Case Study Analysis of Lajolla Software, Inc.
Case Study Analysis of LaJolla Software, Inc. Bus 600: Management Communications with Technology Tools Instructor: Sara Garski January 31, 2011 With the rapidly growing state of todays start-ups, fostering good overseas partnerships are essential in any business seeking to expand their company internationally. With such expansions, come becoming inter-culturally involved with those partnerships so that both party’s implicated can expand exponentially, building off one another.
In the Case Study of LaJolla Software, Inc. ; overseas expansion was laid out in their companies plans for months. Their intent? To deliver a new product launch that could potentially prove to be very profitable. But to achieve such aspirations they needed a business partner that knew the market in which they wished to serve. When the opportunity presented itself to make such a merger they knew it would take more than their companies most brilliant programers to take on the challenge.
And after constant visits to Japan, correspondence via fax, and many meetings with the interested shareholders and business partners of Ichi Ban Heavy Industries, the alliance was formed. Now all that was needed for the deal to be complete was for LaJolla to meet with Ichi Ban’s organizational management team where they were to learn more about their new partnership on the foreign territories of the United States. The problem, nevertheless, was communication; getting the Japanese to understand American culture and more importantly how LaJolla Software, Inc. unctioned in it. And being that their first partnership was with the Japanese they needed Ichi Ban to understand their purpose so that the two could unite as one solid entity of ingenuity for all of Asia to see. More specifically, here you have one company attempting to expand their products overseas. But in order for them to do so they need to first partner up with a company that is more knowledgeable of the territory in which they plan to expand. And after successfully attaining the partnership the problem that then arises is a cultural break down.
In order for the partnership to work they must overcome the communication barrier, and they’re relying on one Marketing Manager to make it all possible. The key issue with this company and their partnership is learning enough about their newly gained partners so that they can in turn impart knowledge of American culture in a way they can understand and interpret it. And so, for them to successfully maintain their business, as well as their new partnership, they’re going to have to figure out innovative ways to teach their counterparts American culture.
According to a Finance Discussion Forum (where questions are asked and answers are given by people either familiar with the topic or just sharing their opinion) five steps to successfully fostering a good overseas partnership are posted and listed below: learning the language learning the culture respecting the people and the country in which you plan to do business having eagerness to learn about the respective country and enjoying and making the most of the partnership
Although this posting is really just an opinion it does raise good points about establishing good business connections when branching out to partners over seas. In this list, some of the suggestions may be a little hard to committee to accomplishing so it is imperative to outline key points to accomplish in overseas relations. For LaJolla, some of those key points could be to focus on learning and having the eagerness to learn about Japanese culture all while making the most of their partnership with Ichi Ban.
For the marketing manager that is left with the single task of coming up with activities to engage their visitors he should first familiarize himself with Japanese culture, and asian culture in general. He should learn the signs of respect according to their culture as well as how they conduct business. Once he understands they’re key principles he’ll be able to get them to understand American culture. By being proactive and taking the initiative to learn their culture they’ll see that as a sign of respect and hey’ll want to learn more about the culture in which their company will be merging. In his quest to learn more about his foreign business counterparts he should also research Japanese business styles. And in an article entitled Japanese Business Styles it states, “Japanese communications are epitomized by subtlety and nuance… (their) body language is very minimal, making it difficult for the untrained observer to read. The(y) also seem to be very still in meetings, sitting in a formal upright posture… nd it is rare for any reaction or emotion to be visible. ” So taking this into account, knowing this tidbit of information could drastically help gauge what activities the marketing manager should plan for the visitors. After some investigation has been done, the planning of activities for the visiting Japanese organizational management team should begin. Starting with a dinner; taking them to a Japanese inspired restaurant absorbed in their culture would be a good way to break the ice and start discussions about the business venture.
This should then be followed up by a tour of some of the most important places near or boarding LaJolla, California. Such site-seeing could commence with visiting other similar software businesses (if permitted) and concluding their touristic trip with a tour of LaJolla Software, Inc. Now it may seem a little odd to see everything else first and the company they plan to work with directly last but doing it this way can help the visitors get a well rounded understanding of American business practice.
So when they do finally meet LaJolla Software, Inc. they’ll have an appreciation for what they do, what they have already accomplished, and what they wish to accomplish with the help of their new partners. Another thing that LaJolla could do as a whole, is have a staff meeting where the marketing manager would go about making the rest of the staff culturally aware of the new business partners as well. This is yet another thing the Japanese will take notice to and seeing the eagerness of the Americans could make for an easier transition.
In a PDF, entitled How to do it: Manage Overseas Business Relationships, it discusses the importance for the staff to “think carefully about what (their) foreigners might mean when they are using English” (pg. 5) With these key recommendations, these two very different businesses may actually be able to accomplish the goal they set out to do. Important facts to remember, however, is that the entire process will not be an over night success. In order for a bond to be forged and a good partnership fostered each party will have to work diligently in helping one another understand each other.
Works Citied Anonymous. Japanese Communication Styles. worldbusinessculture. com http://www. worldbusinessculture. com/Japanese-Business-Communication-Style. html Business Link. Manage Overseas Business Relationships. HOW TO DO IT: International Trade. Last updated: 01. 08. 10. http://www. businessandpatents. org/content/files/IT8 (1). pdf CoastalCutie. What are the essentials to working with overseas business partners? Finance Discussion Forum http://www. financialcrisis2009. org/forum1/Business-Finance/ What-are-the-essentials-to-working-with-overseas-business-partners-7. htm