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Intercultural Incidents in Business Interactions

Case 1: Bob Mitchell's Experience in the Middle East

There are two examples of intercultural incidents (small case studies); these are examples of different behavioural and communication problems. You are asked to apply your understanding of relevant theories, frameworks and ideas and propose solutions to demonstrate the extent of your intercultural awareness in different business interactions. All theories and frameworks should be referenced correctly using the Harvard system. CHOOSE ONLY ONE (OUT OF 1, 2,) TO DISCUSS. Apply your understanding of relevant theories, frameworks and ideas and propose solutions to demonstrate the extent of your intercultural awareness in different business interactions. Case studies for S1: Case 1: Bob Mitchell, a retired military attaché with considerable experience in the Middle East, was hired by a large U.S. computer software company to represent it in a number of Persian Gulf countries. Having received an introduction from a mutual acquaintance, Bob arranged to meet with Mr. Saade, a wealthy Lebanese industrialist, to discuss the prospects of a joint venture between their companies. Having spent many years in the Middle East, Bob knew that they would have to engage in considerable small talk before they would get down to business. They talked about the weather, Bob’s flight from New York, and their golf games. Then Saade inquired about the health of Bob’s elderly father. Without missing a beat, Bob responded that his father was doing fine, but that the last time he saw his father at the nursing home several months ago he had lost a little weight. From that point on, Saade’s demeanor changed abruptly from warm and gracious to cool and aloof. Though the rest of the meeting was cordial enough, the meeting only lasted another two hours, and Bob was never invited back for further discussions on the joint venture. ? Where did Bob go wrong? ? How could you help Bob better understand this cross-cultural problem? ? Use intercultural theories to explain it and support your discussion. ? What would be your advice to Bob? Case 2: Stefan Phillips, a manager for a large U. S. airline, was transferred to Dhahran, Saudi Arabia, to set up a new office. Although Stefan had had several other extended overseas assignments in Paris and Brussels, he was not well prepared for working in the Arab world. At the end of his first week, Stefan came home in a state of near total frustration. As he sat at the dinner table that night, he told his wife how exasperating it had been to work with the local employees, who, he claimed, seemed to take no responsibility for anything. Whenever something went wrong they would simply say “Inshallah” (“If God wills it”). Coming from a culture that sees no problem as insolvable, Stefan could not understand how the local employees could be so passive about job-related problems. “If I hear one more inshallah,” he told his wife, “I’ll go crazy.” ? Where did Stefan go wrong? ? How could you help Stefan better understand this cross-cultural problem? ? Use intercultural theories to explain it and support your discussion. ? What would be your advice to Stefan? What do I need to do to pass? (Threshold Expectations from UIF) In order to pass Assessment 2 you will need to: ? Research and produce current data on international organisations to support your arguments. ? Examine the problems found in the cross-cultural management of joint ventures and mergers. ? Compare and contrast the distinctive features of different management behaviour across two different cultures and draw on cultural frameworks in your ana

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