Cisco Switches in China: The Year of the Manager

Darden Business Publishing Cases

ISSN: 2474-7890

Publication date: 20 January 2017


Jan Gronski, managing director of the Cisco China Research and Development Center (CRDC), and Ivo Raznjevic, engineering director, set out to establish a new R&D facility in Shanghai, China. This case focuses on the building of a culture through human-resource practices while describing such steps as securing an appropriate building, assembling a work force, seeking appropriate projects, developing managers, building teams, evaluating performance, protecting intellectual property, and managing growth. The case presents specific challenges that arise regarding talent management: How does a manager overcome dramatic cultural differences within a diverse workgroup? Should a local female employee be promoted from a test engineer to a development manager? How should Raznjevic help his newest manager through his first encounter with Cisco's ranking system? What action, if any, should Raznjevic take regarding a senior engineer who sent out a controversial e-mail? This material highlights organizational culture and offers an opportunity for students to learn to recognize and manage difference. The case could be taught near the end of a term to serve as a review of organizational behavior at a graduate level or in an executive education program focusing on issues of team-building, growing managers from within, and related talent-management issues in a global context.



Isabella, L. and Yemen, G. (2017), "Cisco Switches in China: The Year of the Manager", Darden Business Publishing Cases.

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