. Incredibly 3. Extremely 4. Really


5. Totally


6. Completely


7. Absolutely


8. Really


Read the Tip below. What type of adjective – gradable or ungradable – goes with the adverbs? a hugely, extremely, incredibly? b totally, completely, absolutely? c really? Tip: Gradable and ungradable adjectives. Gradable adjectives describe qualities that can exist in different strengths, e.g. something can be more or less good or old. Ungradable adjectives describe qualities that can’t exist in different strengths, e.g. something is either perfect or impossible or it is not

5)Work with a partner. Using an adverb and a suitable adjective, take turns to respond to these statements. 1. The bank has refused to give us a loan. 2. What’s it like working for yourself? 3. I’ve just been nominated for the “Entrepreneur of the Year” award. 4. Our business start-up is losing € 50,000 a week. 5. One day we’ll be bigger than Microsoft. 6. The venture capitalists wanted an 80% stake in the company.


6)Work in small groups. Choose one of these business ideas (or think of your own) and discuss questions 1-3. A collapsible scooter that you can take on the train or put in boot of your car to use in busy cities to avoid traffic. You plan to import these scooters from the US and sell them to customers in your own country. A fleet of self-service pay-as-you-go cars for urban commuters. Users are given a special PIN number to access the cars (which are located in designated parking places). Users pay a membership fee and then have to pay a fee based on the amount of time they use the car. 1. what’s your opinion of the business idea? How successful could it be? 2. What help might someone need setting up this business? Who could they approach for finance? What advice would you give? 3. What problems or challenges might the business face?

Language at work/ present perfect simple and continuous. 1) Match the following 3 sentences to situations 1-3. What tense is used in each situation?

a) Our company has secured a huge contract with Mobilitec. b) GBF have been keeping me very busy. c) Since you left GBF, life’s been extremely hectic. 1. a state that started in the past and is unchanged 2. a continuous activity that started in the past and is still going on 3. a finished activity with an end result

2) Read these two sentences. Which suggests something is temporary? Which suggests that something is permanent? What tenses are used? 1. Since last month, I’ve been commuting between France and Belgium. 2. She’s lived in Brussels for years. 8

3) What is the difference between for and since in 2? For:


4) Choose the best ending (a or b) for each sentence and say why. 1. I’ve worked out a final price I’ve been working out a final price 2. I’ve been calling Mrs Fischer I’ve called Mrs Fischer 3. I’ve been working with Karen I’ve worked with Karen 4. We’ve been hiring We’ve hired

a. but I’m still waiting for a couple of figures b. and it’s lower than the original estimate a. but I can’t get through to her b. and left her a message a. because her supervisor is on sick leave b. for over 30 years a. manager and three supervisors b. people for the new factory.

Miho Brings Bagels to Tokyo. Background: (The Expert View; Starting up a new business requires two kinds of “personal asset”. First, you have to be tough, and prepared to work long hours, face setbacks, and overcome challenges and disappointments. Secondly, you need some specific business skills. Perhaps the single most important personal quality is the ability to sell. Finding the money to support a new venture is vital, so you must persuade people to invest in your business. Suppliers must be convinced to supply the goods and services you need. And you have to persuade customers who don’t know you to buy from you. No matter how good the business idea, without customers it will never succeed.)

ROLEPLAY Miho Inagi, an IT graduate, resigned from her safe office job to run her own New York bagel company in the heart of Tokyo. It was a risky decision as bagels weren’t well known in Japan when she came up with the idea. To begin with, the company struggled due to lack of advertising. However, this all changed when an enthusiastic customer wrote a review on @ bagel café-a website which rates the bagel bakeries in Japan. What differentiates Miho’s bagels form others in Tokyo is the authentic choice of toppings-she doesn’t bow to Japanese tastes but offers exactly what you’d expect to get in New York. 9

Listen to Miho describe how she moved from computer programming to baking bagels.

Discussion: Can you think of any Eastern products that have been successfully introduced into Western culture and vice versa? What factors might businesses need to consider when introducing a product from another culture? How important were contacts and “favours” for the success of Miho’s Business venture? TASK Work in groups of four. The teacher will give each of you a role-play card. You and your colleagues have been chosen to help set up a new division of a company. You have been asked to set up the new division as fast as possible so you need to work together. However, you all have a lot of individual tasks to do to get things up and running. Unfortunately, money, time and resources are tight. You each have three favours you’d like to ask of each other. Read the rules below and try to get the favours granted by your colleagues as fast as you can. The person with all three favours granted first is the winner.


Read your card. You have three favours to ask.


Ask one favour per person then move on. If someone agrees to do the favour, write the name of that colleague in the grid.


You must say “yes” to two favours.


There are three favours listed on your card which you must refuse to do. With any other favour asked, you can decide if you want to do the favour or not.




(2) ETHICS Starting up: A) Discuss these questions. 1. What is the purpose of a business, in your opinion? Is it just to make money? 2. What do you understand by these phrases? a) business ethics b) a code of good practice c) a mission statement 3. Should mission statements include statements about ethics?

B) Are some jobs more ethical than others? How ethical do you think these professions are?


civil servant


police officer


estate agent



car sales executive



taxi driver

VOCABULARY: Honesty and Dishonesty. A) The sets of words and phrases below are related to honesty or to dishonesty. Which word is different from the others in each set? +/trustworthy a slush fund insider trading a whistle-blower a bribe A confidentiality agreement fraud

+/ -

+/ -

Law-abiding a sweetener industrial espionage a fraudster a bonus a cover up

corrupt compensation disclosure


integrity 12

a con artist a commission a whitewash

Complete these sentences with words and phrases from the sets on previous page. Choose From the first set to complete sentence 1, from the second set to complete sentence 2, and so on. 1. They fired him because he was _ . He informed that the company was using under-age workers in the factory. 2. He denied accepting supplier.

when he gave the contract to the most expensive

3. I admire our chairman. He’s a man of his word and is greatly respected for his . 4. Many companies ask new employees to sign problems.

to avoid future litigation

5. Our company does nothing illegal. We are very_


6. We’ve got which is used in countries where it is difficult to do business without offering bribes. 7. Their car looked so much like our new model. We suspect


Discussion: A Question of Ethics A) Work in groups. What should you do in each of these situations? 1. The best qualified person for the post of Sales Manager is female. However, your customers would prefer a man. If you appoint a woman you will probably lose some sales. 2. Your company has a new advertising campaign which stresses its honesty, fairness and ethical business behaviour. It has factories in several countries where wages are low. At present it is paying workers the local market rate; 3. A colleague working in a hospital has been making mistakes at work recently. This is because she has a serious illness. You are her friend and the only person at work who knows this. She has asked you to keep it a secret.


7. Put in the adjective of the nouns above



corruption prejudice greed ethics credibility generosity fairness responsibility deception discrimination

Hummingbird Teas CONTEXT

Hummingbird teas sell specialty teas from China, India and south Africa. The unique selling point of the business is its ethos. It sources teas from small, local farmers and supports fair trade. It has recently brought in Clare, from a PR company, to help raise its profile. Clare has been organizing a trip for reporters form ethical consumer magazines to see Humming bird’s operation. She is meeting with the reporters to give details of the trip. PRESENTING: Explaining plans and arrangements / inviting and recommending 1. Listen to Part 1 of the meeting and make any necessary changes to these notes. ° Trip planned to China or South Africa (to be confirmed) ° Five days travelling around different tea plantations ° Opportunities for sightseeing will be provided ° Two possible dates for trip: February and March ° Two internal flights 14

2. Listen again. Complete these phrases explaining the plans and arrangements for the trip. 1. We

once you’ve decided what you’d like to see.

