R8. International Negotiating Styles - Foster - ch 8 pp 264 - 293.pdf

Parameters for tbe completion of tasks doing oriented

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parameters for tbe completion of tasks. Doing-oriented cultures are monochronic and one-dimensional; they view time chiefly as a frame- work for task completion. There is usually a connection between a cul- ture's level of economic development and its conception of time. More traditional cultures tend to vÍew time as a polychronic backdrop for Jife, while more modern, developed, and urban cultures tend to view time as
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284 Successful Intemalional Communicalion a monochronic series of demarcations for measuring accomplishments (Udoingness"). To Americans at the negotiating table, time is money, a commodity in limited supply. We are always and forever planning for the future. In !reland, time is less important, as ugod made so much of it." In Saudi Arabia, it can be foolish to plan, for "only Allah can know the future"; there, one may lose credibility if one is too time-oriented. An American is frustrated when he is kept waiting an extra hour or so beyond the appoiúted time at the front office in Latin America, espedally when he knows that the man he has come to see is in his office. But should the American, anticipating a delay, choose to arrive an hour 01' 80 late the next time, so as to not be kept waiting, he would find that his Latin host might be insulted. What the American does not know is that his Latin American host· is probably dealing with a great many things at once, among them, busily arranging after-meeting activities for the two of them-activities the American will be expected to partake in, make time for, and enjoyo An American manager tells of a Thai associate who simply did not show up for work on a very important day. Several days later, the American questioned his associate's disappearance at such a "critica}" time. The Thai explained that he had heard that an old friend was in tqwn and so, of course, they went out together to the movies that after- noon. What Was a "critical" use of time for the Thai was clearly not so for the American; 01', in Hofstede's terms, the American was more task- oriented, while the Thai was more relátionship-oriented. A Latin American manager explained, "You Americans set schedules based on time-4 o'dock, 9:30, 3 p.m., etc. -as a way of getting things done. We Latins set schedules differently, not based on points on a dock but rather on a series of events: first, we'll do this; thep, when it is finished, we'll move on to this; then on to this. That way, we give each task (he time it takes to complete, while Americans will move on to the next task, not because the frrst is completed, but because it's 'time' to, or because the time allotted for the first task has rUn out. For us, time does not 'run out.'" When time is money, when it is a commodity always in short supply, punctuality becomes critical. Relaxed attitudes toward lateness, or mañana, are not appreciated. In Germany, even in social affairs, punctualíty is critical. If One is invited to a dinner party at 8 p.m. , in Frankfurt, it is not uncommon for aH the Mercedes to roIl up to the • door at five minutes to 8. The guests will step out, and at two minutes befQre 8, they will begin to walk to the door. All together
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