This report was commissioned to examine the cause and significance of the current problems occurred at West Indies Yacht Club Resort on the British Virgin Island (BVI) between the expatriates and local employees. By applying the Hofstede’s cultural dimensions theory, the summary provides evidence to reflect the seriousness of the issues. Herein, senior officials were stuck with several problems, high expatriate turnover, tension between expatriate managers, increasing number of guest complaints and low employee motivation. The report would only focus on the former two which are properly the root causes of the whole management crisis. From the perspective of native workers, seeing the expatriates come and go is not uncommon. Some of them are managers, they come to work only for the peak seasons like December through July and then travel back home with never returning, six of them had been hired and quit in just two years. The high expatriate turnover rate was a vicious circle with the mistrust between locals and the foreigners. The vital gear in this cycle was the mismatch of management style, this can be explained by the cultural difference of power distance (BVI:78; US:40). Most expatriates came from US and they managed the locals with the same ways that they would have treated Americans. Hofstede’s review of the power distant is clearly shown during a conversation with some local employees and one of them says, “Things went more smoothly when Bill was around. He gave us clear directions regarding what we had to do for the day and we did it.” Obviously it caused more frustration to all staff, they were not communicating well and resulting in lower retention of foreign workers. With frequent replacement of senior officials, the company tactics won’t be consistent that performance would be severely affected. With the labour laws in BVI, the resort was not permitted to lay off staff without providing qualifying evidences, it was also under pressure to promote locals whenever possible. These policies are somehow the reasons that managers often struggled with under qualified workers, which brought increasing tension level between two parties. Another symptom can be reviewed from the cultural perspective, Steve Lucas was the fourth food service director in these two years with no work experience outside U.S.
He mentioned he enjoyed building friendship with customers in the resort, but rather preferred separate business and pleasure with his subordinates. From his word about “doing whatever it takes to succeed”, he came from an individualistic society. From Hofstede’s view on differences in individualist and collectivist societies, it caused conflicts during communication under various thinking mind-sets. Being a service provider, positive colleague relation is a prerequisite to create a pleasant working environment to satisfy all parties. The company needs to create an environment that labourers enjoy working with others, more communication is the basic way to establish connections. The company can organize gathering for example, to foster mutual understanding in the resort. Culture collision is a rising concern in many companies, including WIYCR. With the four main problems identified, the root cause is still about “people”, it may not be about whether they are qualified or not, cohesion lied the utmost importance for the good working relationship. A bad one leads to counterproductive working or even dejections among workers, increasing tension, high expatriate turnover. Top priorities should be put to relieve these unfinished business before making other moves to bring the company to a higher level.