2. So,

how Hummingbird’s operation works in China.

3. The

spend 4 days at one of the sites where the tea is grown.

4. You

accompany the workers in their daily work.

5. We’ve looked at all the options, and

two dates.

3. Listen to Part 2 of the meeting. 1. What activities and visits can the reporters take part in? 2. What advice does Clare give about the guide? 4. Listen again and complete these phrases. 1. We

watch the tea being prepared.

2. English isn’t spoken so

with our guide.

3. On the subject of languagein the Tibetan language.

a project set up to promote schooling

4. That

really interesting.

5. it

travel with our interpreter.

6. A visit to the site


7. I was there for the first time last’s 8. Mmm... 9. Well, alternatively, Hummingbird in China.


I’m looking for. introduce you to the team who work for

10. That would be great-


Tip (advise and recommend are both formal ways of making a suggestion. Be careful with the word order. We advise you to set this up directly (with the locals). We recommend (that) you stay with our guide.)


E-Mailing KEY EXPRESSIONS Explaining plans and arrangements: We’ll email you the (final) itinerary. We’re planning to... The idea is to... We’re going to arrange... You’ll get the opportunity to... The flight leaves on... Inviting We’d like to invite you to... You’re welcome to... Alternatively, we’d be delighted to... Recommending We strongly recommend you... It would be a good idea to... highly recommended. It’s well worth a visit.

Responding That would be great. That sounds really interesting. Good idea. That makes sense. I’d like to take you up on that. It’s just the kind of thing I need. That’s not really what I’m looking for.


CASE STUDY Promoting Ethical Business The expert view: “There are higher expectations of business today from customers, employees, and even investors to minimize negative environmental and social impacts, and to maximize positive ones. This is frequently described as corporate responsibility, or running a business in an ethical and sustainable manner. Leading companies have realized that this is not just about risk- minimization-it can also be a way of maximizing business opportunities. Such businesses recognize that a genuine commitment to operating ethically and sustainably can be a source of competitive advantage. Certainly, corporate responsibility cannot be treated as an “extra”-it has to be built into business purpose and strategy.” David Grayson

TASK 1. Work in groups of 4. You can choose either one of the two companies above or you can choose another, (as long as the other company promotes/has ethical policies.(for example Patagonia or “Earth shoes” by Timberland, etc...) You are going to plan an event or a series of events to inform a wider market about the company’s operation and ethical activities. 1. Decide what events/activities could raise the profile of the company’s ethical position. 2. Make a plan of the event(s).

2. Prepare a brief (20 minutes) presentation. Part 1: Give details about what the company does. Explain its position on ethical matters. Part 2: Explain the plans and arrangements for the event(s). Include invitations and recommendations as appropriate.

3. Each group gives its presentation to the class.


No Hiding Place for the Irresponsible Business

A. Discuss these questions. 1. Do you think companies are responsible for a) people being too fat? b) children accessing pornography on the internet? c) musicians not being paid because of illegal downloading of their music? 2. What examples can you give of businesses behaving badly?

B. Read the article and answer these questions. 1. What ethical issues do these industries face? a. the food industry b. mobile phone operators c. record companies d. the financial sector e. oil and mining groups f. footwear and clothing brands g. computer and telecommunication companies 2. Which areas of business do not give enough information about social and environmental matters? 3. What examples are given of companies taking positive steps?

No Hiding Place for the Irresponsible Business, by Alison Maitland, The Financial Times The food industry is blamed for obesity. Mobile phone operators are challenged to protect teenagers from online pornography. Record companies are attacked when they sue music-lovers for sharing illegal files on the internet. Big business is being asked to explain its approach to a growing number of social, ethical and environmental concerns. “We’re facing the greatest demand for our assistance that we’ve seen in our nine-year history,” says Bob Dunn, Chief Executive of Business for Social Responsibility (BSR), a US non-profit advisory organisation whose annual membership includes many top multinationals. Microsoft, Lucent and United Technologies have joined BSR this year, as 18

well as Altria, a more obvious target for pressure groups and litigation, as the parent company of both Kraft Foods and Philip Morris. Industries that until now had avoided the spotlight are finding attention is now focusing on them. Campaigners are beginning to show interest in working conditions in factories in the developing world that make equipment for computer and telecommunications companies. The financial sector has come under pressure over lending to controversial projects in the developing world. In June, a group of leading banks, including Citigroup, Barclays and ABN Amro, promised to avoid giving loans for socially or environmentally questionable projects. Oil and mining groups have come under strong pressure this year from a coalition of investors, activists and the UK government to make public their payments to developing countries in an effort to fight corruption. Some of the world’s biggest footwear and clothing brands, including Levi Strauss, Nike and Reebok, have meanwhile taken voluntary measures through the US Fair Labour Association to increase the transparency of their supply chain. They published on the Internet the first independent audits of their supplier factories, along with the steps taken to improve often terrible labour standards. Companies usually take action when they face a real or potential threat to their reputation as when Kraft announced in July it would cut fat and sugar in its food, limit portion sizes and stop marketing in schools. A lawsuit against Kraft was rapidly withdrawn after it said it would address the issue. A few companies are, however, taking a lead because they believe it will give them a competitive edge. Mr Dunn says the search for competitive advantage is one factor in creating interest in corporate responsibility among companies in countries such as Russia, Poland, Turkey and South Africa. In the UK, the trend is also reflected in social and environmental reporting over the past two years. More than half the FTSE250 companies now produce annual reports, according to Directions, a study published this month by SalterBaxter and Context, two well-known UK consultancies. Some sectors remain secretive, including hotels and leisure, and software and computer services. But they form a decreasing minority as investor interest, regulation and peer pressure combine to force greater disclosure. When the first non-financial reports came out more than a decade ago, they focused on the environment. Now 100 of the FTSE250 cover environmental, social and ethical issues. Forty of the fifty largest European companies also produce reports. In the US, however, only 22 of the S&P top 50 reported, the study found. But how much can companies be expected to achieve on their own? What is the role of the government? Can consumers have it all, demanding such high standards of companies while refusing to change their lifestyle?




(3) QUALITY A) Give examples of high-quality products or services. Explain your choices. B) Which of the following words and phrases best express your idea of quality? Reliable value for money long-lasting traditional well-known expensive hand-made modern genuine made in (country) well-designed mass-produced

C) Look at these sayings(idioms). What do they mean? Which of the ideas do you agree with?

1. “They don’t make them like they used to.” 2. “Quality not quantity”. 3. “You get what you pay for.” 4. “Don’t judge a book by its cover.”

D) Match the words and phrases to the correct headings. After sales care consumer satisfaction questionnaire compensation faults Monitoring defects routine checks flaws inspection minimum standard Goodwill payment warranty zero defects


quality control

Customer service

C) Think of a product or service that you have complained about. What was the problem and was it solved? 21

VOCABULARY Quality Control and Customer Service A) Complete the sentences below with the following words and phrases: identified modified failed relaunched durability recalled reliability tested launched We

the product two years ago.

We have a policy of zero defects so we were surprised when, shortly after the launch, we received complaints about the and of this product Because of the market feedback, we the product so that any faults could be investigated. At the same time, we withdrew it from sale After extensive tests, our engineers

a fault

As a result, they were able to correct the fault and we We Finally, we

the product

the product under controlled conditions the redesigned product in the market

Unfortunately, it the bad publicity.

due to lack of consumer confidence caused by

B) Complete the sentences below with the following words and phrases. consumer satisfaction questionnaire compensation monitoring routine checks guarantee inspection minimum standards after-sales service faults

Quality Control 1. Quality control involves checking for 2. We are always

before selling goods. the quality of our products.

