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Cross‐cultural challenges for a global maritime enterprise

Gary A. Lombardo (Center for Maritime Studies and United States Merchant Marine Academy, Kings Point, New York, USA)

Cross Cultural Management: An International Journal

ISSN: 1352-7606

Article publication date: 25 October 2011




The purpose of this paper is to present a hypothetical case study which provides an opportunity for students to conduct realistic business analysis applying subject material related to cross‐cultural issues presented in the international business, international management and management courses.


The hypothetical case study requires students to review and analyze cross‐cultural issues related to the appointment of the senior executive for a foreign office of a global business enterprise. A hypothetical Chinese maritime enterprise and its publicly‐traded subsidiary are profiled. Cross‐cultural considerations come into play as the senior executive for two foreign offices must be appointed.


The case reflects refinements based upon its use during the past few years. Students are provided a realistic experiential exercise. Student feedback indicates a heightened sensitivity to cross‐cultural considerations that transcends their assigned textbook readings and traditional testing.

Research limitations/implications

As with any classroom exercise, differences do exist with “real‐world” business practice. Students do not fully appreciate the pressures and tensions experienced by business professionals with respect to recruiting, selecting, appointing and developing a senior executive for a foreign office assignment.

Practical implications

The case study provides an experiential exercise for students to apply theories and concepts learned from the textbook and the instructor's lectures.


The case study offers a complex view of myriad cross‐cultural considerations inherent in an international business firm, providing value to instructors and students as it reinforces discipline theories and concepts in a meaningful way, creating an active learning environment fostering academic excellence.



Lombardo, G.A. (2011), "Cross‐cultural challenges for a global maritime enterprise", Cross Cultural Management: An International Journal, Vol. 18 No. 4, pp. 485-498.



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2011, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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