In our case, in Industry cultures the environment task that is generating differences is the nature of decision-making. Mexicans are more hierarchical; even if a manager has a good idea or need to take a decision that may look simple he needs to report to a member of the controlling family or to a top executive. This fact is seen as an act of loyalty from the part of managers. Another significant sphere in our case is Regional cultures and more precise similarities between countries. Mexico and U. S are part of different regional cultures (Exhibit4).
The managers have different attitudes: the Americans are direct and they viewed Mexicans being too polite (sales process) and wasting the time. Mexicans viewed Americans as being too direct and moving too fast. As a conclusion we can say that the managers of the two companies have different attitudes regarding the work and how business should be done. Once we’ve discussed the cultural issues that led to the failure of the joint-venture the next question is how we can prevent them.
First of all I would like to say that even the joint-venture was done in the 90’s the concept of cultural differences was well known and the two companies should have paid more attention to this aspect. My recommendations is the implementation of a software in each company let’s call it CDB (cultural data base). Well the role of this software is to gather information about the employees (mainly executives) regarding the cultural factor. The collection of data it will not be mandatory is better to stimulate the employees in order to obtain reliable information.
After the information is collected we make a report and we posted on the website of the company in the attention of employees and possible partners. In this way we have better chances to reduce the impact of cultural differences on our business. In our case if the companies had a data base with the employees and their different cultural differences they could assign certain managers know the American or the Mexican culture by simply using to CBD and maybe the outcome it have been different.
It’s true that the implementation of software is costly and also we need a qualified person to manage the program, a mix between an IT and a cultural differences expert. So I will make other recommendations that we can use in our case. A mistake for the part of the both companies was the fact that they didn’t take in consideration the possible cultural differences before the joint-venture. Even they have founded the cultural problems after the joint-venture was completed it would have been difficult to change something.
So a team from each company needed to investigate the culture of the company and also to which extent the national culture it can be compared with the company’s culture. After doing that each team would have done a presentation with their final conclusions and aspect to be considered. To strengthen the relationships I propose also a meeting between managers on a neutral ground where each of the parties presented their culture and had an open discussion about the sensitive topics.
In a joint-venture we don’t have to pay attention only to the cultural differences because they are other factors (economical, political) that can lead to a failure, but is highly probable that if we manage to go beyond the cultural differences it will be easier to pass the other problems.
Managing Across Cultures, Second Edition- Susan C. Schneider / Jean-Louis Barsoux Session 2b, Session 3 of Professor Susan C. Schneider Depalma, Anthony. “It Takes More than a Visa to Do Business in Mexico. ” The New York Times. June 26, 1994, Section 3, p. 5.