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Learning Activity #1

Josh is searching for a general manager for the park venture. Although he and his brother can handle the business on their own financially, they feel it might be better to have someone local to work the daily operations and develop the business. A local named Jon Leifsson has made an impression on him. He likes Jon because he is a talented gymnast who could promote the trampoline work. He is young and works hard according to his references.

However, there are things about Jon that Josh does not like. Jon has been late as much as 20 minutes for all their meetings. He comes casually dressed and groomed. Josh sometimes thinks Jon is asleep when he talks to him. Josh considers himself an understanding employer and some would say flexible especially when the circumstances warrant flexibility. At the same time, these traits make him see red (anger). It is obvious that Jon does not respect him.

Jon just recently had a baby with his wife Anna and is often up all night helping to take care of his new son. He falls asleep when he least expects it and can never seem to get up in the morning. He knows he has been late several times and that he has just thrown on clothes to get there. Jon had noticed Josh looking at his watch but is afraid to mention his late-night nanny effort to the American “cowboy.” Josh may think he is weak. Jon would love the job especially considering the added expense of a new baby.

Josh decided to confront Jon with the ultimatum of be on time, dress right or I’ll assume you are not interested in the position and I will look elsewhere.

  • Is this the right track for Josh to take with Jon?
  • Discuss the possible results that this course of action could have for Josh and why you came to this conclusion.
  • Given the class material on high and low cultures how would you suggest Josh handle the conflict and why it is the best option?

Learning Activity # 2

Negotiating business deals can be difficult even without the impediment of a new cultural. Research the characteristics surrounding an American’s approach to negotiation and that of an Icelandic approach. Compare them and make some suggestions to Josh about how to handle the costs of a grand opening radio and television advertising blitz.

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