3. The quality control department found several faults during one of their _ 4. We use a number of to measure quality. 5. During the

a number of flaws were found. 22

Customer Service 6. We measure how happy our customers are with an annual 7. We ensure that the machines are well-maintained by offering 8. We provide customers with a

lasting 10 years.

9. If there is a faulty product, we usually offer customers

Read the text below, and match the headings (a – h) with the paragraphs (1 – 8) ................................................................................ a. Company strategy b. Focus on detailed testing c. High costs: increased reliability d. Industry admiration for top quality e. Innovation in working practices f. Looking to the future g. Manufacturing at home ensures quality h. Loyalty for product that lasts ................................................................................ 1…………………………………………………….. At a time when life has rarely been tougher for manufacturers in the developed world, Miele's strategy for survival is to break almost all the rules. The German company, a global leader in high-quality domestic appliances such as washing machines and vacuum cleaners, is renowned for its high manufacturing standards and its refusal to move downmarket and compete on price 2. …………………………………………………….. Miele bases all its manufacturing in high-cost Germany and is self-sufficient to a high degree. Rather than outsource to low-cost suppliers, it makes 4 million electric motors a year (enough for all its products) in its own plant near Cologne. Keeping the manufacturing base in the company's own plant is, Miele believes, essential to maintaining its quality standards. Sales last year were $2.2bn.


3. …………………………………………………….. The approach is respected by Miele's industry peers. Andrea Guerra, Chief Executive of Merloni, the Italian white goods maker, regards it as an icon of quality in the industry "with a fantastic position at the top end". 4. …………………………………………………….. The company sells appliances ranging from dishwashers to coffee machines, at a price premium of up to 70% over their competitors' products. It spends 12% of its revenue on product development - far more than the industry norm. Miele's attention to detail is legendary - ovens are tested using machines that open and shut their doors 60,000 times to simulate the use they will have in their owner's kitchens. 5. …………………………………………………….. The company also believes it can make its German plants more competitive by changes in working practices. According to Markus Miele, co-owner of the company: "We have a plant near Gütersloh that makes 50% of all the plastic parts we need. But we make this plant compete with outside contractors to see who gets the work for specific jobs. We make sure that the Miele plant charges prices no greater than the other bidders. This is one way we encourage our factories to make improvements and innovations in their production processes." 6. …………………………………………………….. Even though Miele's manufacturing costs are higher than those of its competitors, the company says they are justified by its ability to produce appliances that - despite their higher prices - people want to buy. Roughly 50% of Miele's manufacturing costs come from components it makes itself compared with about 30% for equivalent companies. But, the company says, most Miele appliances will work for 20 years, which is longer than comparable products. This, it says, is linked to the reliability of individual parts. 7. …………………………………………………….. The policy pays off, says Mr Miele. "My father once had a letter from an old lady in Eastern Germany. She said she didn't have much money but she was willing to pay 50% more for a Miele washing machine because she knew it would last for the rest of her life." Nick Platt, a home appliance specialist at the GfK market research company, says such feelings are not uncommon. "The company has built up a tremendous loyalty among consumers who know that the brand stands for quality," he says. 8. …………………………………………………….. Miele faces a tough few years as it strives not just to keep ahead of competitors at the top end of the white goods market but also to interest new generations of increasingly costconscious consumers in buying machines that – in terms of kitchens - are the equivalent of luxury Swiss watches.


What are the factors which have contributed to Miele’s success? True or false? 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7.

Excellent quality control in its factories. They adapt their market positioning according to demand and fashion. Competitive pricing. A vast proportion of the production process is outsourced. Very high R&D expenditure. They do a lot of testing. Each individual component is built to last.

Customer Service Problems Writing emails: A) The phrases below are from an email to a customer about their order. Put the

phrases in the correct sequence to create the email. The name of the customer is Patty Bundy. Please use a standard email format to write the email: include date / subject line etc... 1. We have items A24 and B39 in stock... 2. ...due to a high demand for this product at the present time. 3. Dear Ms Bundy, 4. We hope to receive new supplies within the next 7-10 days. 5. ... and you should receive them in 2-3 days. 6. We apologize for any inconvenience this may cause. 7. We regret that we are out of stock of item C21... 8. Thank you for your order dated March 30. 9. Yours sincerely, 10. We will dispatch your order as soon as possible after that.

B) Objective: Apologize and give reasons You work for a training organisation. Read the notes below and write a letter of apology to a client. Your company is offering a workshop on “Building Customer Confidence” on June6th. The maximum number of participants is 35. (You set this limit because you want the 25

workshop to be as interactive as possible.) You have received applications from 40 people. Compose an email to the last 5 applicants explaining that the workshop is fully booked. Because of its popularity, you plan to hold another similar workshop later in the year. You will inform about the date when you know it. Give your apologies. Say that you will let them know if there are any cancellations.

LISTENING AND WRITING : a Call to BMW’s Helpdesk. 1. Write an email to BMW to complain about the way you were treated on the phone, or 2. Reply to the very unhappy customer.




(4) OUTSOURCING Starting point: 1. What is outsourcing? 2. Does a company you know outsource any of its production or services? 3. What are the advantages and disadvantages of outsourcing for the company and the customer?

Working with words 1) Many American and European companies outsource part of their production or service provision to emerging economies like Brazil, Russia, India and China. 1. What opportunities does this provide for these countries? 2. What problems can it cause for them?

2) Read the article about India’s outsourcing market and compare your ideas in paragraph 1. 1. What are the main opportunities and problems for India as outlined in the article? 2. Are the opportunities for India greater than the problems?

Outsourcing to Earn India $ 60bn India could earn as much as $60bn a year from information technology and outsourcing, an industry report says. Potential market India’s IT and outsourcing market is currently worth $22bn, and is expected to grow consistently. Within the next five years, business worth more than $110bn will be outsourced worldwide to off-shore locations, of which India is set to capture more than 50%. IT and outsourcing is projected to double to 7% of India’s GDP and account for 44% of export growth.


Employment The sector currently employs 700,000 people directly, and this is expected to rise to 2.3 million in the next five years. At current rates, there will be a shortfall of 500,000 skilled workers. Indirect employment is also set to treble over the same period, as more software and business process outsourcing (BPO) services are outsourced to India. Many companies are finding that using outside expertise for BPO enables greater concentration on their core activities. Skills and infrastructure There is an urgent need to develop at least ten “knowledge cities� with universities and other training facilities to meet future employment needs. In addition, the infrastructure of these cities should be developed so that they have their own airports, roads, office space and housing to meet the needs of the technology firms.

3) Match the words in bold in the article to these definitions. 1. part of a country’s economy: 2. basic systems like transport that a country needs to work properly: 3. the things done in a company that are most important for its main area of work:

4. secondary jobs created by the economic activity of a company: 5. places where people can learn new skills: _ 6. an increase in products sold abroad: 7. people with the training and experience to do a job well: 8. contracting a business task, such as payroll, to an outside service provider:

9. special knowledge or skill in a specific subject, activity or job: 10. based in a foreign country:

LISTENING 4) Listen to three people talking about outsourcing and answer the questions. 1. What main points does each speaker make about outsourcing? 2. Is each speaker positive or negative about outsourcing and why? 29

5)Complete the questions with these verbs from the listening. improve lead to create



achieve develop get through gain free up

1. Do you think outsourcing business process tasks will in the EU? 2. What strategies could governments more jobs in the EU.

to cope with job losses and to

3. What factors cause a company to spending?

cost-cutting measures to reduce

4. How do companies that outsource

lower overheads?

