Assignment in Cross Cultural Perspectives.
As a result of possessing two very different cultural backgrounds (German, Uruguayan) we have chosen to select the most crucial points of cultural clashes between European and South American cultures and analyze both, the practical and theoretical issues which are involved. Due to the strict word limit, just three concepts are discussed in detail.
- The concept of Power Distance.
- The concept of cultural complexity.
- And as a cultural characteristic the issue of time.
The Kolbenschmidt AG, a German supplier for the automotive industry owns a subsidiary in Uruguay named Santa Rosa Auto Motores. Mr. Hedden, the General Manager from Kolbenschmidt is not satisfied with the recent sales figures from Santa Rosa in Uruguay. He decides to send Dr. LÃ¶ser, a very experienced and trusted sales manager with excellent Spanish skills to Uruguay, in order to replace the current sales manager. Seeing it as a challenge, Dr. LÃ¶ser accepts the job despite the fact of having no previous experience in the South American market. Mr. Hernandez, Santa Rosaâ€™s local general manager agrees to Mr. Heddenâ€™s plan after a fierce discussion regarding the introduction of a foreign manager in the completely Uruguayan staffed company.
At his first day in office he finds Mr. Hernandez absent due to heavy bronchitis and therefore introduces himself directly to his 10 subordinates. He is surprised that all employees introduce themselves with their first name. Due to his superior rank he decides, as usual in Germany to stick to his last name and title. He realizes that the atmosphere is tense but he is sure that this will improve during the first couple of weeks. .
He decides to ask the key account salesman Cesar Rodriguez to come in his office to discuss market trends and sales forecasts but finds him on the phone.
Dr. LÃ¶ser: â€œCesar, please come and see me in my office and bring the newest sales forecast!â€.