Communication Breakdown And Cultural Disconnect Term Paper

Communication The Hunter-Worth situation is an interesting example of cultural communication breakdown. In this instance, the breakdown has led to several problems. There is conflict between Hunter-Worth and the Mexican plant, and there is a shortage of the toy. The problems are related. The communication breakdown has resulted in Hunter-Worth management not knowing what the problem with the toy is. While Moore might not think so, resolving the conflict is going to be critical to getting the toys, which is the ultimately objective.

The case can be analyzed in the context of the differences between communication styles and business cultures in the U.S. And Mexico. There are several issues. First, there is the issue of hierarchy and formality. In Mexican culture, hierarchy and formality are important. This means that communications are governed according to a set of rules. Vicente assumed, for some reason, that these same rules applied to the U.S., or that the U.S. management would be aware of the nuances of communication protocol. Conversely, Moore had no such knowledge. The result was that both sides are entirely unsatisfied with the communication in this case. Vicente feels that Moore is being harsh and should have known what to do -- Moore rightfully cannot understand this position. For his part, Moore has violated Mexican communications norms and this has caused an emotional outburst from Vicente.

The good news here is that Vicente's childish outburst will be forgive by Moore. The lack of formality in American culture means that such outbursts are usually forgivable, and in this case there is little doubt that if Vicente gets the job done, he will be forgiven. The bad news is that the communication gap still exists. Moore still feel disrespected on two fronts. The first is that Vicente had not been informing him of the supply problems -- Vicente was avoiding conflict where Moore sees this is ducking responsibility. Vicente is also offended, as he sees Moore as having violated protocol and having humiliated him. Moore still has no toys and little idea why he has no toys, and Vicente now has an angry buyer, and a supply problem that he apparently cannot resolve...


My personal assessment score was 39, which signals a lack of apprehension, to a point that is outside the norm. So I definitely have trouble with the idea that Vicente would find it less humiliating to deliver an inadequate supply of toys late than to discuss the supply problems with Moore. Actions speak louder than words in the U.S., and this Mexican communication protocol seems entirely counterproductive. Vicente is not, however, viewing this strictly from the productivity point-of-view. He does not necessarily view his job as to enhance shareholder wealth. Moore, of course, does take this view. This difference lies at the root of the problem. Vicente claims that he cares about deadlines, but he does so more for personal prestige than Moore, who mostly cares because it represents lost revenue opportunities.
Bridging this communications gap is going to be difficult, because neither man has taken any effort at all to learn about the communication styles and cultural perspectives of the other. They are both a part of the problem, and while Moore is probably willing to admit this, Vicente probably is not. Herein lies the problem -- Vicente is the one who is avoiding communication and failing to address the critical supply problems. He is the one who needs to improve his communication skills by removing the barrier that formality represents.

There are a few steps that need to be taken here. First, Moore needs to call Vicente back He needs to deal with the situation directly, explaining the grounds and norms of communication. Vicente should probably be aware that his company is in business not just to provide him with a nice house, but to earn money. Vicente might be thinking that there is a relationship that needs to be formed here, but ultimately the issue at hand is that his performance has been lacking. Moore should not focus on that, but rather focus on the ultimately objective, which is getting the problems resolved. So Moore needs to direct the conversation towards what those problems are, what Vicente has done about it and…

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