Summary of the case The Charles Martin in Uganda story shows how companies can often be at adds with a manager who is managing operations in a distant land. The values and normal tendencies of a company can sometimes be interpreted much differently by the manager on the ground. In this example, we will look at how Charles Martin dealt with cultural differences of Uganda and the U. S. -based Hydro Generation (HG) Company. On the surface, the diverse culture could be seen as a turn off to foreign companies, but HG, with the help of Charles Martin’s life experiences and scholastic knowledge of the region saw an opportunity to grow in Uganda.
But at first glance this may prove to be difficult for HG. This was HG’s first pursuit of business in Africa ,so growing pains were almost certainly be felt. Like many African countries, Uganda has a tumultuous history. With the dictatorship of Idi Amin ruling with an iron fist, life in Uganda was difficult (Daniels, Radebaugh, & Sullivan, 2011). A diverse country in terms of religious sects, Christianity is the majority, though there is a large number of Muslims among many other religions (Daniels, Radebaugh, & Sullivan, 2011).
In terms of language spoken, English is the official language, however many speak only an indigenous language such as Bantu or Nilotic (Daniels, Radebaugh, & Sullivan, 2011). In addition the history, language, and religion, HG Company had to also take into consideration the tribal normalcy’s as well as business normalcies in Uganda . With the pending displacement of 700 villagers (Daniels, Radebaugh, & Sullivan, 2011), HG was now faced with its first major hurdle that most companies will face when expanding globally.
Uganda: Uganada officially the Republic of Uganda, is a landlocked country in East Africa. Uganda is bordered on the east by Kenya, on the north by South Sudan, on the west by the Democratic Republic of the Congo, on the southwest by Rwanda, and on the south by Tanzania. The southern part of the country includes a substantial portion of Lake Victoria, which is also shared by Kenya and Tanzania. Uganda takes its name from the Buganda kingdom, which encompasses a large portion of the south of the country including the capital Kampala.
The people of Uganda were hunter-gatherers until 1,700 to 2,300 years ago, when Bantu-speaking populations migrated to the southern parts of the country. Uganda gained independence from Britain on 9 October 1962. Language Uganda is a multilingual country. Forty of its living indigenous languages. Fall into three main families – Bantu, Nilotic, and Central Sudanic – with another 2 languages in the Kuliak family. English, inherited from the colonial period, and Swahili, which is regionally important, are official languages. There is also a Ugandan Sign Language. all of the Bantu speaking areas of Uganda, dialect continua are very common. For example, people around Mbarara in Ankole District speak Nkole and people from Fort Portal in Toro District speak Tooro, but in the area between those towns one will find villages where most of the people speak a dialect which is best characterized as intermediate between Nkole and Tooro. In recognition of the closeness of four of these languages (Nkole, Tooro, Kiga, and Nyoro), and in order to facilitate work in them such as teaching, a standardized version called “Runyakitara” was developed around 1990.
In south central Uganda, the Bantu languages of Luganda and Soga are largely interintelligible. Religion: Uganda is a predominantly Christian country with a significant (about 12%) Muslim minority. The Northern and West Nile regions are dominated by Roman Catholics and Iganga District in the east of the country has the highest percentage of Muslims. Freedom of religion is guaranteed by the Uganda Constitution but religions are expected to be registered with the government and some religions considered cults are restricted.
The Catholic Church, the Church of Uganda, Orthodox Church, and the Uganda Muslim Supreme Council (UMSC) are registered under the Trustees Incorporation Act and most other religious groups are registered yearly as Non-Government Organizations. Economy: Endowed with significant natural resources, including ample fertile land, regular rainfall, and mineral deposits, it is thought that Uganda could feed the whole of Africa if it was commercially farmed. The economy of Uganda has great potential, and it appeared poised for rapid economic growth and development.
However, chronic political instability and erratic economic management produced a record of persistent economic decline that has left Uganda among the world’s poorest and least-developed countries. The national energy needs have historically been more than domestic energy generation, though large petroleum reserves have been found in the west. After the turmoil of the Amin period, the country began a program of economic recovery in 1981 that received considerable foreign assistance. From mid-1984 onward, however, overly expansionist fiscal and monetary policies and the renewed outbreak of civil strife led to a setback in economic performance.
Uganda began issuing its own currency in 1966 through the Bank of Uganda. Prior to the failure of the East African Currency Board, Uganda used other countries’ currency. Agricultural products supply nearly all of Uganda’s foreign exchange earnings, with coffee alone (of which Uganda is Africa’s leading producer) accounting for about 27% of the country’s exports in 2002. The industrial sector is being rehabilitated to resume production of building and construction materials, such as cement, reinforcing rods, corrugated roofing sheets, and paint.
Domestically produced consumer goods include plastics, soap, cork, beer, and soft drinks. Major Cement manufacturers like ‘Tororo Cement Ltd’ caters to the need of building and construction material consumers across East Africa. Hydro generation: HG (hydro generation) is U. S based company. Specialist in power plants (dams). It values strongly built in the Christian culture. It has built plants 16 countries maintained an ownership an about half of them. The Uganda is its first anywhere in Africa.
Because their construction involves huge amount of capital and because many groups opposes their construction on the grounds that they typically displace large groups of people. HG wanted to build as many local allies as possible for its Ugandan projects in order to prevent adverse publicity that could lead demonstrations and costly work stoppages. Its employees have a high degree of empowerment, being fully responsible for their actions. There is no code of conduct concerning expatriates lifestyle, but its corporate culture was one that reflected the lifestyle of a prosperous international company.