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In this discussion we will prepare by reviewing the ‘Exception or no Exception’ Case. This case involves the cultural dim


In this discussion we will prepare by reviewing the ‘Exception or no Exception’ Case.  This case involves the cultural dim

In this discussion we will prepare by reviewing the “Exception or no Exception” Case.  This case involves the cultural dimension of rules (universalism) versus relationships (particularism). Once you have reviewed this case, post discussions with others in the class.  You should include postings related to the following questions:

  1. If you were the general manager of the insurance company, would you give the customer a loan exception to his policy?  Or not give the exception?  Why or why not?
  2. How does this case illustrate that functional departments such as accounting and sales hold different cultural values?
  3. How does this case illustrate that the vision and mission of a company may have cultural dilemmas in the day-to-day provision of customer service?  (A cultural dilemma involves stakeholders who hold different cultural values in issues such as the customer requesting a loan exception to his policy?)

Insurance Loan: Exception? No exception? : Case Study

The Merging of Cultural Values

By being able to identify each group or organization’s values we can begin to unravel the dilemmas managers face. Our case begins with Jim and an Insurance and Loan company.

Jim is a local elected official with considerable influence within the local community. He has a long history with the financial services company and his business is valued.

Jim needs a loan to help with a cash flow gap. He walks into a sales office of the insurance company and requests an exception to the existing loan limit on his existing insurance policy

I am longstanding customer and getting this exception should be no problem at all.

(c) 2016 Institute for Culture and Adaptive Leadership, Inc.

Jim meets with his sales agent. He explains that he wants an exception to the loan amount on his policy.

Cathy, Jim’s agent, explains that the former financial services company has merged with a government- owned bank.

Processes are changing and with the merger, all exceptions must now be approved by the new Accounting Manager and the Sales Manager.

Cathy assures Jim, she will walk his request through the process.

(c) 2016 Institute for Culture and Adaptive Leadership, Inc.

Cathy speaks with the accounting manager to request the loan exception on Jim’s policy.

The Accounting Manager explains that no exceptions will be made. Jim’s request must be denied.

Cathy thinks this is not good and this decision will alienate Jim, a valued client. She proceeds to the Sales Manager’s office.

(c) 2016 Institute for Culture and Adaptive Leadership, Inc.

The Sales Manager understands Jim is a valued, long standing client.

Jim’s request for the exception is approved.

(c) 2016 Institute for Culture and Adaptive Leadership, Inc.

Cathy is now confused and troubled because she got different answers from the two managers.

Cathy decides to approach the General Manager.

There appears to be a dilemma regarding how Jim’s request is to be handled.

(c) 2016 Institute for Culture and Adaptive Leadership, Inc.

Upon hearing Cathy’s appeal, the General Manager decides to discuss the issue at the weekly operations meeting.

The Accounting and Sales Managers explain the situation during the meeting.

(c) 2016 Institute for Culture and Adaptive Leadership, Inc.

The general manager wants to resolve the dilemma and work it out during the meeting.

As a team, he asks, how will the case of the customer loan exception requests be handled moving forward?

Do the rules apply across the board or are there exceptions to rules made for certain people?

(c) 2016 Institute for Culture and Adaptive Leadership, Inc.

The Sales Manager and the Accounting Manager each explain their rationale for the decision they made to the other Managers.

(c) 2016 Institute for Culture and Adaptive Leadership, Inc.

The Sales Manager justifies his decision to approve the exception to the loan because of the past and possibility of a continued relationship with Jim. He has been a valued client. Hopefully he will continue as one.

The Accounting Manager explains that rules are important and apply to everyone. Rules cannot be modified to meet the needs of one client. How will people know what to expect or how to handle the situation?

We will be the leader in our region in providing quality financial solutions which exceed our

customers’ expectations.

(c) 2016 Institute for Culture and Adaptive Leadership, Inc.

The general manager points to the banner and asks both Managers to explain their decision in terms of the company Vision.

We will be the leader in our region in providing quality financial solutions which exceed our

customers’ expectations.

(c) 2016 Institute for Culture and Adaptive Leadership, Inc.

What would you do?

Approved! Not approved!

(c) 2016 Institute for Culture and Adaptive Leadership, Inc.

Cultural Dimensions

Universal versus Particular

• Rules or Relationships?

Individual versus Collective

• Self or Society?

Achievement versus Ascription

• What you do or who you are?

Specific versus Diffuse

• Limited or Open?

Neutral versus Affective

• No Emotion or Emotion?

Synchronic versus Sequential

• No agenda or agenda?

Internal versus External

• We control or Fate?

Options

Give the exception.

Not give the exception.

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