Although Blue Ridge Restaurants had success with expansion and joint ventures in Australia, the UK, France, Italy, Brazil and Hong Kong through 1987, many differing factors were at play when Yannis Costas evaluated the market and strategy for the Spain in the 1ate 1990s. Factors described by D. A. Ball, et al, 1, considered relevant in a country screening and assessing market expansion, especially the xx screen, political and legal and the fourth screen, socio-cultural, were not favorable for an aggressive expansion in Spain.
The key issues in the Delta Foods expansion in Spain are:
Probe deeper on these questions:
1. What are the expertise strengths and unique resources that each partner brought to the joint venture? 2. Why does or doesn’t Blue Ridge need a joint venture in Spain? 3. Why does or doesn't Terralumen need a partner to develop such a business in Spain?
Environment for joint venture
* Peculiarities for doing business in Spain-failure to use value chain analysis What was the competitive cost position at the end of the value chain? * Terralumen is a package good company looking for restaurant partner * Market demand-package foods industry and non-tapas menu items popular with working professionals in urban areas only * Pressing Spaniards on American goals
* Spanish economic trials of 1998-2004
* Lack of implementation plan-see keys to resource deployment
* Fear of being exploited
* Explain uncertainty avoidance and masculinity/femininity concepts for Terralumen and BR/Delta
Cultural differences, as related to doing business, come into play here in the Blue Ridge case Study. Significant cross cultural conflicts between parent companies of different nationalities paved the way for the dissolution of the joint venture between Delta and Terralumen. In a Board of Director’s meeting, the American-Spanish joint venture partners could not work together or agree on common goals and policies, or resolve problems.
The Hofstede Model has demonstrated that individuals living in a particular country tend to share similar values, and that they bring these values to the firms for which they work. The stark contrast of cultural values between managers of Delta and Terralumen make it difficult to ensure the success and the longevity of Blue Ridge Spain
The European Regional Director, Yannis Costas, is of Greek nationality. According to Hofstede, Greece is high on power distance and high on uncertainty avoidance. In the Greek culture, people respect senior manager and would not prefer a young inexperienced manager. On the one hand Costas has put much effort into the joint venture and identifies with his work. That’s why he wants to help Blue Ridge. On the other hand, he has a good relationship to the Spaniards who value his ability to establish an interpersonal relationship which can also be traced back to his Greek roots. Decisions are made on subjective feelings and he wants a harmonious balance, a consensus. Overall, he is rather on the side of the Spaniards. As a Greek, Costas values the solid interpersonal relationship and trust which he and Francisco Alvarez had built over the years in trying to foster a successful joint venture. Costas was often employed to solve conflicts and mend damaged relationships. He also questioned the ethics of his company’s strategy to secretly achieve the upper hand in buyout negotiations. Alvarez, representing Terralumen, is from Spain. He shares many similar cultural characteristics with Costas, including patience and mutual respect. This explains how Costas and Alvarez have come to establish solid friendship and cooperation throughout the joint venture
* Avoid retelling the facts of the case...