5. How does outsourcing help companies to more efficient? 6. What tasks could companies outsource to activities? 7. Why can companies that outsource 8. How can a company

serious job losses

their operation and become resources for their core a bigger volume of work.

a competitive edge over rival companies?

9. In what ways can outsourcing emerging economies?

the quality of life for workers in

6) Answer the questions above using your own opinion. 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. 30

7) Work in small groups. Read about company X. 1. Would you advise this company to outsource? Why or why not? What would be the result of outsourcing for the company? 2. Present your ideas to the class. Company X is considering how it can reduce some of its costs and free up resources to concentrate on its core activities. It has recently reviewed the quality and efficiency of its IT section. It has experienced difficulties recruiting experienced IT operatives. In addition, It needs to reduce its It budget. It is currently considering outsourcing the IT section, including its customer help desk, to a specialized computer company in an offshore location which operates 24/7. This will involve cutting 70 jobs in its home office. The off-shore company (based in one of the emerging economies) would charge an annual fee for salaries, and administration and maintenance costs. This would be a saving of 45% company X





Management Styles The same or different? Do men and women bring different qualities to business or is it nonsense to talk about male and female management styles? Mark the following management qualities by using these abbreviations: M= men/ W= women and M/W = both 1. Being able to take the initiative 2. Being a good listener 3. Staying calm under pressure 4. Being prepared to take risks 5. Being conscientious and thorough 6. Having good communication skills 7. Being energetic and assertive 8. Getting the best out of people 9. Being independent and authoritative 10. Being supportive towards colleagues 11. Being able to delegate 12. Motivating by example 13. Having a co-operative approach 14. Being single-minded and determined 15. Being a good time-manager


Now select what you consider to be the five most important qualities in a manager and prioritise them in order of importance. 1. 2. 3. 4. 5.

Discuss: Does your choice indicate a male or female oriented view of management ability? Is it a fairly balanced view or rather heavily biased? Which of these qualities do you think you possess yourself? How do your views compare with those expressed in the article, She’s the Boss?

READING She’s the Boss: Business was invented by men and to a certain extent it is still “a boy’s game”, (especially in many “advanced” European countries, such as France or Germany). Less than 20% of the managers in most European companies are women, with fewer still in senior positions. Yet in Britain, one in three new businesses are started up by women and according to John Naisbitt and Patricia Auburdene, authors of “Megatrends 2000”, since 1980 the number of self-employed women has increased twice as fast as the number of self-employed men. The Glass Ceiling Syndrome Is it just a case of women whose career progress has been blocked by their male colleagues – the so-called “glass ceiling syndrome” – being forced to set up their own businesses? Or do women share specific management qualities which somehow serve them better in self-employment? As many as 40% of start-ups fold within their first two years, but the failure rate of those run by women is substantially lower than that. It’s hardly surprising, therefore that though male bosses tend to be reluctant to promote women, male bank managers seem only too happy to finance their businesses.


The Roddick Phenomenon Anita Roddick, founder of the Body Shop empire, is the perfect example of the female entrepreneur with her company growing from zero to £470 million in its first fifteen years. Perhaps the secret of her success was caution. Rather than push ahead with the purchasing of new shops, Roddick got herself into franchising – the cheapest way to expand a business whilst keeping overheads down. Caution, forward planning and tight budgeting seem to be more female characteristics than male. They are also the blueprint for success when launching a new company. More Sensitive When women join an existing company, it’s a different story. Less ruthlessly individualistic in their approach to business, women are more sensitive to the feelings of the group or team in which they work. They are generally more cooperative than competitive, less assertive, and less prepared to lead from the front. Though they usually manage their time better than men and may even work harder, they are much less likely than their male counterparts to take risks. And, above all, it is risk-taking that makes corporate high fliers. As one male director put it: “I’m not paid to make the right decisions. I’m just paid to make decisions”. Better communicators It’s an overgeneralization, of course, but it remains true that men will more readily take the initiative than women. The female style of management leans towards consensus and conciliation. Women seem to better communicators than men-both more articulate and better listeners. And perhaps it is women’s capacity to listen which makes them particularly effective in people-oriented areas of business. In any mixed group of business people the ones doing most of the talking will almost certainly be men. But perhaps only the women will really be listening The New Achievers And, as companies change from large hierarchical structures to smaller more flexible organizations, the communication skills and supportive approach of women are more likely to be valued. It was predominantly men who profited from “the materialistic 80s”, the age of the achiever. But it will be women who achieve the most in the “caring” future.

CROSSCHECKING Which of the following points support the opinions expressed in the article? 1. women are as least as entrepreneurial as men. 2. most female managers prefer task-based jobs to people-cantered ones. 3. women tend to be more conscientious than men.


4. women who do succeed in business have to become more ruthless than men. 5. men aren’t as financially aware as women. 6. women are more likely to be the managers of the future than men are.

Look back at the article. Find the expressions which mean: 1. It’s to be expected 2. It’s not the same thing at all 3. It’s not always the case


Personal Development The Johari Window




FACEBOOK FANS DO WORSE IN EXAMS. Research finds the website is damaging student’s academic performance The Sunday Times, 12th April 2009. Jonathan Leake and George Warren

Facebook users may feel socially successful in cyberspace but they are more likely toperform poorly in exams, according to new research into the academic impact of the social networking website. The majority of students who use Facebook every day are underachieving by as much as an entire grade compared with those who shun the site. Researchers have discovered how students who spend their time accumulating friends, chatting and “poking” others on the site may devote as little as one hour a week to their academic work. The findings will confirm the worst fears of parents and teachers. They follow the ban on social networking websites in many offices, imposed to prevent workers from wasting time. About 83% of British 16 to 24-year olds are thought to use social networking sites such as Facebook, MySpace and Bebo, to keep in touch with friends and organise their social lives. “Our study shows people who spend more time on Facebook spend less time studying,” said Aryn Karpinski, a researcher in the education department at Ohio State University. “Every generation has its distractions, but I think Facebook is a unique phenomenon.” Karpinski and a colleague questioned 219 US undergraduates and graduates about their study practices and general internet use, as well as their specific use of Facebook. They found that 65% of Facebook users accessed their account daily, usually checking it several times to see if they had received new messages. The amount of time spent on Facebook at each log-in varied from just a few minutes to more than an hour. The Ohio report shows that students who used Facebook had a “significantly” lower grade point average – the marking system used in US universities than those who did not use the site.

“It is the equivalent of the difference between getting an A and a B,” said Karpinski, who will present her findings this week to the annual meeting of the American Educational Research Association. She has not yet analysed whether a student’s grades continue to deteriorate the longer he or she spends on Facebook. Some UK students have already spotted the potential danger. Daisy Jones, 21, an undergraduate in her final year at Loughborough University, realised the time she was spending on Facebook was threatening her grades-prompting her to deactivate her account.

“I was in the library trying to write a 2,000-word essay when I realised my Facebook habit had got out of hand,” she said. “I couldn’t resist going online. You do that, then someone’s photo catches your eye. Before you know it, a couple of minutes has turned into a couple of hours and you haven’t written a thing.” Jones is among the few to have recognised the risks. According to Karpinski’s research, 79% of Facebook-using students believed the time they spent on the site had no impact on their work.

Facebook said: “There is also academic research that shows the benefit of services like Facebook. It’s in the hands of students, in consultation with their parents, to decide how to spend their time.”


