Ask an Expert
Legacy Scholar Grant
The Page Center will award grants to support scholars and professionals making important contributions to knowledge, practice or public understanding of ethics and resposibility in public communication or other principles of Arthur W. Page.
Penn State Live
2. Interviewer: During that time, McCormick acquired a lot of international corporations making them exceptionally huge corporation with subsidiaries across the globe. How did you bridge the cultural gap that existed with each international acquisition, so that any action you recommended resonated with that specific target market?
Felton: That’s a good point. I think a lot of companies make the mistake of thinking because this is the way we do it at McCormick it’s the best way to do it anywhere. And we easily could have made a mistake because we for years had bought spices and dealt with spice dealers all around, you know, and we ended up with 85 locations around the world. So we were in many cultures many things. The smart thing they did, and it’s because they had a strong feel that the person on the job knows the best how to do the job, so we always kept a native of that culture in the lead position at every one of our subsidiaries overseas. The number two-guy was someone from McCormick well trained in our policies, on ethics, on our financial policies, how we do business, so we had a strong number two-person who took care of all the McCormick interest but by having the leader from that culture in that lead position we never missed a holiday and we didn’t mess up on cultural things that can be so awkward, particularly when you are dealing with food because that’s a very cultural sensitive area and we didn’t want to stub our toes with the wrong spice at the wrong time.