An analysis of the case “An American Gaucho in Argentina” reveals a chronic case of cross cultural incompetence between the visiting American business man and his South American hosts. Cross cultural competence refers to one’s ability to effectively fit and relate with others in a cross-cultural environment (Barry, 2013). Such abilities are either learned or naturally acquired as a person continues to interact with diverse cross-cultural environment. The globalization phenomenon has led to the diffusion of cultural boundaries and intersection of cultures has become a common occurrence especially in business, humanitarian and sporting events. In the case study, Peter, a business executive from Iowa is visiting Buenos Aires in search of possible business opportunities. However, a series of events resulting from his limited cultural awareness ensures that he leaves Argentina while very uncertain of the promising business prospects that he was after.
Top among the cross-cultural incompetence exhibited by Peter was in his approach towards cross cultural communication. His approach was lacking in content and in some instances deemed to be offensive by the hosts. This outcome alone contributed greatly to a potential misunderstanding which would cripple his prospects.
Cross cultural competence is all about adjustment at both the interpersonal and personal levels. Peter should have made some effort to learn some Spanish and maybe delve more into other aspects of the Argentinian culture before embarking to his business trip. He should have been aware of such a cultural basic like how soccer and soccer talk is such a big factor in the daily conversations among Argentinians. He is neither aware of the name of the regional trading bloc. Resultantly, he fails to strike a genuine rapport with his hosts. He struggles to blend and to fit in. Peter predictably departs the country with minimal chances of getting the business partnership off the ground.
Barry, Maude. (2013). Managing Cross-Cultural Communication: Principles and Practice. Palgrave Macmillan.
Helfrich, H., Hölter, E., & Arzhenovskiy, I. V. (2012). Time and management from a cross-cultural perspective. Ashland, Ohio: Hogrefe & Huber.