In fact many identify as European as opposed to Latin American. In addition, although Spanish is spoken in Argentina and it is the official language of the country, it is also a quite different type of Spanish than the Spanish spoken in other Latin American countries ("Argentina cultural guide").
In addition to the aforementioned differences, there are also differences associated with Business Etiquette. In Argentina the culture is driven by relationships and as such when people are conducting businesses they tend to be more comfortable conducting business with people that they know and they are already familiar with. However, in London it will often be the case that the person that business is conducted with is not someone that is familiar to the individual. Because this is the case it will be important to prepare the Argentineans who will work in London by educating them concerning the norms of business etiquette. It would be helpful to hold classes or workshops that will teach Argentinean employees how to conduct business with people that they do not know.
Another issue that arises within the context of business etiquette is the issue of networking and the manner in which networking is used in Argentina vs. how it is used in London. For instance in Argentina networks often consist of family and friends and these individuals are often asked to perform certain favors. In addition once a favor is done the person who did the favor has the right to ask for a favor in return. This is a cultural and business practice that is quite acceptable in Argentina but may looked down upon in London because in some cases it may compromise certain ethical standards.
In addition, Nepotism is quite common in Argentina and acceptable. However, in London nepotism is sometimes frowned upon. Although nepotism exists everywhere some cultures are more accepting of it than others. Argentinean employees may also have to adjust to the meeting styles of London . Argentineans tend to prefer face-to-face meetings as opposed to telephone meetings or even written correspondence. In some cases this just isn't possible and Argentineans employees relocating to London will have to adjust to having meetings that may not involve face-to-face contact.
A related issue has to do with the building of relationships. As was stated previously in this discussion Argentina is a relationship driven culture. Once the company moves to London, the ability to develop strong business relationships may be more difficult. The Although there are some differences as it pertains to Argentina and the United Kingdom, there are also many similarities. For instance in both countries it is important to be punctual. This is particularly true if meeting with someone in a superior position. Additionally it is important in both cultures to appropriately address those that are in positions of authority. That is, it is not acceptable to speak to a person in a position of authority in a way that is disrespectful. There is a great deal of formality that exist amongst executives in both cultures (Business Etiquette).
In addition, in both cultures appropriate dress is also important as it pertains to business etiquette. In both Argentina and the United Kingdom it is appropriate for men to wear a suit with shirt and tie. In addition, women should also wear suits or a blouse, jacket and skirt.
Advice on adjusting to cultural differences
According to an article entitled "Identifying Cultural Difference in R&D Project for Performance Improvement: A Field Study,"
"Cultural difference is the major factor affecting success or failure of projects
and Shi 2001). While some cultures (and individuals) see the difference in a strictly negative light, others see it as a necessary growth procedure (for both individuals and business alike). No matter whether the difference is viewed as desirable or not, the fact is that cultural difference will exist (Darling and Fogliasso 1999; Tsui et al. 2007). When such a cultural difference is recognized and managed in a proper manner, it can lead to innovative business practices, faster and better organizational learning, and sustainable sources of competitive advantages (Bhasin 2007; Hutchings 2003; Magala 2007; Zeng et al. 2009)."
With these things understood, TE should build upon the similarities between the two countries but also make a concerted effort to make adjustments so that expansion into the UK is successful. To this end it is recommended that TE provide specialized training for Argentinean employees so that they are aware of the aforementioned differences and so that they can make to appropriate decisions when conducting business in London. Working with its subsidiary in London, TE could hire a British instructor to assist the Argentinean employees in understanding the cultural differences and how they should react in certain situations. Such training should take place over a three-month period and it should include placing employees into scenarios that are likely to occur once they are in London. This type of intensive training will assist the employees in making a smooth transition.
In addition to the training for the Argentinean employees, the British employees that are going to be employed by TE may also need to undergo some training as it pertains to the customs of Argentineans. This is necessary to ensure that there is a level of comfort for employees regardless of their country of origin. Such training will help to bridge the gap between both countries which will prove beneficial to the company in the long run.
Another barrier to entry is the presence of industry competitors in the UK. All of the major American Multinational Corporation are already operating in the UK and throughout Europe. These firms are established in the European market and are profitable in the European market. In addition these companies have been actively developing new products specifically designed to meet the needs of the European market. The American Corporations have been able to pursue product development through their European subsidiaries. Likewise the major European Multinational Corporations in the industry have subsidiaries in the United States that they work with in terms of R & D. And product development. On the other hand, the subsidiaries of U.S. And European MNCs in Asia and Latin America are engaged in very limited R&D and product development work. TE has an international joint venture with the leading German MNC in the software industry. However the German MNC is not happy with the performance of the joint venture because of what it regards as theft of its intellectual property by its Asian/Latin American partner.
For the purpose of expanding into the United Kingdom TE must establish an organizational structure and control strategy that will allow the company to succeed in the expansion. As it pertains to the organizational structure, cultural differences must be taken into consideration and there must also be special attention paid to the structure as it relates to the overall goals of the company. For the purposes of internationalization for TE an international division structure ("Separation of Ownership and Management"). One similar to the structure in the picture below should be sufficient.
Using this type of structure TE still has a single CEO but the company is divided at the international level into Areas (nations) and products offered. That is management is conducted at the local level using local managers however the CEO/owner still has the ultimate authority. This type of structure would be most beneficial for TE to utilize because it allows for management that is present at the local level and it also allows the CEO to delegate authority. This type of structure will also give TE the opportunity to expand into other countries if they so choose.
Additionally, the company may want to form a joint venture with one of the many smaller technologies companies that are already established in the United Kingdom. Such a joint venture will allow the company to expand in a more efficient manner because the company is already established in the UK market.
Goals for Tecnologia Empresa (TE) in the United Kingdom
The most important strategic goal of the company is that it plans to enter
Europe to develop its capabilities in the areas of R&D and product development and to become one of the technological leaders in this industry. TE wants to utilize the technological knowledge gained from the investments in Europe to develop products and production processes in their home base and to use this to expand their exports to Europe and the U.S.
It is important to the company to develop products that are unique to users in different locales. Businesses and other end users located in London may have a different set of needs than those in Argentina. The only way to produce these products is through research and development and careful consideration of consumer trends.
Overall the advice presented in the discussion should allow TE to…