Essay Sample about Internship at Stuart Skin Care Company

Published: 2022-03-11 17:19:51
Essay Sample about Internship at Stuart Skin Care Company
Type of paper:  Essay
Categories: Management Human Resources Internship
Pages: 7
Wordcount: 1663 words
14 min read

Part 1: Prescriptive Case Analysis

Summer Internships at Stuart Skin Care Company: Where Obedience is Rewarded as Individual Performance

Obedience to senior members of staff should not be rewarded or incentivized, especially in the context of competitive business. There are two major reasons why this should not be so. First, it is a fact that rewarding obedience will motivate employees to blindly follow their bosses' commands and may in the long run have a negative impact on the company. Secondly, rewarding obedience is most likely to motivate junior employees to follow their bosses without taking an initiative.

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Managers, like everyone else in a company, can make mistake. The managers are also likely to make improper judgment that can jeopardize the welfare of the company. If employees are given incentive for obeying, they are likely to follow their superiors' instructions even when they are wrong. An example is when a manager at Stuart Skin Care Company in Hong Kong steals from the firm and bribes interns with gifts to buy their silence. The manager steals merchandise and gives it to relatives and friends for free or at reduced price. It is an ethical situation that warrants debate. For example, if company rewards obedience at all times, it will create an organization culture where employees lack initiative.

Alternative Strategies

First, the obedience reward policy can be expunged to find other ways to appreciate performance. Second, the reward obedience policy can be modified by aligning it to the cultural dimensions theory. For example, obedience is a mandatory cultural requirement in the Chinese society. As such, it should not be tied to the organization as a performance policy.

Table 1: Obedience in a company

Arguments for not Obeying Managers at all times Arguments for current or Modified Obedience in the Workplace

Obedience is something that is not celebrated as a virtue in other cultures, such as in the West. Thus, rewarding it is not an initiative that should be encouraged (Jondle and Mitchell 31).

Well established brands pride themselves for being accountable and doing what is right. Therefore, rewarding obedience should not make employees hurt the company's brand by violating the stipulated policies.

Stuart Skin Care's move to reward employees' obedience should take into consideration the different cultures in the company's environment of operations. For example, Milgram shows how dangerous it is to obey cold commands from impersonal persons just because the notion of science and progress has been proved to be true (11). In the long run, this may endanger one's life.

Accordingly, normative opinions from different scholars, especially on organization culture and leadership, discourage overreliance on authority obedience. Experts advocate for independent reasoning and problem solving within an organization. Thus, Stuart should reward obedience so long as it falls within the company's policy of rewarding employees (Minkov 17).

Instead of rewarding obedience, Stuart Skin Care should enact policies that uphold negotiations instead of allowing managers to give friends and relatives merchandise for free or at reduced price. The move may lead to a conflict of interests, especially for the organizational framework of checks and balances. Obedience is a phenomenon that is highly valued in the cultures of Southeast Asia where Hong Kong is situated and where Stuart Skin Care products are being sold. This is true as pointed out in the works of which Hofstede (6). Hofstede is an expert in cultural differences across the world. The scholar found out that people from China, especially Guangzhou, score high on measures of Power Distance and relatively low on issues pertaining to uncertainty avoidance. In this society, high power distance shows that authority, especially among managers, is respected by juniors irrespective of what they do. Such power is distributed and exercised unequally from top to bottom. As an intern from a different culture, I was expected to keep quiet, leading to an ethical situation.

Reward of obedience should expunged from the policy as junior employees are likely to trade with it in exchange for rewards and other benefits. The move will result in what is referred to as token obedience. Subordination of a particular employee's ethical standards to those of their counterparts is a phenomenon that is exhibited throughout the world.


Stuart Skin Care Company should acknowledge the fact that its business operations take place in different territories across the world. As such, the company is bound to encounter different cultures. It is true, as noted by Hofstede, that cultural upbringing has a profound effect on the way people see the world (18). This is especially so on the way they process information. Thus, Stuart should revise its policy of rewarding obedience so that employee would do the right thing by reporting their bosses even when they are wrong. This will prevent conflict of interests, especially where employees are looking forward to be rewarded by the same manager would appraise their reward.

