Negotiating Across the Pacific Harvard Case Solution & Analysis

Negotiating Across the Pacific Case Study Solution


This dimension defines the extent to which roles and values of males and females are followed in any society. The high value of this dimension represents that the role of the man is considered superior and stronger among both the two sexes. As men are thought to be more assertive and empathic in society. Although women get permission to do a job their jobs are entirely different from men. In contradiction, a society that represents the low index of masculinity, the employment and responsibilities of women and men are blurred together. In such a society, the level of women is considered equal to that of men, and women have the ability to do everytask that a man is capable of doing. According to the societal observations, the value of a man changes more than a woman due to their competitive and strong in some societies. While in others, men tend to be caring and modest which is more like the values of a woman. (Mikkola, 2005)

Uncertainty/Avoidance Index (UAI)

This dimension of the cultural framework defines the anxiety level of the members of the society when confronted with some uncertain or unknown conditions. The countries representing a high score on this dimension try to neglect the occurrence of such situations whenever possible. They make efforts to get to the collective truth which is primarily governed by order and rules. Such kinds of people are anxious about creative and innovative new ideas and believe in the old order of things.

On the other hand, countries where people are encouraged to form new thoughts and ideas and pursue them; the risk of failure associated with these ideas is also acceptable to society. This results in a more independent thinking and a practical approach towards work and business. There are rules in these countries, but people are encouraged to find their own truth rather than seeking the collective truth as in the case of countries scoring high on this dimension.

Long-term Orientation:

This dimension was added later after a study on a student in various countries. Hofstede deduced that the countries scoring high on this believe in long term relationships. People in such countries believe in doing business with a long-term relationship in mind. They prefer to do business with only their known associates or relatives. The countries scoring low on this do not mix emotions with their business and will only associate with someone until it is profitable to them and are very practical and upfront about it. (Hofstede, 2011)

The dimensions discussed above are observed in various places. The decision of BBT was BBT was to only work with the western corporations once they were assured by a long term known associate and Edward that he would be overseeing the transaction. The loss of face suffered by Edward in front of Mrs. Ming Kuo, when he withheld information from her stating Bill is the actual seller while he was only a facilitator in the deal shows High values and ‘Long-Term Orientation’. The refrain from Dr. Fisher to complete his verbal contract shows the low ‘Long-term Orientation’ and individualism.

Cultural Characteristics impacting the Issue:

Power Distance:

As Bill Wright was executive VP and his responsibilities were not considered with the daily business operations demonstrates that he had less interaction with employees at low-pay grade and the extent of the communication gap between them. The key responsibilities of Bill Wright were mainly related to explore new business opportunities at the international level in order to expand business operations internationally. The nature of his job significantly assisted him to explore and work in Europe.


This characteristic has clearly been observed in the personality traits of Chinese people i.e. they tend to have a high value of group cohesion. Chinese people tend to rely more on trust and building good relations and feel comfortable to develop business relationships with the people they either have worked with or look familiar through some acquaintances.

Such kind of interaction can be significantly seen the discussion between Mr. Edward and Mrs. Wing i.e. evident by the statement of hers “I would rather work with someone I know”. This was based on the fact that they had known each other for a long period of time and expected to maintain a trustworthy relation.

            The concept of “Guanxi”or Face is quite popular among the Chinese people i.e. well-understood through the belief of Mrs. Wing to be provided with an honest supplier. As a result, Edward gave a face to the supplier of the United States and the supplier then borrowed the face from Edward. In Chinese terms, this is a favor from Edward which the supplier would have to pay back as and when requested. Now, for Americans, we see a completely different approach and understanding. Bill and Dr. Fisher had known each other for a long time and they were good friends so, Bill did not find it necessary to have a written contract between them regarding the delivery of the product. This came as a major blow to Bill when he asked Dr. Fisher to make an exception this time and try to find a way to make the delivery on-time as they had been agreed upon but, Dr. Fisher plainly told him there was no signed contract obligating the company to keep their end of the bargain.

Uncertainty/Avoidance Index:

Bill Wright had never experienced working with the Chinese ever before this deal and had taken risks by the launch of this trade by being completely responsible for all the actions as the supplier. Although he could have proceeded without heading on all the responsibilities on his own shoulder. This is due to the cultural values that have known to be promoted in countries representing low values of UAI. Although Bill tends to be always willing to explore find his own right way and never thought it to compel in order of following the normal order of things and conduct business operations with familiar people such as European countries.

Whereas Chinese people follow more truth approach which was cleared by the incident of not giving any response against receiving the quotation from Bill. According to  Mrs. Wing, she thought that the seller was not serious to do business with them evident by the unrealistic high price had led to disrespect. Therefore, reducing order was the mark that Edward had lost face in front of her and created doubts over trust which led to the reduction in the order by half……………


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