This case illustrates the challenges of cross-cultural leadership when a company opens a new subsidiary in a foreign country. Students are confronted with the example of a Dutch company, TOPdesk - a service management developer. The case is situated when they are in the process of opening an office in Sao Paula, Brazil and consequently having difficulty in acquiring personnel. The situation highlights a clash between corporate and country culture and students are motivated to think about the interaction between national and corporate culture, and the implications of differences therein. Possible solutions are looked in to from a Human Resource perspective, but the case is also useful for leadership students.

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RSM Case Development Centre

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Erasmus Research Institute of Management

Den Hartog, F., Ruijters, M., Bonafous, T., & Frings, V. (2021). TOPdesk: The struggles of cross-cultural leadership. RSM Case Development Centre. Retrieved from