Activities: Debate/argument Small group discussion Positive uses of FB (politics, marketing, companies etc.) Security/privacy-threats-uses in general



Chat acronyms can be used within any of the following communication methods: - Online chat rooms (hence the name “chat acronyms”) - Online forums / bulletin boards - Instant messaging - Smapchat… - MySpace - Facebook - Twitter - E-mail messages - Text messaging - Handwritten notes

Chat acronyms are best used with informal communication. Some examples include chatting online with a friend, text messaging, or e-mailing a friend or family member.

It is not recommended to use chat acronyms with formal communication, such as e-mails or formal letters. This for two reasons: 1) The recipient(s) may not understand what the acronyms mean, and 2) It makes your message less serious, possibly reducing your credibility.

What do you think the following acronyms mean?





































Scenario 1: You are an accountant and you and your partner are trying to start your own firm. You have already spent a lot of money and have taken out a small business loan. There is some new accounting software that could make your job much easier and your work more efficient, but the problem is that the software is much too expensive after running a simulation of your monthly costs. You don’t want to take out another loan, and you aren’t sure what to do. Luckily, you’ve got a good friend who heard about your dilemma and offered you an easy solution: a cracked copy of the same software for only 10% of the retail price! You tell your friend that you will think about it and let him know your answer soon, but each day that you do not have the software, you are losing money for your company.

Scenario 2: You are the director of purchasing for a large company. You have a very good relationship with your suppliers and know many of them on a personal level. They frequently give you nice gifts, but usually something small that could be considered more as a token of appreciation. Recently however, one of your suppliers that you considered like a friend has offered you a two-week holiday at his beach house with your family, in addition to expensive bottles of wine, champagne, sports tickets, etc. You are not sure if you should accept this sort of invitation and/or what it might mean for both your professional and your personal relationships with this client.

Scenario 3:

There is a system of checks and balances that your company uses. He who buys only buys, and it is the responsibility of another colleague to enter the invoices into the computer. This system of checks and balances exists to make sure that nobody is stealing from the company by entering false invoices. Recently, you discovered that your superior was handling all aspects of sales, negotiations and buying with a company based in California that sells a type of plastic. Upon further, investigation, you have discovered that your company doesn’t even use this type of plastic in the production of your products, which are chemicals. You suspect that your boss is running an invoice scam. You know that your company has an “Ethics Hotline” that you can call to alert suspicious behaviour, but you aren’t sure what to do. You are at the bottom of the ladder in the company and creating an uproar might end your career. After all, it’s your word against his.


Scenario 4: You are an executive with a large investment portfolio. You hold a lot of stock in the company Boeing, where you also happen to have a few former colleagues and friends that are officers. One night at the bar during a big football game, one of these friends had too much to drink and accidently let it slip that Boeing was about to land a very important contract with Delta. He shared inside company information with you that was not yet available to the public. The next ay at the office, you can’t decide whether or not to call your broker and buy more shares of Boeing while the price is still low. You could make a significant return within the next few months after the deal with Delta is completed, but you know that it is against the law to act on insider information – if you get caught, that is.

Scenario 5: You are an architect in a well-known firm in a big city. This is your first job. Your team has been asked to design a new bank, and this could be your first big contract! You spent weeks and weeks designing an ecofriendly bank with an innovative design and you are very proud of your hard work. On the day of the presentation, your team and your manager are ready to make the presentation. The client is very happy with the design and openly praises the team. When the client asks exactly who came up with the idea for this ecofriendly bank, to your surprise, your manager stands up and says the design was all his idea. In return, he negotiates the terms of the contract and gets all of the credit for your hard work. You heard that your boss is considering promoting him.

Scenario 6: You are a university professor at a very well-known private institution in America. You teach students who come from very rich families who make donations to the school for things like a new library, new technology in the classrooms, new fitness centres, etc. One of the students who comes from a rich family never comes to class, and has consequently failed his exams. His mother calls you to suggest that the school needs a new language lab, and she would be happy to write a check as long as her son “passes” his exam. You know that the school needs new technology for the language classes like French and Spanish, but you also know that this student was not motivated and does not deserve a passing grade on his exam.

Scenario 7: You are a doctor that works for a company that is developing technology in the field of genetics. Your most recent product is an at-home gene testing kit that can tell the customer which potential risks he or she might have for serious genetic illnesses. Basically, your product can act as a guide, but it doesn’t help anybody and it isn’t really accurate. Some people are angry that you are selling a very expensive, controversial product without any actual evidence that the product “works”. You are thinking that it might be a better idea not to sell a product that isn’t very useful because you don’t want to damage your reputation as one of the best medical technology companies in the field. But on the other hand, it is the only product like this one on the market, and if advertised well, you could convince people that they need this product and make a profit.


Scenario 8: You are a Private Food Inspector. It is your job to examine factories where food products are produced to make sure that the companies are following the laws and that the foods are not contaminated with illegal or harmful substances. You were called to inspect a large peanut factory in the state of Georgia that makes products that are shipped all over the country. The factory workers were informed that you were coming, so they had time to clean things up before you arrived. You are paid for your time and travel costs, and because you are a private inspector and not a government inspector, you will make a large sum of money for spending one day in this factory. However, you know that this inspection is not realistic because it was not a surprise, but on the day that you arrived, the factory was clean and everything seemed to be okay.

Scenario 9: You are a buyer of a large international condiment company. Each year you purchase many truckloads of mustard seeds. They are carried tanker lorries that are often pressurized and therefore very secure. Recently however, as the trucks were driving through the Netherlands, refugees have been risking their lives to climb inside the trailers, because the final destination of the consignment is near the coast of France from where they hope to stow away on a boat to the UK. Mustard seeds are quite expensive to purchase. This has been greatly affecting your budget because having people living inside these enclosed trucks with your mustard seeds has compromised their quality, thus you feel obliged to throw out the seeds and order some more (which may or may not have the same problem). On the other hand, if you turn a blind eye on the stowaways, you can still use your seeds and claim ignorance. The reputation of your company could be at stake, depending on your choice. There is a lot of pressure coming down from the top demanding that you reduce your costs. Your company isn’t in the best shape with the economic crisis. You know that it could cost you your job if you can’t reduce your spending, but it could also cost you your job if you are knowingly using a product of lesser quality.



1) Listen to Part 1 of Sanjit’s presentation and answer questions 1-2. 1. What are Bangalore’s key selling points as a location for outsourcing? 2. What presentation technique does Sanjit use to keep the audience’s attention?

2) Listen again and answer questions 1-2. 1. What two phrases does Sanjit use to prove his information comes from factual data? 2. What phrases does Sanjit use to explain the cause of a. Bangalore’s educational institutes having international recognition? b. Bangalore becoming the fastest growing city in Asia?

3) Listen to Part 2 of the presentation and answer questions 1-3. 1. Is Bangalore’s ability to attract industry a recent development? 2. What do these figures relate to? a. 25-28% b. 512 a. 64 d. 1,000 3. What is Sanjit’s final argument for investing in Bangalore?

4) Listen again and complete these phrases. 1. I’ve the background, so business facts. 2. You the breakdown of traditional industries. 3. As , this has earned us the name “India’s Silicon Valley” 4. Let’s some specific facts on the IT sector. 5. Looking it is expected that Indian IT services will continue to grow... 6. And more than 1,500 software and outsourcing companies... 7. , nearly 1,000 new staff are being taken on every month. 8. Before , I’d like to . 9. Investment in Bangalore dramatic, positive lifestyle changes for its people.


5) Put the phrases in 4 into these categories. a. Explaining effect: b. Moving from one point to another: c. Referring backwards: d. Referring to visuals: e. Concluding on a strong note:


American Idiomatic Expressions What they mean

1. Harry is looking awfully sad. I hear his business has collapsed and he is all washed up and his marriage is on the rocks.

