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Interview with Willhite





You’ll hear a radio discussion in which a business consultant, Robert, and an industrial correspondent, Jane, are asked by the radio programme host what they think about the company.

A.Listen to the recording for the first time and tick which of the following general topics are mentioned:

– bureaucracy at work;

– staff promotion systems;

– management elections by the workers;

– the design of Semco’s factory buildings;

– the success of large corporations.

B. Listen carefully for a second time and mark whether the statements below are true or false.

1. The industrial assembly line system has a further 100 years’ life in it.

2. Democratic values of public life are limited in some countries.

3. Managers are evaluated by their employees.

4. Managers from outside the company are always welcome.

5. Employees have developed a sense of responsibility.

6. The associates just walk around the factory doing what they like.

7. Many companies have not survived the high inflationary period.

8. IBM has not been following Semco’s example.

9. Hundreds of companies have been eager to try out new ideas.

10. Corporate executives are eager to try.

a) Read the interview with Thomas Whillhite Can-Am’s International Vice President.

b) Act out the conversation.

Interviewer: Mr Willhite, what's your position in Can-Am?
Willhite: I'm International Vice President
Interviewer: You're responsible for export sales.
Willhite: That's right.
Interviewer: What type of company is Car Am?
Willhite: We're a multinational corporate. We manufacture and market sporting goods.
Interviewer: Where are your Headquarters
Willhite: In Toronto.
Interviewer: You say you manufacture sporting goods...
Willhite: Yes...
Interviewer: What are your main product lines?
Willhite: Well, we specialize in baseball and football equipment that's American football, of course.
Interviewer: You're competing against US Corporations like Donzis and Wilson. What's Can-Am's position in the market''
Willhite: We're seventh. There are six big American companies, and then us.
Interviewer: How important are your export markets to you?
Willhite: They're very important. Canada is a big country but a small market. 75% of our annual revenue comes from export sales.
Interviewer: 75% - that's very high.
Willhite: Yes, well we sell a lot in the States.
Interviewer: And what about Europe?
Willhite: The European market is very important to us. Interest is growing fast over there.
Interviewer: Especially in Britain.
Willhite: Yes, but also in France and Germany... Finland. Europe is a growth market. Interviewer You have a European distributor, don't you?
Willhite: That's right - Touchline Trading.
Interviewer: And are you satisfied with your sales in Europe?
Willhite: They could be better - our sales in Britain are good.
Interviewer: We understand that your sales in the rest of Europe are not so good.
Willhite: Yes, we have a problem there. But we intend to change that.

Task: Conduct an interview with David Clare, the president of Johnson&Johnson about the company’s sales in Europe.



Summarize the information of the Unit to be ready to speak on Company Organization. Use the following prompts as a plan.

– common types of business firm;

– advantages and disadvantages of each type of business firm;

– the role of the Board of Directors and Senior Executives;

– the most common departments in big companies; their responsibilities and subordination inside the company.

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