Miscommunication with a Brazilian Auto Parts Manufacturer
The focus of this case study is on a businessman from America who is set to go on a trip outside the country with an aim of establishing a business with a Brazilian. This businessman is called Henry Williams, the leader of Lucky Auto Parts Company. Wally Astor is a son-in-law of Henry and the deputy president in the company. They have planned a business trip with an aim of meeting Alessandro Silva. Silva is an owner of a mid-sized company that manufactures auto parts in Sao Paulo. Their meeting is aimed at planning the mode of buying auto parts from Brazil directly. Unfortunately, there was a case that Williams had to contend in court that involved his company. The time of this case was set at the time when he had set a meeting with Silva. Therefore, Wally was sent by Williams to attend this meeting. However, Wally was treated with suspicion by Silva as well as Agosto who is his deputy because of the way he was dressed. Several lessons that ought to be considered by foreign investors before entering a business deal are incorporated in this study.
Commitment is vital when doing business at international markets’ level. It determines a company’s success when entering business deals. It is apparent that Williams had interest in a foreign market venture. He made a phone call to make a business deal and he was committed to travel to Brazil in order to finalize the same deal. However, his company was involved in a court case that hindered him from making this trip. Consequently, he sent Wally since he was responsible for purchases. A company can achieve goals if it is committed in its business deals. Commitment processes ought to be adjusted as per the objectives and goals of an organization and the entrepreneurial visions (Homann, 2007, p. 129). Through commitment, a company is able to accomplish each goal within the scheduled time because chasing goals simultaneously has detrimental effects on the success of a company.
Without proper communication, business deals are ruined. Williams did not intend to cancel the meeting that he had scheduled with Silva. This is because he had invested time and a lot of energy in booking this appointment. Nevertheless, he did not communicate with the potential business associate following the emergency of the new development. Instead, he chose to send Wally, the deputy who dressed informally while going on a business appointment. Physical appearance can be used by some people to judge others. This can cause misunderstanding between business partners. On meeting the dealers in auto parts in Brazil, Wally used casual language to address them. He behaved like he had met them before. Additionally, he failed to apologize on his boss’ behalf. Astor’s character did not please President Silva. However, he was strict with the words that he used. This behavior ought to be discouraged while dealing with a foreign investor.
It is important for businessmen who are interested in foreign countries’ investments to understand that their assumptions about business are not always acceptable to the people that they interact with. Rentz (2009) note that foreign business people may have varying views on punctuality, respect, emotions and efficiency (p. 512). There are people who treat others on the basis of their physical appearance or first impression. Mr. Ventura and Mr. Silva were surprised by the dressing style of Astor. They never imagined that someone could dress casually while going on a vital business meeting. Some people are uncomfortable while standing close to strangers while others do not consider it harmful.
Knowing the culture of other people is also important because it enhances interactions with foreign markets. Knowing foreign customs enables people to accept their business partners since they understand their own culture. Global level business requires understanding of the background of other people especially by managers in order to have the desired influence (Javidan, 2013, p. 506). Taking dinner at 9 o’clock is not late in Brazil. Most Brazilians like starting meetings with coffee drinks known as cafezinho. Their belief is that this drink facilitates lively discussions. They also do not like starting business discussions directly without proper knowledge of associates. Time is required for successful business deal undertakings in Brazil because knowing the partner for some time is usually the basis of business relationships according to the Brazilian culture (Asefeso & Asefeso, 2012). Before a business deal is started, people are allowed to talk about personal interests.
The owner of Lucky Auto Parts Company failed to conduct research in order to learn how international business is conducted in Brazil. The cold reception that Astor received may have been avoided by taking time to inform Silva about Williams’ situation and the cancellation of the trip. Williams did not call Silva and this indicates non-commitment. It also shows that American investors are not serious especially when it comes to deals with Brazilian businessmen. Making a call to Silva would have made him aware of the person to expect on behalf of the president. Since the trip was not urgent, Williams ought to have delayed it. Astor appears to have limited knowledge of the Brazilian culture. The assertion of Shrivastava (2012) is that understanding the culture of the other people should be involved in the establishment of an effective foundation of global communication (p. 58). Having skills for effective communication enhances the realization of the goals of any international business.
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Asefeso, A., & Asefeso, A. (2012). CEO Guide to Doing Business in Brazil. Swindon: AA Global Sourcing Ltd.
Homann, K. (2007). Globalisation and business ethics. Aldershot [u.a.: Ashgate.
Javidan, M. (2013). Comments on the Interview: Competencies Required for Working Across Borders and Managing Multicultural Teams.Academy Of Management Learning & Education, 12(3), 506-508. doi:10.5465/amle.2012.0246B.
Rentz, K. (2009). Making a Difference with Business Communication. Journal Of Business Communication, 46(4), 510-514.
Shrivastava, S. (2012). Identifying the Major Components of Business Communication and Their Relevance: A Conceptual Framework. IUP Journal Of Soft Skills, 6(4), 51-66.