International Management III Case 6 Moto: Coming to America

Essay by changqingwUniversity, Bachelor'sA, May 2005

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Moto's purpose was trying to build the first impression and introduce him and build the relationship with President of Allmack, John Crowell. He was trying to present his card to Crowell, show his knowledge about both companies' history, and present the gift, in addition to build the good relationship in the first meeting.

In Moto's first business meeting with the President of Allmack, John Crowell, neither gentleman was familiar with the other's culture leading to the confusion of Moto. Crowell was not confused as he was oblivious to the situation. In Japan, the business card is an important instrument to learn about the other party as well as to give them respect for the effort it took to get to their current position. In a business situation, business cannot begin until the card exchange process is complete. Apparently, Crowell was unaware of this as he barely glanced at Moto's card before putting it in his pocket.

Moto was somewhat hurt because he did not realize that this was a somewhat typical in America and that Crowell did not intend to hurt his feelings.

Next, after Moto told Crowell that "KKD is pleased to do business with Allmack" and began to talk about the history of the two companies, Crowell grew impatient as many American businessmen do believing that time is money he tried to speed up the process and sell Moto on the greatness of his company. Moto was confused as he already knew that Allmack was the best. In fact, that is why he was there in the first place. The really uncomfortable situation arose when Moto presented Crowell with a gift of the kokeshi dolls which his wife went to great lengths to pick out for Crowell. Crowell's foolish response was "they look like Russian dolls. Hey, thanks a lot, my daughter will love them" completely embarrassed Moto so he ignored the situation.

Later on in the case Crowell messed up again when he dropped both Moto and the vice president of KKD off at a golf course and did not stay to play. He apparently did not understand the relationship building process in Japan nor the importance executives entertaining executives.

The doll actually acts as the tool to build the relationship. Gift-giving is an important part of Japanese business protocol. Gifts are opened in private, because if the gift turns out to be a poor choice, "loss of face" will result. Also, if several gifts are presented to people of different status, opening them privately prevents any possible comparisons. In this case, Crowell tore open the paper and foolish response was "they look like Russian dolls. Hey, thanks a lot, my daughter will love them" completely embarrassed Moto so he ignored the situation. This will embarrassed Japanese people, and give the very bad images.

Why did Crowell's remarks about Allmack threaten a loss of face from Moto's perspective? (I'm sorry, that I do not fully understand the question. Do not know how I suppose to answer it.)

Crowell introduces Moto to George Kubushevsky who will be responsible for introducing Moto to all of Allmack's suppliers and any other significant business relations. Again the issue of the business card came up as Kubushevsky did not even reciprocate with a business card stating "thanks, never carry those" after taking Moto's card. And again the present of a KKD pen was not appreciated by Kubushevsky. Over the next few weeks Kubushevsky drove Moto around introducing him to all of the necessary business relations. However, when Moto finally asked Kubushevsky about the written five year histories of the suppliers he responded by telling him to not worry about the past, worry about now, and to trust him. This situation made Moto quite uncomfortable as he was required to get the figures and did not understand what trust had to do with it.

The relationship between Moto and Kubushevsky improved after their first night out at a bar where Kubushevsky informed Moto that he would be leaving the company in the near future. For four months they worked great together and Moto was supplied with any information that he needed.