Cultural Miscommunication Case Study

This case study had multiple examples of how a insufficient cultural recognition, ethnocentrism, and various communication styles can create poor first impressions among professionals from different countries. The American way of doing business also added to the difficulties experienced by both people during the preliminary business meeting. Mr. Astor quickly discovered how challenging it is to carry out business outside of his home country.

Mr. Williams made two important errors after committing to the ending up in Mr. Silva and Mr. Agosto. His first mistake was mailing his son-in-law who acquired no previous experience with business negotiations outside of providing cars. When he knew he'd be unable to make the trip to Brazil, Mr. Williams must have appointed another executive employee to go on his behalf, along with Mr. Astor.

Mr. Williams' second miscalculation was when he showed poor communication skills by neglecting to see Mr. Silva and Mr. Agosto that he would not be signing up for his son-in-law because of their initial business appointment. Instead of having Mr. Astor apologize on his behalf, Mr. Williams must have notified Mr. Silva himself as an indicator of goodwill and relationship building. Also, making certain Mr. Astor was well versed in Brazilian customs before the trip would have been beneficial and reduced initial emotions of negativity.

Mr. Astor determined a variety of faux pas that resulted in a tense primary meeting with his Brazilian counterparts. Although he wished to dress pleasantly, his casual attire showed a lack of professionalism as Brazilian entrepreneurs pride themselves on their appearances and dress more officially than Westerners when executing business. Putting forth a professional appearance rather than one of comfort would have been more respectful to Mr. Silva and Mr. Agosto.

Mr. Astor also insulted the Brazilian businessmen by greeting them informally by their first names. Latin American people would rather take time to get to know someone and build a romantic relationship prior to loosening the reigns on formality. Mr. Astor should have greeted both men by using their surnames until he was asked by the men to call them by their first names.

Mr. Astor further insulted Mr. Silva and Mr. Agosto when he balked at the thought of eating supper at nine o'clock at night. Deresky (2013) mentions that Westerners should don't be blunt or critical in order not to embarrass other folks involved in the talk. By expressing his displeasure at eating so late, Mr. Astor came across as rude and created a possibly disturbing situation for Mr. Silva and Mr. Agosto.

According to Deresky (2013), Latin American people are incredibly animated and expressive when speaking and have a tendency to stand deeper than the average Westerner is accustomed to. Since Mr. Astor hadn't brushed up on Latin American culture prior to his departure, he did not understand why Mr. Silva stood so close to him and used his hands a great deal while speaking. Relating to Nguyen and Nguyen (2014), when managers practice cultural level of sensitivity, they are more likely to understand their overseas business associates' communication style and behaviors. By backing away when Mr. Silva was speaking, Mr. Astor once more showed a lack of cultural understanding and awareness.

Lastly, it is considered to maintain poor flavour in Latin American countries to discuss business before a proper romance has been developed. Mr. Astor made the miscalculation of rushing in to the negotiation process right away without learning his potential business associates. He also made the mistake of implying that the partnership between the two companies was not important when he stated he would Rio the next day. Mr. Silva and Mr. Agosto were astonished and declined to discuss any negotiations at that moment.

According to Deresky (2013), ethnocentrism occurs when people operate and presume that their means of doing things is the only path of doing them, whatever the situation. Mr. Astor revealed an ethnocentric frame of mind during his original meeting with the Brazilian businessmen. He made the assumption that his way, the European way of doing business, would be appropriate to his number country partners rather than acknowledging that he may need to change his business strategy to charm to his hosts.

Luckily, Mr. Astor could mend the partnership after discussing how the initial meeting proceeded to go with his father-in-law. Mr. Williams also insisted that Mr. Astor build a relationship using their potential business companions and cancel his visit to Rio. At supper that nights, Mr. Astor loved stimulating chat with Mr. Silva and Mr. Agosto while discussing his family, work life, and interests as well as learning about his hosts. By the end of the evening meal, the three men had mended their variations and were well on the path to building a good working marriage.

"Miscommunications with a Brazilian Auto Parts Maker" showed how important it is for managers to be knowledgeable about cultural communication variations which exist between countries. Knowing that there is no-one size matches all process to business negotiation and partnerships can save managers on both factors a great deal of embarrassment and conflict. Since there is no assurance a method of trading or partnership will work out or previous long term, being culturally aware can generate thoughts to trust and shared respect between all engaged parties.


Deresky, H (2013). International management: Management across borders. 8th ed. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson Prentice Hall

T. M. Nguyen, T. , & Dinh Nguyen, T. (2014). The impact of ethnical sensitivity and information exchange on relationship quality. Marketing Brains & Planning, 32(7), 754. Retrieved from https://search-proquest-com. ezproxy1. apus. edu/docview/1651530219?accountid=8289

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