Cross Cultural Management 1


SKU: AMSEQ-058 Category:

Assignment – A


Read the following scenarios and see if you can identify the problem in each.


(1) George Tailor works as a supervisor for an engineering company in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. In the UK he had a reputation for speaking his mind and by doing so getting the best out of his staff. At the current project in Riyadh he supervises 12 British staff and nearly 50 Saudi staff. After a few months George has become increasingly frustrated by what he sees a less than effective Saudi team. Their lack of competence and slow work pace is worrying George. What should he do to try and bring the Saudi staff back into line?


(2) Jenny Rains had been assigned to the Paris office of his company. As a graduate in French and someone with a lot of admiration for all things French she was very excited. Upon arriving at the new office Jenny was looking forward to meeting all his new colleagues and getting to know them. While waiting for a meeting to begin she decided to initiate some conversation with another member of staff present, Mr Le Blanc. She introduced herself as Madame Rains and went on to enquire as to whether Mr Le Blanc was married and had children. Monsieur Le Blanc seemed distant and unapproachable. Why?


(3) Jonathan Manning has been chosen to set up a branch of his engineering consulting firm in Seoul, South Korea. Although the six engineering consultants that would eventually be transferred there were British, Jonathan is interested in hiring locals as support staff. He is particularly keen to hire an accountant. He is offering a great salary with excellent working conditions. He gets some names put forward through contacts he has in Seoul. After meeting with them he is surprised to find all of them turn down his offer. All preferred to stay with their current employers. Why?


(4) A U.S. golfing equipment manufacturer decided to explore the possibility of entering the Japanese market. They have arranged a meeting with a major Japanese firm to discuss a joint venture. Three representatives of each firm meet up in San Francisco. Following the initial introductions the men sat down at opposite sides of the table. After offering their Japanese guests a drink the U.S. representatives proceeded to take off their jackets and roll up their sleeves as a sign of ‘lets get down to business’. The meeting was unsuccessful and the joint venture never took place. What cultural faux pas did the Americans make?


(5) Nick Mills had worked hard to become the top sales representative of the IT Company he worked for. When the company received an invitation from an Argentinean firm to make a marketing presentation for them, Nick was chosen to go to Buenos Aires. Nick had set up an appointment to make his presentation the afternoon he arrived. Upon arrival he was met by the host firm who told him the presentation was postponed for two days to give Nick a chance to rest and see the sites. Nick insisted he was fit and ready for the presentation and pressed to have it that afternoon. Eventually it was put back to the original slot but Nick noticed that none of the executives at the meeting seemed interested. At the end of the meeting the Vice President suggested they all meet again in two days. Why did Nick get this reaction?


Assignment – B


Q1. Why do you think Comparative Management is important in today’s International scenario? How do you think that organizations go for it?

Q2. Why there is scarcity of right leaders in the corporate? Which type of leaders do you think is required by the organization?

Q3. What is Cross Cultural Communication, Why it is important and what are the barriers for Cross Cultural Communication?




Guns ‘n Things, Unlimited (GUNTU)

Kenny Katchem has been selling guns and accessories for years at his eighteen local retail operations in Baltimore. Business is always good during hunting season, and for the ten months afterwards when the woods become quiet again. Phil M. Upp, the personnel manager, is responsible for staffing the managers and clerks in all of the stores. Once every month on Sunday, all of the company workers get together at their hangout, the Krazy Klubhaus, located in Charles Village. Here they celebrate and fire their weapons. Since the club is in a sound-proof basement, well insulated and out of harm’s way, they have never had complaints about the noise from the neighbors or had to deal with intruders like the police.

All of them have permits for their weapons and know how to handle firearms. This is a job requirement since they often have to protect themselves from intruders who are not serious customers, but who seem to expect to be given guns even when they already have some of their own.

“Ditty” Doit, the sales VP, has been having trouble with many of the retail managers who don’t seem to be showing up for the celebration (i.e. sales meeting). The sales in these stores seem to be down, and the managers don’t appear to be concerned about the reduction in sales volume. Both Ditty and Phil know that motivating workers is the leader’s primary responsibility.

Therefore, they have asked you, a high-priced personnel consultant, to help solve what they think is a leadership problem. Should they develop teams, supervise them individually, or just leave them alone? What’s happening now it isn’t working? They tell you that the personnel in these stores are usually strong willed, like to do things their own way, and sometimes can get pretty insistent about it. A couple has even suggested they may revolt and take over the Krazy Klubhaus to start a new club of their own.