2. They may not be millionaires, but they are sufficiently well-off.

3. His secretary said he couldn’t come to the phone because he was tied up in ameeting. 4. Will your father take kindly to the idea of you leaving college? 5. We need to pull together if we are going to finish this group assignment on time. 6. After Christmas, business in the stores really slows up. 7. Their relationship is so on-again, off-again. I wish they would break up altogether. 8. Keep your nose out of my business! This is private. 9. I’m going to kick around for a year after high school. I don’t know what I want to study at university yet. 10. The thriving business across the street is operating in the black, while we’re operating in the red. We need to fix this.

11. She’s got a great idea for a profitable start up. I’d like to try to get in on theaction. 12. My job is so stressful. I’m on the verge of a nervous breakdown! 13. You can’t make an omelette without breaking some eggs. 14. We’ll cross that bridge when we come to it. 15. Every cloud has a silver lining. 16. Every dog has his day. 17. If the shoe fits, wear it. 18. Let sleeping dogs/ babies lie. 19. Nothing succeeds like success. 20. It’s out of sight and out of mind. 48


Hybrids: Hybrids use two or more power systems, such as a petrol engine and an electric drive motor, to provide more efficient propulsion.

Electric cars: Electric cars use one or more electric drive motors, powered by batteries, for zero- emission motoring. Electric cars are recharged by plugging into the grid.

Bio-Ethanol: Ethanol is an alcohol-based alternative fuel made from biomass. As a popular alternative fuel, ethanol is typically used in the form of E85 to power flex fuel cars outfitted specifically to run on this blend of 85% ethanol and 15% gasoline.

Hydrogen cars & hydrogen fuel cells: Hydrogen cars are among the cleanest cars on the road, emitting oxygen and water vapor only. Hydrogen is the cleanest burning of all liquid and gaseous alternative fuels.

Autogas (or LPG): Natural gas is a clean-burning alternative fossil fuel that can easily power internal combustion engine vehicles. The domestic abundance of natural gas makes it a highly attractive fuel option.

Plug in hybrids: Plug in hybrids get high MPG, cover many miles on battery power alone, and include a gasoline engine to provide greater range as needed. Plug in hybrids are mostly recharged from the grid, but some plug-in hybrid models can generate electricity when in use.

Biodiesel: As a leading alternative fuel, biodiesel can be made from various sources including soybeans and biomass. Biodiesel can be used in most diesel-powered cars without modification.

Air powered cars: Air powered cars are relatively new to the green car scene. Compressed air is currently being explored as a viable “alternative fuel� to efficiently power car engines with little or no environmental impact.



In pairs of two or groups of four (teams of two) Choose two different models and try to sell them to each other. You have 10 minutes to prepare and five minutes to make your pitch. The most creative argument wins!!



What’s leadership? Discuss quotes... which one/s do you agree with the most and why?

List of 10 top leadership quote

1) Management is doing things right; leadership is doing the right things. Peter F. Drucker

2) Don’t tell people how to do things, tell them what to do and letthem surprise you with their results.

George S. Patton

3) Leadership is the art of getting someone else to do something you want done because he wants to do it.

Dwight Eisenhower

4) A leader is a dealer in hope. Napoleon Bonaparte

5) I must follow the people. Am I not their leader. Benjamin Disraeli

6) The leadership instinct you are born with is the backbone. You develop the funny bone and the wishbone that go with it.

Elaine Agather


7) Delegating work works, providing the one delegating works, too. Robert Half

8) Only one man in a thousand is a leader of men-the other 999 follow women. Groucho Marx

9) The very essence of leadership is that you have to have vision. You can’t blow an uncertain trumpet.

Theodore M. Hesburgh

10) The best executive is the one who has the sense enough to pick good men to do what he wants done, and self-restraint to keep from meddling with them while they do it.

Materials: Talking about where the next leaders are coming from. Talking about the leadership qualities of Mandela and Obama


Since the beginning of mankind every one of us needs and benefits from leadership, whether it’s religious, social, family, educational, governing, professional or business. The fact is that without leadership there is simply no direction or path for us to follow. Typically, when you mention the word leader, historical names spring to mind. Political or governing leaders include: Winston Churchill, George Washington, Adolf Hitler, Julius Caesar, William Wallace, Lenin, Nelson Mandela, Gandhi, Margaret Thatcher, John F. Kennedy, the list goes on. All of these names have left their mark in history, they have inspired millions to follow their example, in some cases with magnificent results and in others quite catastrophic. But what all leaders seem to have in common is summed up in a quote by Vance Packard (The Hidden Persuaders) “Leadership appears to be the art of getting others to want to do something you are convinced should be done�. You see whether we talk about Jack Welch and General Electric, Sir Winston Churchill, Nelson Mandela or whoever, there are a number of key leadership strategies or principles that you can take on board and implement to benefit your organization:

1) Become a great communicator-you may have a great idea but unless you can convince

the masses you are unlikely to succeed. 2) Understand and learn about the people you are leading-differentiate between delegation,

coaching, directing and supporting people within your organization. You must identify who falls into which category. 3) Be prepared for criticism-but stick with your core values and beliefs. 4) Stay focused-do what you do best-focus your energies on your core business. 5) Become an expert in your field-learn to do what you currently do better-own your niche. 6)

Cut cost and waste-eliminate unnecessary waste and your profit margins will improve.

7) Focus on time management-spend your time working on those projects or initiatives that

yield the highest return. 53

8) Embrace change-don’t fear it. 9) Become a leader,

act like a leader: source new ideas, encourage innovation and make sure it spreads throughout the organisation.


Earn respect and give respect to everyone who shares your vision and values.



Do you really want to be a chief executive? 1) You need to be sure you really want the job. About half of the 150 chief executive officers that were interviewed for the book “The Secrets of CEOs” said that they found the role “intensely lonely,” that the hours were long and that the responsibilities were huge, with international travel playing havoc with any social life they might have had. More than half of those interviewed said they had little time for family or personal Interests and passions. “We find many people are interested in climbing the greasy pole but really don’t have much of an idea what it really takes to operate effectively when they get there,” David Cumberbatch, the managing director of Xancam, a business psychology company, said. “They don’t really have a clear understanding of what a CEO does on a day-to-day basis, whether or not they would enjoy doing that and whether or not they have the skills to do that. Put yourself about 2) Max Landsberg, a partner at Heidrick & Struggles, said that 70% of what determines whether someone is CEO material is how they have performed at work. You need to prove yourself in a variety of roles andsituations. Many CEOs have changed roles, companies and countries regularly. They are Happy to move. Take a foreign assignment to broaden your outlook, Chris Bones Dean of Henley Business School suggested. Hone your emotional intelligence 3) “CEOs have to be rally good at reading situations, but equally good at reading people,” Virginia Merrit, managing partner of Stanton Marris, a consultancy, said. “What I think marks someone as real CEO material is the ability to understand ideas quickly and then talk with and engage people and understand very quickly how they will react to them.” “All good CEOs love people,” Mr Landsberg said.