Stuart Skin Company should ensure that the oversee business understands the Hofstede's cultural dimensions theory (Smith et al., 324). The theory prescribes to need to uphold to the society's culture. Therefore, the values that are likely to be exhibited by its employees will be followed without compromising the brand image of the company.

PART II- Ethical Relations Analysis

You are: CEO, Stuart Skin Care Company

We are: ETHO Ethics Consultants Inc.


Sought consultancy services on ways to proceed with whether to end the reward obedience policy or uphold the policy in a modified form with special attention to the cultural aspects in the South East Asia where Stuart Skin Care is situated. Below are remarks made with the managers and other employees in the event of the decision go either way. This is followed by a brief thoughts on how the analysis informed the intern's decision to quite or on what to do.

Employee Departments Option A: End the Policy Option B: Uphold a Modified Policy

Sales Managers As sales manager, we portray the image of the company not only on local landscape, but also on global perspective. As such, the move to do away with reward obedience policy is to ensure that we are not caught with the conflict of interest given that we are the same people required to appraise other employees to be rewarded. As you all know that our culture is that anyone who is judged by others as person who acquires benefits at the cost of moral standards will be condemned as one who does not want face. We call this in Mandarin as

"pu-yau lien" or a person who does not have face or in Chinese as "mei-yu lien". Anyone who does will have set aside all good deeds that defines a person.

Human Resource Manager As human resource manager, we will do away with the policy and every employee in this organization has to get concern with ensuring that that exhibits the right conduct by maintaining their hierarchical order in this organization. Every employee must therefore, pay attention by preserving others' face through reporting wrong motives, especially the face of their senior employees. The policy of rewarding obedience should be maintained. However, superior and subordinate relationship should kept intact as it is expected that junior employees are to be docile by not challenging their seniors openly to make them lose face. If the subordinates feels convicted that their superiors are doing wrong should best to do in private with the concern. By doing this, it should be emphasized that ideas to make profit is consistent with the organization mission and ideas put forward by the same superiors.

Accountants Accountant should ensure that they report any loses and should not cover sales manager who sales gifts to manager at a loss. Should report immediately without the fear of being reprimanded or fear of not being obedient. Remember, a good accountant is the one who ensure the company thrives by making profits and not the one who engages in creative accounting. Accountant should abide by code of conduct provided by law. The accountants are not supposed to engage in creative accounting in the name of covering for sales manager for the fear of losing obedience reward.


To avoid resistance from employees, especially from the superior employees, option B is likely to illicit a positive response. However, junior staffs will likely to have a positive response with option A.

Our Reasoning

In the Chinese culture, junior staffs are expected to be not only loyal, but also obedient and respectful to their seniors. Thus, power distance is phenomenon that is likely to result to ethical misconduct between junior and senior employees. This is because there is high power distance in the Chinese and the ethical misconduct is likely to be breached because power is unequally distributed.

On the other hand, the option A should not be applied to the senior employees given that there is what is referred to as low uncertainty avoidance. For instance, in these Chinese cultures, there is a considerable tolerance for ambiguity. This is a preference for loosely exercised controls. Cultures, especially where the manager comes from tend to dislike strict regimentation and formal rules.

Our Bottom Line

Stuart is global corporation with business entities spread across the world major cities. As such, option A should be adopted by paying attention to the Hofstede's cultural dimensions theory. Polices that are in line with the organization's place or operation should be adopted as a way to adhere to the society's culture.

Works Cited

Hofstede, G. (2005). Culture's Consequences: International Differences in Work-Related Values (2nd ed.). Beverly Hills CA: SAGE Publications

Jondle, D., Ardichvili, A. and Mitchell, J. (2013). Modeling Ethical Business Culture: Development of the Ethical Business Culture Survey and Its Use to Validate the CEBC Model of Ethical Business Culture. Journal of Business Ethics, 119(1), pp.29-43.

Minkov, M. (2007). What makes us Different and Similar. Sofia: Klasika i Stil Publishing House.

Smith, P., Peterson, M. and Thomas, D. (2008). The Handbook of Cross-Cultural Management Research. Los Angeles: Sage, pp.319-332.

Milgram, S. (1974). Obedience to Authority. New York: Harper and Row.

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