Southern Candle’s Tour de France
MGB225 Intercultural Communication and Negotiation Skills Assessment 1
Name: Raya Korudova
Student ID: 9385584
Tutor’s Name: Ken Huxley
Word Count: 1606
1. Executive Summary
Possessing cultural awareness is of an extreme importance when it comes to doing business internationally. The European Negotiations Southern Candle’s Tour de France case study illustrates its significance as it points out a lot of intercultural, verbal and non-verbal communication issues between the French owner Mr. Durand and the American team of Mr. Picard. The intercultural issues include the choice of team members Mr. Picard does when going on the business trip, the business discussion brought up at social events, the duration of these social events, the difference between way and duration of making decisions by both parties and also the casualty of dress code of Mr. Picard. The Intercultural verbal communication problems are exemplified by the absence of basic knowledge of French greetings and courtesy titles by the Americans, the wrong perception of the business issues discussion, the light conversations at social events and Mrs. Dubois immodesty of taking compliments. The intercultural non-verbal communication issues consist of absence of translation in French on Mr. Picard’s business cards, incorrect usage of the “okay” sign, the amount of attention French pay to women in business and in particular Mrs. Dubois, as well as the absence of gratitude by Mr. Picard towards Mr. Durand’s hospitality. Through using mainly Hofstede’s model of cultural dimensions five of these issues have been analyzed and discussed further in the report. This model is very useful in classifying cultural differences; however, it has its disadvantages. The creator has used a sample of people working only for IBM around the world that could be biased. Moreover, it cannot apply well for all countries because of various specifications they have. Two of the five chosen issues are explained by Hofstede’s power distance and long and short-term dimensions. The next two are defined by Hall’s low and high context and monochronic and polychronic dimensions to exemplify temporal structures. Last but not least, Trompenaars specific and diffuse dimensions have been used to analyze further the differences between those two countries. Last but not least, four major recommendations have been made towards both parties in order to improve their business dealing- namely, preparing a structured plan, familiarizing with cultural differences, bringing more senior staff members on business trips and maintaining correspondence after the business meetings. 2. Introduction
As a consequence of the globalization process in today’s world, developing cultural awareness plays an important role when it comes to achieving any progress or success on international level. Among all the fields of interest that this key statement applies to, the realm of business does not make an exception. Cultural knowledge is, in fact, of immense significance to some companies when deciding on entering new business ventures with firms from various countries. Consequently, to illustrate the above concept, an analysis of the differences in the French and North American business culture and communication will be presented based on the European Negotiations Southern Candle’s Tour de France case study.
3. Identifications of Issues
3.1. Intercultural issues
Mr. Picard decides on taking Marge Dubois, his marketing manager, and a colleague from the technical staff on his business trip to France. The French business structure is hierarchical, therefore, the choice of team might negatively influence the business deal (Zheng, 2010). Mr. Picard brings up business topics at social events; a behavior that is not observed in French culture as they tend to separate business from personal relationships...
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