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Cross Culture Management - Footwear International

Essay by   •  May 9, 2018  •  Case Study  •  2,261 Words (10 Pages)  •  830 Views

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1.0 Case Summary

        Footwear is an international company shoes which manufacture and design their own sandal and the company have more than eighty-three companies is seventy countries and a head office with different manager from different department. However, in this case, Footwear had faced a problem on the design of the sandal that the insole is offensive to Muslims. Different cultures and religion will have different orientations and the different culture is not suit for all countries. Footwear makes a mistake on this culture error.  

        Footwear also having its plant in Bangladesh and start in 1930. And in 9180, Footwear Company having the problem that one of the designs of the sandal had put “Allah” logo on the insole of the sandals. However, the manager claimed that the design is come from the mindset of a Chinese temple bells as the designer of the shoe is a devout Bengali Muslim that do not speak or read Arabic. Since Bangladesh population is comprised of 85% of Islam, moreover, the Islam is the official religion of the country, thus this rose up the politics and religion issue among the company.

        Furthermore, this issue also makes some of the extremist students to protest and charge the manufacturing company of being owned and financed. There are two groups of the youth students show a proclamation calling for demonstrations against Footwear.  The calls had been made for charges to be laid against Carlson and four others under section 295 of the criminal code.

        Other than that, a copy of statement that had been filed by lawyer, although there are no warrants form the lawyer. Also the secretary also informed that the prime minster was being quoted and calling the sandals case as a crime.


One of the problem in this case study is the company will face a sales problem due to the design of the sandal or footwear. As an international company, the design supposed be considered from all of the aspects, not only from their own perspective. If a company can be considered from all aspects, the company will increase the sales performance and can sell their product to all of the country in the world. Thus, its reputation and its brand will be enhanced to all around the world. John Carlson, Managing Director need to survey the knowledge from all nation to publish the new design.

The footwear or sandal will also face a problem when marketing it. It is because the extremist will use this issue in the political issue. The political issue will affect the Muslim country to boycott the product. If we are to rightly avoid the trap of thinking that all religions are more or less the same, "true religion" must have a different definition for any given faith. The problem is raised up by the prime minister was being quoted as calling the sandal incident as an unforgettable crime.

The next problem from the case study is the discrimination. Due to the different religion and culture, the truth sometimes will be interpreted to another view. For example, from the investigation in this case study, the supervisor of the company reported that the design of the sandal had been based on the sets of Chinese temple bells that a designer purchased in the local market. Thus, the problem need to be solved by collecting all of the sandal back to the factory to remove the discrimination from the Muslim and it can also increase the productivity of the products to the Muslim countries. This is the way to show the sincerely respect to the Muslim.

The main problem in this case study is the religion and culture are the sensitive subjects to the people from all of the world in the era. Different country has its own nation language, religion and even culture.  a Muslim’s country, the religion of their country is Islam and each of religion have different faith on their Allah. Also, the youth form the Muslim are willing to sacrifice their life for protect their religion. Thus, John Carlson as an operating manager needs to be more respect to other’s religion.

3.0 Alternative Strategies

1) Apologize to the society  

The first alternative to solve this issue is to apologize to everyone regarding their own mistake. They have designed a sandal which had the word Allah (God in Arabic) on the insole and this is an insult to the Muslim. Since the company is operating in Bangladesh, majority of its population consist of Moslem or Muslims. Therefore, they ought to apologize to everyone for their mistake although it wasn’t meant to offend them. Clear explanation and sincere apologize is needed to all the concerned parties. They ought to explain that the design was inspired by the Chinese temple bells and it’s not the word Allah. A press conference ought to be held to apologize to everyone and it is should be attended by all the accused including the Managing Director, Product Manager, and Marketing Manager.

2) Take down the design of the insole of the footwear

The sandal of the footwear that offended or insulted the Muslim needs to take down immediately. They should remove all of the sandals from all the markets. The production of the sandal with the offensive design on it shall be stopped. They shall replace the sandals with a new design. The Managing Director should be alert and cautions regarding the design in the beginning and also for the following design.

3) Redesign the sandals

After all the sandals have been removed from the market, the sandals have to be redesign. This is to show the sincerity of the company to the society that they sincerely apologize for their mistake. The Managing Manager needs to be extra careful the next time they produce a design of the shoe, which do not relate with cultural or religion logos. The designer should be alert when they intend to design a logo.  



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