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assignment intership


If you were a native of Brazil and advising American business representatives on what to do when talking with Brazilian business partners, what would you tell the Americans about Brazilian culture? Answer the question after you read the case study. CASE STUDY Miscommunications with a Brazilian Auto Parts Manufacturer The Brazilian sun beat down steadily on the tarmac outside as Alessandro Silva and Agosto Ventura stood inside the São Paulo-Guarulhos International Airport. They were awaiting the ar- rival of two representatives from Lucky Auto Parts Company, a regional wholesaler and retailer based in Ames, Iowa. Mr. Silva, the president of a mid-sized auto parts manufacturer in São Paulo, and Mr. Ventura, the company’s sales manager, were looking forward to a new business relationship with Henry Williams, President of Lucky Auto Parts Company. A few weeks previously, in an initial phone call, President Silva invited President Williams to visit the Brazilian manufacturing facility, a potential source of after-market auto parts for Lucky. This would be the American company’s first venture into buying parts directly from a foreign manufacturer. Williams planned to take his new Vice-President of Purchasing, Wally Astor, who also happened to be his son-in-law, on this first trip. Mr. Williams thought this exploratory buying trip would be a good introduction to the auto parts business for Wally; although Wally had experience as a new car salesman, he had no experience in the auto parts field. Unfortunately, a few days before the trip, Williams had to cancel his trip in order to be avail- able for a deposition on a court case pending against his company. It had taken a long time to get the appointment with Mr. Silva, and Williams did not think it wise to cancel the trip. Since Wally was eager to prove himself in his new role, Williams decided to let him handle this mission without the “old man” looking over his shoulder. In the rush to review the legal documents for the deposition, Williams forgot to notify his Brazilian counterpart that he would not be coming on this visit. As he was preparing for the trip, Wally Astor realized that it was summer in Brazil and that it was a long flight to Brazil from Ames via Miami. Based on this, he decided to dress as informally and comfortably as possible. At the airport, both Mr. Silva and Mr. Agosto were dressed as usual when conducting busi- ness or in the public eye for social occasions, that is, in suits and ties. As they stood outside the door of the International Arrivals area, Agosto held a neatly printed sign with Wally Astor’s name on it. Soon a young man in his late 20’s approached them and announced that he was Wally As- tor; both Mr. Silva and Mr. Ventura were visibly surprised, especially since the young man was dressed in faded blue jeans, sneakers, and a checked shirt with the sleeves rolled up. “Hey, thanks for picking me up,” Wally said as the three shook hands. “You must be Alexan- der and Agosto? My father-in-law said you were going to meet us at the airport.” “I am President Alessandro Silva and this is my Marketing Director, Mr. Ventura,” Mr. Silva said icily. “We expected to see President Williams. Will he be coming on a later flight?” “No, he had something important come up, so he sent me to take care of the visit to Brazil,” Wally replied. “Oh, here, let me give you my business card so you’ll know I really am who I say I am.” President Silva read the card carefully, and turned to Agosto with a frown. The card had the U.S. flag emblazoned on it with an italicized inscription under it: An American-owned business. Agosto turned to Wally and said politely, “I’m certain you are tired from your long journey. Shall we drop you at your hotel and then pick you up for dinner about nine o’clock?” “Nine o’clock! Is


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