This is a topic of mainly personal interest to me, but my husband is being faced with some real life tough situations right now so I'm wondering if y'all know of some books/websites/pearls of wisdom about how Western employees can get along with Eastern bosses in the workplace here.
I'll try to illustrate an example without being too specific...I don't want to identify the hubby's company.
Hubby (American) works with a number of other specialists, all of whom are European or American, on a project that is funded and run by a local company. These specialists are among the best in their trade in the world, and as such are being paid extremely high salaries with terrific benefits, but all of this doesn't matter as much to them as the integrity of the project and their work.
The local bosses have no experience and limited knowledge in the specialists' field, and there is no person of authority among the specialists who can negotiate on their behalf on issues specifically related to their work. Because of this, the local bosses have made some requests of the specialists which are illogical at best and impossible at worst.
On one particular occasion, the bosses said "Do this" without outlining how or by what deadline. The specialists knew it was a pointless request anyway, but in the interest of diplomacy said "...OK, here's what we need from you in order to accomplish that." which was met with a terse "I am your boss. Don't tell me how to do my job."
They are now at a standstill on that issue, but there are dozens of others waiting to come to a head, and it seems that blocking proper communication on these things are primarily
1. The specialists lack of faith in the boss' vision of the project;
2. The specialists feel that the extra control the boss is wielding over them shows a lack of respect for their expertise;
3. The boss feels that the specialists (her employees) do not respect her authority, and therefore more control over them is needed to rein them in.
Fortunately, my husband has not been involved in any direct conflicts with the boss so far, but each of the other conflicts does affect his work. Is there any tactful and ethical way for him to bridge this divide between boss and employees? I fear that if this gets worse a significant number of specialists important to this project will quit (or be fired without adequate replacement), leaving the project at risk of collapsing completely.
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