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You have been hired as an external consultant for Futrall-Carnall (FC) and Stadium. FC is a mid-size technology firm with 250 employees based in Houston, Texas, established in 2005. Stadium is a marketing firm established in 2000 headquartered in Mexico City. The two companies have recently partnered in a joint venture on new software. All interactions between the offices will be done digitally through email, video calls, and other forms of electronic communication.
FC and Stadium have been collaborating for six months now and both companies have noticed there have been consistent problems with miscommunication regarding decision-making that is causing them to miss internal deadlines.
For example, after an important video call meeting, the Stadium representative—who is used to clear chains of communication—was left confused. Here is an excerpt of the meeting transcript:
FC rep: If everyone would please turn to the final page of your packet, you’ll see the rundown of the costs (etc.) are there any questions?
Stadium rep: raises hand, speaks: so who did we decide is going to lead this work group?
FC rep: I’m sorry?
Stadium rep: The work group, I never heard who is going to lead it.
FC rep: Um, that wasn’t on the agenda for today but we…what do we think? Let's bring it up in a bit.
Stadium rep: so, do I talk to you about it or...
[Zoom gives notice meeting will end in five minutes]
FC rep: Since we only have five minutes, let’s wrap up our previous discussion…
The Stadium representative left the meeting confused about who the contact person should be and worried that without organized roles the project progress would not meet the established deadlines for a successful rollout. Several United States FC employees did not understand the need for a formal contact person since they were all working on the same team. Some FC employees also noticed that Stadium employees did not speak up when brainstorming in groups.
To avoid missing the rollout deadline, FC and Stadium has hired you as a consultant to help them figure out what potential cultural barriers might prevent the two companies from collaborating successfully in a workgroup. Specifically, Stadium and FC have asked you to help them understand the disconnect and explain the best way to address this disconnect at their next meeting, so that they can comfortably move forward on the software project. Stadium and FC are both excited to work together and want to maintain strong relations for new software development partnerships. You have scheduled a meeting with both companies to present your findings and suggestions.
Some questions to consider when making recommendations:
- What are the leadership styles (egalitarian versus hierarchical) in these various cultures?
- For future meetings, what type of communication solutions do you propose FC and Stadium use as two companies of different cultures that have different approaches to workflow and chain of command?
- How do Stadium and FC ensure strong relational ties while addressing these miscommunications?
Compose a 2-page, single-spaced, 12-point font, business brief providing Stadium and FC with two recommendations for working together on this venture. Since you are a consultant, be mindful of your tone; you should recommend, not dictate action.
Note: you will need to cite 4 different sources in APA on your references page. Your references page will not count towards the 2-page requirement. When citing sources, use parenthetical citations (see Publication Manual of APA 6.11-21), not footnotes. The readings cited below are all in APA format but remove the hyperlinks when you cite.
Readings that will help you form your recommendations:
We strongly recommend reading Erin Meyer’s The Culture Map (2014) pgs. 125-132. (You can access this text through our university library at https://libraries.uark.edu/).
Note: Sources with an asterisk (*) only recommend specific sections/chapters of the text. The citations will indicate which portion we suggest.
Alpert, R.T. (n.d). Cultural diversity in the workplace, part I. Diversity Resources. https://www.diversityresources.com/cultural-diversity-workplace/
Cagiltay, K., Bichelmeyer, B., & Kaplan Akillli, G. (2015). Working with multicultural virtual teams: Critical factors for facilitation, satisfaction and success. Smart Learning Environments, 2(11), 1-16. https://doi.org/10.1186/s40561-015-0018-7
Gavin, Matt. (2019, May 16). 6 Tips for managing global & international teams. Harvard Business School Online. https://online.hbs.edu/blog/post/how-to-manage-global-teams
*Goodman, M. B. (2013). Introduction. In Intercultural communication for managers (1st ed., pp. xix-xxix). Business Expert Press. https://search.proquest.com/legacydocview/EBC/1365265/bookReader?accountid=8361&ppg=20
*Hyatt, J.T. (2016). Communication in mexican business. In Coria-Sanchez, C.M., & Hyatt, J.T (Eds.), Mexican business culture: Essays on tradition, ethics, entrepreneurship and commerce and the state (pp. 107-123). McFarland. https://onesearch.uark.edu/permalink/01UARK_INST/1es9vl6/alma991035999098507336
Joosr. (2015). Joosr guide to... the five dysfunctions of a team by patrick lencioni : A leadership fable. Bokish. https://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&AuthType=ip,sso&db=e020mna&AN=1364519&site=ehost-live&scope=site
Kwan, L. (2019). The collaboration blind spot. Harvard Business Review. https://hbr.org/2019/03/the-collaboration-blind-spot
Lutskiy, A. (2021, February 8). Far away but so close: Boosting global communication with clients and staff in 2021. Forbes. https://www.forbes.com/sites/forbestechcouncil/2021/02/09/far-away-but-so-close-boosting-global-communication-with-clients-and-staff-in-2021/?sh=3ad37db373ab
Maznevski, M.L., Dhanaraj, C., Orlick, A.L., & McTeague, L., (n.d). Leading collaboration in global organizations: How to build a house without a hammer. IMD. https://www.imd.org/research-knowledge/articles/leading-collaboration-in-global-organizations-how-to-build-a-house-without-a-hammer/
Meyer, E. (2017). Being the boss in brussels, boston, and beijing: If you want to succeed, you’ll need to adapt. Harvard Business Review. https://hbr.org/2017/07/being-the-boss-in-brussels-boston-and-beijing
*Meyer, E. (2014). The culture map: Breaking through the invisible boundaries of global business (1st ed.). PublicAffairs. https://ebookcentral.proquest.com/lib/uark-ebooks/detail.action?pq-origsite=primo&docID=1634787
Neeley, Tsedal. (2015, October). Global teams that work. Harvard Business Review. https://hbr.org/2015/10/global-teams-that-work
Stahl, A. (2021, December 21). 3 benefits of diversity in the workplace. Forbes. https://www.forbes.com/sites/ashleystahl/2021/12/17/3-benefits-of-diversity-in-the-workplace/?sh=7d9e486222ed
Tate, Carson (2015, April 3). Differing work styles can help team performance. Harvard Business Review. https://hbr.org/2015/04/differing-work-styles-can-help-team-performance