Learn to communicate 4) “Good performers are good communicators. Outstanding leaders have the ability to communicate effectively across a very wide range of constituencies,” Mr Bones said. You need to be able to talk as effectively with shareholders as workers on the shop floor. Practise by seeking out opportunities tospeak. See the bigger picture 5) One of the things on which Mr Cumberbatch assesses potential candidates to be chief executives is “strategic ability”, how broadly people are able to think. Can they spot issues outside their department or company that might have an impact on them? Can they think ahead about the challenges andopportunities for the business? “It is no good looking at what the CEO does now if it’s going to take five years to get there,” he said. Find a mentor 6) Up to 20% of what makes a good CEO is mentoring and coaching, Mr Landsberg said. “Find people who can help you at turning points in your career or can help you find turning points.” He suggested finding a mentor rather than having one appointed by HR. (Another 10% of what makes a good CEO is formal training.) Network regularly 7) “Manage your networks. A CEO has to have a broader horizon that goes outside the business. And the only way you are going to get that broader perspective-how your business is seen and what the business trends are going to affect your business-is to make sure that you are out there in your networks. And you are seen in those networks and you are picking up information and bringing it back in [to the business],” Ms Merrit said. Stop dithering 8) “CEOs are decisive. Good CEOs are very able to make decisions. The right decisions,” Mr Landsberg said. This is something hardwired in our psyche, in his opinion, although others believe that you can learn to be more decisive. One thing CEOs are very decisive about is delegating, he said. Show passion 9) CEOs need to demonstrate drive for the company or industry they work in andnot only for their own personal advancement, Mr Bones said. Volunteer for leadership roles to demonstrate your drive. “But don’t dominate. People don’t want boorish of bullish behaviour,” he said. People who make it to the top are motivated to take high-risk moves to advance their career, Mr Cumberbatchsaid. Clean your shoes 10)“If someone forgets to clean their shoes, it would say to me they are not thinking, they are not paying attention, they have not thought through some of the detail. They don’t quite care enough,” Mr Bones said.


The top office -Average tenure of executives is 6 years in the US and 5 years in Europe -In the US, 38% of chief executives have MBAs against 16% in Europe -Chief executives work for an average of 3 companies during their professional career -The average age of European chief executives is 54, 2 years younger than the US

How important is each of the following for showing a person’s status in an organisation? Give each one a score form 1(not important) to 5(very important). -

a reserved parking space an office with a window a uniform a personal business card your own office a company car your name on your door having a secretary taking holidays when you like the size of your desk having more than one seat in your office flying business class a company credit card having to clock in (or not) when you arrive anything else you can think of

Compare your answers (French) to those of your teacher (British or American)


Posted on Harvard Business Review: June, 13 2011 3:30 PM After a decade of painstaking research, we have concluded that American firms are on average the best managed in the world. This is not what we—a group of European researchers—expected to find. But while Americans are bad at football (or soccer, as it's known as locally), they are the Brazilians of Management. Over the past decade, a team from Harvard Business School, London School of Economics, McKinsey & Company, and Stanford has systematically surveyed global management. We have developed a tool to measure management practices across operational management, monitoring, targets, and people management. We scored each dimension on a range of practices to generate an overall management score, surveying over 10,000 firms in 20 countries. This has allowed us to create the first global database of management practices. Here are some of our findings.

- Well managed firms thrash their poorly managed competitors First, not surprisingly, we find that organizations with better management massively outperform their disorganized competitors. They make more money, grow faster, have far higher stock market values, and survive for longer. Second, when it comes to overall management, American firms outperform all others. This U.S. dominance occurs in the manufacturing, retail, and healthcare sectors (but interestingly, not in high schools). Japanese, German, and Swedish firms follow closely behind. In contrast, developing countries like Brazil, China, and India lag at the bottom of the management charts. Southern European countries like Portugal and Greece appear to have management practices barely better than those of most developing countries. In the middle stand countries like the UK, France, Italy, and Australia, which have reasonable but not brilliant management practices.

- Bottom dwellers drive the rankings down While the ranking of countries is certainly eye-catching, the real story lies within the countries. Almost 90% of the cross-country differences are driven by the size of the "tail" of really badly managed firms within each country. Countries like the U.S. that excel have hardly any badly managed firms, while those like India that have low average scores have a mass of very badly managed firms pulling down their averages.

- Every country has some world-class firms But while there are many of these extremely badly managed, every country also hosts some excellent firms. Even bottom-ranking India has dozens of firms that use world-class management practices. A key takeaway is that individual companies are not trapped by the national environments in which they operate †” there are top performers in all countries surveyed. Conversely, being in a world-class environment like the U.S. does not guarantee success. Even in America, more than 15% of firms are so badly managed that they are worse than the average Chinese or Indian firm. What is the secret sauce of management success?


One of the biggest drivers of these differences is variation in people management. American firms are ruthless at rapidly rewarding and promoting good employees and retraining or firing bad employees. The reasons are threefold.

1. The U.S. has tougher levels of competition. Large and open U.S. markets generate the type of rapid management evolution that allows only the best-managed firms to survive. 2. Human capital is important. America traditionally gets far more of its population into college than other nations. 3. The U.S. has more flexible labour markets. It is much easier to hire and fire employees. Many developing-country firms, even while trying to implement new techniques like Lean Management, ignore the fact that labour is different from other "inputs." Many of the Chinese firms surveyed did not even employ managers who spoke the same language as the workers, relying on interpreters or basic signlanguage for communication. As you can imagine, this does not lead to a feeling of mutual support between management and workers. But the U.S. should not be complacent. Other countries equal or better the U.S. in some of the other areas of management we examined, such as careful monitoring, lean production, and sensible targets. The manufacturing prowess of Germany, which has helped it weather the recent downturn so well, is built upon such advantages. Furthermore, although Chinese management practices are well below U.S. standards, they showed the fastest improvement since 2006 of any country we have looked at.

- Changing the ranks and reaping the rewards What lessons emerge for others wanting to reach the top of the ranking? The answer is not for all firms to be more American but rather to consider some of the practices U.S. firms— and especially U.S. multinationals—continually exhibit and implement. Across all countries, organizations that properly incentivize talented workers, whether through promotion, pay, or other rewards, outperform others. As best practices spread and firms continue to implement these techniques they will narrow the existing gaps, reapinghuge growth and profitability gains. Š 2012 Harvard Business School Publishing. All rights reserved. Harvard Business Publishing is an affiliate of Harvard Business School.


MANAGEMENT PROBLEMS QUIZ: What sort of manager are you?

1. One of your staff arrives consistently late for work. He’s a good worker – efficient, brilliant and original – but arriving late means that he often misses the beginning of team meetings, or other people have to answer his phone calls. Doyou…

a. b. c. d.

write him a letter threatening him with dismissal if he doesn’t improve have an informal private chat with him where you suggest he pulls his socks up make sarcastic comments about his poor time-keeping in front of the team ignore the problem-he’s a good worker after all

2. There’s a member of your staff you just don’t like. She often openly disagrees with your decisions, and you’re sure criticises you constantly be- hind your back. Do you… a. b. c. d.

put up with her because she’s been in the department for 20 years transfer her to another department where someone else will have the plea- sure of her company increase her workload in the hope that she will leave have a personal interview with her where you talk over the problems between you

3. A new recruit to your department is not learning the job as quickly as you had hoped, and you consider him to be the weak link in your team. Do you… a. b. c.

tell him he’s not up to scratch and threaten him with the sack tell him your opinion and offer him formal training pretend there’s no problem-if you take action against this person, it may upset other members of your team d. offer him a transfer to another department where he may be more at home

4. You’ve noticed signs of stress in your team: people are irritable, com- plaining of headaches, taking sick leave. Do you… a. b. c. d.

offer to give them a pay raise take on more staff to ease their workloads try to do more of their work yourself carry on as if the situation were normal


5. Your divisional boss has asked you and your team to take on an extra project. You’re already working flat out on a current project. Do you… a.

explain the situation and ask for another solution


accept the extra work because you’re afraid to say no


accept the extra work because you’re ambitious and it could eventually mean promotion

d. tell your boss he must be joking-your people are under enough pressure as it is??

