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Scenario 1: A European Crisis for Coca Cola
The situation: Review the two articles for Scenario I in this week’s Learning Resources. Imagine that you are an intercultural communication consultant (ICC) entering the Coca Cola Headquarters in Atlanta one month after the first four Belgian children claim they are ill due to consuming Coke products. You are there for another job but are invited into the meeting that is analyzing the handling of this crisis.
To prepare for your Assignment, consider the following:
• Former Coke CEO Robert Goizueta states, “Business will be the institution of the future. It’s the only global institution” (Greising, 1998, p. 145). Is this accurate? What implications does this have for ICC? • All businesses working across national borders deal with conflicts between corporate culture and the national cultures in which they operate. How would you recommend translating the corporate culture of Coca Cola to the national Belgian culture? • Leaders are symbolic representatives. What recommendations would you have for the CEO, Doug Ivester? • How does the fact that Coca Cola has more revenue per year than the gross domestic product (GDP) of two thirds of all the world’s countries play a role in how they operate in a crisis? • What additional questions would you ask or what additional information would you need in order to give the most effective recommendations?
Your Task: Analyze the countries affected by this product issue. Consider how you would advise the leaders of Coca Cola on how they should have approached the situation from an intercultural communication perspective in order to have minimized the impact on sales and satisfied the needs of the countries affected. Provide recommendations of how Coca Cola could handle similar situations in the future more effectively. Cite at least two of the theories/tools from your Learning Resources to support your recommendations.
References: Greisling, D. (1998). I’d like the world to buy a Coke: The life and leadership of Roberto Goizueta. New York, NY: John Wiley and Sons, Inc.
Gladwell, M (1999). Is the Belgian Coca-Cola hysteria the real thing? The New Yorker, 75 (18), 24