THE NEED FOR CROSS-CULTURAL ADAPTATION OF INTERNSHIP FOR THE CHINESE SUBSIDIARY OF DANONE
AbstractMultinational corporations with subsidiaries worldwide are challenged by the need to communicate with and manage people different in their beliefs, behaviors, cultural values. This paper is focused on the case of Chinese interns in Danone, France. Danone is facing a severe shortage of skilled workforce in China for that reason that the company is willing to “groom” professionals externally for their Chinese subsidiary by engaging Chinese studens in internship programs within its headquarters in France. Despite the high number of Chinese students joining the internship programme each year, only few of them demonstrate a willingness to join the company upon accomplishment of the internship. Therefore the task of this study was to investigate the reasons behind such poor motivation of Chinese interns to stay in Danone through an analysis of French and Chinese cultural dimensions, proposed by key researchers in the field, as well as the empirical research of Chinese interns dissatisfaction causes through qualitative and quantitative research. The study reveals the key cultural values and attitudes of Chinese interns that have caused their dissatisfaction within french management and demonstrates that there is a mismatch between the expectations and preferencies of Chineses interns in communication and networking, time management, job distribution and staff reward and other job-related issues and the way these are dealt with in Danone.
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