Upp and Doit want you to find the magic bullet that will restore the workers’ commitment to Guns n’ Things and bring revenues back to what they were like in the good ‘ole days. Therefore, he has contracted you at $2000 a day, to develop a leadership development plan for training store managers or finding new ones if need be, who can successfully lead the company into the next century. As part of the contract, they have offered to provide you with sufficient firepower to get the job done.

1. How will you develop your leadership attributes to train managers or hire new ones.

3. Use sound reasoning to justify why your leadership plan will work for this company.



Assignment – C


1. In Spain, the main purpose of a business meeting would be to:

A) Make decisions by discussing in the length the pro’s and con’s of an issue

B) Reach agreements by consensus

C) Brief the team on a decisions already taken

D) To point out the mistakes of others


2. During a break for a meeting between you and a group of Saudis, you walk into the men’s room to find a few of them washing their feet in the sink. You think:

A) They must have had smelly feet

B) They are simply freshening themselves up

C) Are preparing to read their prayers

D) They are in habit of keeping their feet clean


3. You are beginning negotiations with a Chinese company. From the start of the meeting the Chinese team show great humility and deference. You should think:

A) Such behaviour is a ploy designed to gain concessions

B) Such behaviour is just the way Chinese people are

C) Such behaviour shows these negotiations will be easy

D) They like to criticize people


4. A potential Mexican client arrives 45 minutes late for a business meeting. He/she:

A) Has arrived late on purpose to show that they are the party in the driving seat

B) Has simply arrived late as punctuality is taken lightly in Mexico

C) Has arrived late to let you enjoy your surroundings before discussing business

D) They enjoy making people wait for them


5. While in South Korea, you present a gift to a new client to thank him for his hospitality and to cement your business relationship. He/she refuses to accept the gift. You should:

A) Apologise for offending him/her

B) Insist he/she takes it until it is accepted

C) Offer it to someone else from his/her company

D) Wait for the right time to offer the gift


6. Your German colleague says about a proposal you have put together, “no offense, but this idea is ridiculous”. He/she:

A) is merely expressing their opinion and means no harm

B) is being blunt and has no etiquette

C) is being rude to undermine your position

D) Trying to show off themselves


7. You are asking a question of a junior Japanese colleague and he/she looks down and answers you. He/she :

A) Has something to hide and is looking for answer to cover their back

B) Is paying your respect

C) Is ashamed

D) Is least interested in what you are saying


8. You are the new manager in an Indian office. You ask one of your supervisors to move a desk and place it in another corner of the office. The next day you notice it has not yet been done. Why?

A) The supervisor was offended you asked him/her and refused to do anything about it

B) The supervisor could not find a labourer to move it and would not do so him/herself

C) Because things get done slowly in India

D) There was no desk in the office


9. You are making a proposal to a group of Japanese executives when you notice a few of them sat with their arms folded and eyes closed. They are:

A) Listening intently

B) Tired and catching up on some sleep

C) Pretending to be asleep to show you that they think your presentation is poor

D) They are not interested in your proposal


10. There are three of you interviewing an Afghani man for a position in your company. Of the interviewers, two of you are women. The interviewee only ever gives eye contact to the man and never to the women. This is because:

A) He is nervous around women

B) He is showing respect

C) He sees women as second class citizens

D) They are not beautiful


11. When meeting with the French in a business environment, which of these is best to avoid?

A) Personal questions

B) Eye contact

C) A formal demeanor

D) Humor


12. In Hong Kong, you and your counterpart share a cup of tea. During the negotiations you notice that he keeps moving his cup either closer to you or further away. Why?

A) This is a method used in feng shui to gage positive energy.

B) This represents how far away/close you are to agreement

C) This indicates nervousness and should be capitalized upon

D) He is nervous


13. During intense negotiations the Russian negotiation team keep pressing you on a particular point you absolutely cannot budge on. You have politely indicated your position to no avail. They are insistent. Which of these options would be most advisable?

A) Keep politely insisting you are unable to offer any leighway. The Russians will eventually understand.

B) Drag your negotiation team out of the room dramatically. The Russians will then appreciate concessions on this point are unlikely.

C) Concede slightly. The Russians will then feel they have gained some sort of concession and move on.

D) None of the above


14. During negotiations in Italy two of the Italian negotiation team keep taking phone calls. Why?

A) This is a sure sign they have little interest in your proposal.

B) This is a well know tactic to make foreigners feel uncomfortable and expose weaknesses.

C) They are probably taking calls from superiors; to not answer would be rude.

D) This is usual for them


15. At the end of a successful negotiation meeting with a Pakistani firm, the owner suggests you all end the day with an alcoholic drink. What should you do?

A) Under no circumstances take up the offer.

