I. Identification of Problems
With the development of economic integration globally, man is beginning a new era of global negotiation. Cross-cultural business negotiations that between business people who from different countries with different mentalities and cultures are becoming more and more frequent. At present, people gradually concern the problems, which are triggered by cross-cultural business negotiations. American Great Plains Foods was a manufacturer and marketer meat products that was founded in 1896. It grew into international company that people relied on for Great Plains’ strong brand. Comidas Gaucho is well-known Argentina food processor which was targeted by Great Plains look into forming an alliance for South American market. Peter Fuller was sent out as Great Plains representative to reach a cooperative agreement with Comidas Gaucho. Peter’s Argentina trip which takes place over a period of three days, is not as what is originally expected.
The main reason for the failure of Peter’s Argentina trip is that a lack of understanding Argentina business etiquette, as well as cultural differences. Peter ignored the cultural differences of cross-cultural business negotiations had a significant impact. Most of the problems in case are caused by the lack of understanding of Argentinian advance by Peter. For example, wearing a short shirt, Peter appeared in Ezeiza International airport is filled with people who are wearing coats, which is sufficient to prove that Peter didn’t prepare at all for his Argentina trip.
II. Analysis and Evaluation
The chart below is based on Hofstede’s five cultural dimensions (Geert-Hofstede, 2014). We can see one of the largest score difference is on uncertainty avoidance between Argentina and U.S. According to Hofstede, “Uncertainty Avoidance is referring to a lack of tolerance for ambiguity and a need for formal rules and policies. This dimension measures the extent to which people feel threatened by ambiguous situations.” (Hofstede, 1980) The UAI was designed to test how comfortable are people with changing the way they work on live (low UA) or prefer the known systems (high UA). With high score of 86, Argentinian senior managers tend to focus on the daily operations of the organization. They advocate conscientious with strict formal management system, the decision-making are must talking to the experts.
However, on the uncertainty avoidance, the United States at a score of 46 which is roughly half that of Argentina. American senior managers are willing to spend more attention to the organization’s strategies, the managers tend to use their personal experience and intuition to make decisions. In this case, Peter was anxious to make a showing alliances and intentions. Even Comidas Gaucho’ managers eschewing his proposal, or they cannot make such important decision in any time soon, Peter have tried to established the strategic alliance with Comidas Gaucho out many times. As mentioned before, Comidas Gaucho is a high UA organization which is like a precision machine, its parts match exactly an integral part of. The staffs in all levels of the organization are work in close conjunction with each other to eliminate uncertainty the maximum extent possible. However, Americans have consciousness of competition.
As well as they pursuing speed and profits, which created American businessman resolutely commercial style. They will try to shorten the time in all aspects of the negotiations, and strive to make each a negotiation can be a quick fix. The one true measure of how a negotiation process, is depends how many problems have solved. Americans have a unique sense of value for time: time is money. It is reflected in the use of English words, such as: Time is on, it is kept, it can be borrowed, it can be used, it can be saved, it can be spent, it can be wasted, it can be lost, it can be given, it can be killed, and so on. Americans’ schedule decide what they do, what not to do, and what need to be done first. Time totally weaving a network of American life, decisions and coordinates the relationship between the Americans. Peter was very dissatisfied with Comidas Gaucho representatives’ late, but Jorge is irrelevant.
Concept of time in some South America countries are not so strong, late for them is not unforgivable. According to Creegan (2012), “the Argentines descended from the boats”, most of Argentines are descendants of European migrants, with emphasis on British and Italians (Creegan, 2012). Thereby, Argentine business man generally pay attention to clothing, demeanor and generous rules. Peter’s casual attire is not perceived as appropriate in doing business. He also overlooks some other business etiquette of Argentina. Argentine are eager to share their yerba mate with the guests, but Peter shows obvious objection of the yerba mate, while Argentine would see this as Peter’s disrespect for the local traditions. Argentine run away from the controversial issues as politics and religion issues, but Peter discussed the sensitive matter “Falklands” with Jorge around their dinner tables. (Durrer, 2006)
People often think that others ideas will be roughly the same as themselves, but it is dangerous for cross-cultural communication. In the process of cross-cultural communication, the negotiator have to constantly remind ourselves that people have different cultural backgrounds, different customs. Peter must learning to observe Argentine culture, also need to contrast Argentine culture with American culture, in order to gradually improve his cross-cultural awareness. Patience is very important during do business with Argentine. Peter cannot expect the strategic alliance could be formed by one meeting. Peter could accepted what Eduardo suggested. May be Eduardo’s Iowa trip could promote the two companies’ agreement.
Creegan, J. K. (2012). The Argentines Descended from the Boats: Migration in Argentina Retrieved from: http://www.argentinaindependent.com/top-story/the-argentines-descended-from-the-boats-migration-in-argentina/ Durrer, H. (2006). Ways of Perception. On Visual and Intercultural Communication. White Lotus Press, Bangkok, 2006, ISBN 974-4800-92-5. Anonymous. (2014). What about Argentina? The Hofstede Centre. Retrieved from: http://geert-hofstede.com/argentina.html