6. Your team is doing extremely well-you’re exceeding all your targets and easily meeting all your deadlines. Your divisional boss recently calledyou in to congratulate you. Do you… a. b. c. d.

take all the kudos-after all you’re the leader pass on the praise to your team and suggest they be paid a bonus ask your boss to set even higher targets hold a team party to celebrate?

7. An important customer has complained that one of your staff was very rude to him. Do you… a. b. c. d.

confront her during a meeting and then reprimand her in front of her peers fire her on the spot ask her for her version of events and take it from there stand by your subordinate and tell the customer he was wrong

8. You’ve noticed that two of your team are getting more than friendly. You imagine that there’s an office romance under way. Do you… a. b. c. d.

turn a blind eye get involved in the office gossip to find out what’s happening tell them to put an end to it keep an eye on the situation in case it has an effect on team efficiency

9. Your divisional manager has told you that your team’s performance is not up to scratch. Do you… a. b. c. d.

blame the team blame outside circumstances which are beyond your control take the blame yourself tell her it’s her fault for not giving you the necessary resources

10. One of your staff tells you he doesn’t find his job sufficiently challenging. Do you… a. b. c. d.

offer him more responsibility and empowerment in his current job promote him to a position of greater responsibility tell him it’s time he’s moving on tell him he should be happy he’s got a job at all 61

Management problems 2

Now that you have finished, add up your score and compare your results with a partner. Explain to your partner why you chose the answer, that you did, especially if you disagree. How to score:

1) a. 1 point

b. 7 points

c. 1 point

d. 3 points

Even if he’s brilliant and valuable worker, you’re not doing him a favour letting him get away with working in an undisciplined way-and it’s bad for the morale of the other staff, who might feel he’s being treated too kindly.

2) a. 5 points

b. 5 points

c. 1 point

d. 6 points

If she’s been in the department for 20 years, she probably has more « ownership » of the job than you. On the other hand, she may benefit from a change of scene. The personal interview is brave, but may be counterproductive.

3) a. 1 point

b. 5 points

c. 1 point

d. 1 point

All opinions except (b) may show weakness on your part. At least (b), shows a constructive approach to a human problem.

4) a. 1 point

b. 5 points

c. 2 points

d. 0 points

More money won’t solve work-related stress. The only sensible solution is (b), though you will have to justify it to your boss.

5) a. 6 points

b. 2 points

c. 1 point

d. 3 points.

c. 1 point

d. 7 points

The only sensible option is (a).

6) a. 3 points

b. 7 points

If your team is doing well, it reflects the fact that you are a good leader. The only absurd reaction is (c). Although taking the kudos is a very natural reaction in an ambitious manager, it can have a damaging effect on staff motivation.

7) . 0 points

b. 0 points

c. 6 points

d. 3 points

Option (c) is reasonable, but (d) is possible in some circumstances; some customers are wrong and need to be told so. Loyalty to your staff is also a good quality in a manager.


8) a. 5 points b. 1 point c. 0 points d. 4 points Surely this is none of your business unless passions start affecting productivity.

9) a. 0 points b. 3 points c. 0 points d. 4 points Your team’s poor performance can reflect badly on your boss as well as on yourself, so the best answer is to get her involved in actively finding a solution.

10) a. 8 points b. 3 points c. 0 points d. 0 points See how he manages with more challenge before doing anything else. You can’t move everyone every time they complain.

Results 1-18: You may not be cut out to be a manager and perhaps a little more management training would be useful. 19-35: As a manager your skills are average. You may get to the top of your profession, but not because of your skills in managing people. 35+: You are clearly one of those rare individuals-a good manager of people. Show the results of this test to your Human Resources Director and see if she/he is equally impressed!

Vocabulary: Find words or phrases in the quiz which mean the following.

1. amount of work to be done (question 2) 2. reaching an acceptable standard (question 3) 3. dismissal (question 3) 4. admiration that a person receives as a result of a particular achievement (question 6) 5. extra amount of money that is given to you as a reward for good work (question 6) 6. people who are at the same level in an organisation (question 7) 7. person in a less important position in an organisation (question7) 8. ignore something that you know is wrong (question 8) 9. stop it (question 8) 10. watch (question 8) 11. difficult in a way that tests your ability or determination (question 10) 12 moving to a new job (question 10)



Work in small groups. You work at the Central Bank, a British bank with branches in most towns and cities. All of your call centres are based in the UK, in areas of high unemployment. You must make a series of decisions which will affect the future of these call centres. Work together and make your first decision by choosing option A or B. Start at 1, then follow the instructions.


Senior managers want you to cut costs and improve profitability. In India, call centre workers are paid 5 times less than in the UK. You decide to... A. keep the call centres in the UK and accept higher costs. Go to 6. B. investigate more fully the cost and benefits of moving the call centres. Go to 2.

Shareholders complain that you are less profitable than rival banks. They are still putting pressure on you to cut costs. You decide to... A. please shareholders by closing some less profitable branches. Go to 9. B. organize a newspaper explaining to the public why you want to keep the call centres in the UK. Go to 4.

Your negotiations with the union have reached a crossroads. The union wants to reduce UK losses to a minimum. You decide to... A. keep just 150 call centre jobs and risk a strike. Go to 14. B. keep 400 UK jobs which will satisfy the union. Go to 5.

If you close the UK call centres, 1,000 jobs will be lost. You don’t want to cause unnecessary panic because you are still at the investigation stage. You decide to... A . be open about your plans. Go to 8. B. keep your plans confidential for the moment. Go to 15.

Customers are even angrier when they receive your letter. They don’t care what your motives are. You decide to... A. ignore the complaints. Go to 13. B. invest more money in staff training. Go to 3.

Union negotiations have been successful. Both sides have compromised. You have agreed to keep 250 UK jobs. The bank offers you a tough new mission which involves closing other unprofitable branches. You decide to... A. Accept their new mission. Go to 10 B. stay where you are happy that you have survived a difficult move. Return to 1 or end here.

The India call centre is now a success and complaints have dropped. However, an Indian worker now costs a third as much as a UK worker and soon will cost half as much. You will have to look for another alternative or think of other places where costs might be cheaper. Return to 1 or end here.

UK call centre employees have heard about your possible plans to go to India. They want full consultation with the union. You decide to... A. involve the union and discuss the plans with them. Go to 11. B. ignore the union and go ahead with your plans. Go to 14.

Angry customers contact Head Office and name you as personally responsible for the problems. Senior managers are happy to use you as a scapegoat. You are moved to a small branch in the countryside. It is the end of your ambitions. Return to 1 or end here.

A newspaper has run a campaign praising you as the patriotic bank. This is good for your image, but means that your hands could be tied in the future. Return to 1 or end here.

Your plan to close smaller branches will cost 500 jobs. This causes protest from the union and from customers who leave near the small branches. You decide to ... A. carry on with the closures. Go to 10. B. reconsider other ways of cutting costs, including the call centre option. Go to 2.

There have been three 1-day strikes in selected branches. You decide to... A. face up to the union and refuse to change your position. Go to 13. B. reopen negotiations with the union. Go to12.

Now that you solved the union problems, the call centre is going ahead. However, UK customers say there are often communication problems with the Indian based handlers. You decide to ... A. ask senior management to invest more money in staff training. Go to 3 B. send a letter to customers explaining the need to set up in India. Go to 7.

Going ahead with the branch closures loses the bank several thousand customers and gets lots of negative publicity. You lose your job! Return to 1 or end here.

Someone has leaked the story about the India plans to the union. You are attacked in the press as an exporter of British jobs. You decide to... A. deny everything and go ahead with the plans in secret. Go to 14. B. open up negotiations with the union. Go to 11.


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