B) All Muslims do not drink alcohol and this is a test of your character

C) Accept the offer and enjoy the evening.

D) None of the above


16. Upon being met at the office of a potential Indonesian client you are met with very personal questions about your job, education and salary. Why?

A) These questions are just part of the getting to know you process.

B) These questions are meant to establish your rank.

C) “These questions are thought to be of importance in your own country, so are being asked out of politeness.”

D) You want to relationship with the person


17. During negotiations in Japan you try to confirm a point by asking, Do you not want this added to the agreement? You are answered with a ‘yes’, so you keep it within the agreement. At a later date you find the Japanese are upset that this was added to the agreement. Why?

A) “The Japanese answer positively to negative questions, so they actually meant ‘no’.”

B) “Yes’ can sometimes mean ‘maybe’. In this case the Japanese team wanted to think about it so answered ‘yes’ meaning, ‘let us think about it and check with us at the next meeting’.”

C) “The Japanese assumed you knew they did not want it to form part of the agreement, and answered ‘yes’, meaning ‘yes you are right in thinking we do not want it within the agreement’.”

D) Their behavior is unpredictable


18. At the end of your negotiations with a Chinese firm, the negotiation team suddenly demands you drop your prices or they may have to pull out of any agreement. What should you do?

A) Stand firm. They are merely trying to test your resolve and gain some last minute concessions.

B) Ask for time to speak to your superiors.

C) Agree. The Chinese would not do so unless there is a good reason due to the need to save ‘face’

D) Wait for them to take the action


19. Which of these statements is true?

A) German decision making can be very slow.

B) Germans take a casual approach to punctuality.

C) Germans expect humour in a business context.

D) Germans are very open to accept others opinion


20. Your company has been negotiating with a company in Argentina for 3 months. The next round of negotiations is set to be the final meeting, with all sides aiming for an agreement. The negotiator that had been dealing with Argentina is taken ill and cannot travel. A replacement is briefed and sent to clinch the deal. He returns empty handed. Why?

A) The Argentine company were simply offended because they assumed your company was not taking the corporate relationship seriously by sending in a new negotiator.

B) In Argetina personal relationships are valued more than corporate ones. The negotiations failed because the new negotiator was unknown.

C) “In Argentina, the belief is that if illness gets in the way of business it is a bad omen.”

D) Nothing can be said


21. Criticism of staff in Argentina should always be carried out..

A) In private to avoid loss of face

B) In front of others to display your authority

C) Outside the office in a social situation

D) Only at the time of mistake and never again


22. Which is more important in Argentina?

A) Truth

B) Politeness

C) Leadership

D) Position


23. Who are the decision makers in most Indian businesses with relation to negotiations?

A) The manager dealing with you

B) The head of the family

C) The negotiation team

D) Any family member


24. If interviewing Indian candidates for a job, which of these is not advisable?

A) Asking them about their family life

B) Asking them about their education

C) Asking them about their career aspirations

D) Asking them about their religion and caste


25. When meeting an Indian business woman for the first time you should…?

A) Refrain from smiling and look to the ground out of respect

B) Greet her with the ‘namaste’

C) Wait to see how she greets you and reciprocate accordingly

D) Avoid her till she take she initiatives


26. When giving instructions to Indian staff in your office it is recommended that you..

A) Write them down and distribute them

B) Call a casual group meeting

C) Approach people individually

D) Can tell them on phone


27. Which of these best describes Indian society?

A) Meritocratic

B) Hierarchical

C) Egalitarian

D) Nothing can be said


28. While delegating tasks to an Indian colleague your questions are all responded to with a ‘yes’. This means…

A) He/She is being respectful

B) He/She understands fully

C) He/She will do exactly as you ask

D) Its difficult to understand their response as they are very diplomatic


29. A person’s status is determined by…

A) “Personal contacts, number of children and size of house”

B) “Job title, salary and knowledge of languages”

C) “Family background, caste, age and job title”

D) ” His performance in the organization



30. Tough, non-compromising negotiators are the most respected?

True False

31. Japanese often send money to bereaved friends as an expression of sympathy

True False


32. Armenians and Georgians belong to the same language family

True False


33. Shaking hands with women is acceptable in Indonesia

True False


34. Number 4 is considered lucky in Japan

True False


35. Eating with left hand is taboo in Saudi Arabia

True False


36. Brazilians usually wear black shoes in the offices

True False


37. Japanese and Chinese can read each other`s newspapers

True False


38. White flowers in Japan are given at funerals

True False


39. Mexicans are supposed to keep their hands on the table during a meal

True False


40. In Britain you tip your plate away from you when eating soup

True False



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