Crummer Doctoral Student and Professor Win Best Paper Award

EDBA doctoral student Dan Spellman (MBA ’06) and Professor Jim Johnson attended the Irish Academy of Management conference in Galway, Ireland, in early September where Dan presented a paper that he had written in Dr. Johnson’s EDBA 503 course a year earlier.  The authors won the Best Paper award for the International Business track at the conference.

Titled “Three Peoples Divided by a Common Language: Cultural Pitfalls in International Negotiations between the United States, Ireland, and the UK”, the paper built on Dan’s experience at the Automobile Club of America (AAA), where he had supervised a US marketing team that worked closely in a marketing alliance with counterparts in travel organizations in Ireland and the UK. The three teams communicated with one another at least weekly via email, telephone and, occasionally, video conferencing and, although the outcomes of the alliance were satisfactory, Dan sensed that all was not going well from the UK and Irish perspectives. For his EDBA research paper, he developed an online survey that was sent to all members of the three teams. The results were very interesting.  Although the three teams enjoyed working with one another and thought that the alliance was working well, there were frustrations on the part of the Irish and UK team members with the communication and negotiation styles of the US team and they viewed the US colleagues as too hasty in the implementation of new projects. In turn, the US team enjoyed working with their transatlantic counterparts, but thought them too process-oriented, and slow in rolling out new products.  The study concluded that even though the Americans, Irish and British speak a mostly common language, there is a need to create mutual awareness of and to deal with cultural differences in communication and negotiation styles.

The authors are now preparing the paper for submission to an international business journal.


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