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Brazilians Working with Americans/Brasileiros que trabalham com americanos

[ Latin American Studies ]

Brazilians Working with Americans/Brasileiros que trabalham com americanos

Cultural Case Studies/Estudos de casos culturais

By Orlando R. Kelm and Mary E. Risner

Ten bilingual case studies based on actual business situations successfully illustrate many of the cultural issues that arise when North American businesspeople work in Brazil.



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6 x 9 | 218 pp.

ISBN: 978-0-292-71473-1

Doing business internationally requires understanding not only other languages, but even more so the business practices and cultures of other countries. In the case of Brazilians working with Americans, a fundamental difference for all parties to understand is that Brazilian business culture is based on developing personal relationships between business partners, while American businesspeople often prefer to get down to hard "facts and figures" quickly, with fewer personal preliminaries. Negotiating such differences is crucial to creating successful business relationships between the two countries, and this book is designed to help businesspeople do just that.

Brazilians Working With Americans presents ten short case studies that effectively illustrate many of the cultural factors that come into play when North American business professionals work in Brazil. The authors summarize each case and the aspects of culture it involves, and American and Brazilian executives comment on the cultural differences highlighted by that case. A list of topics and questions for discussion also help draw out the lessons of each business situation. To make the book equally useful to Brazilians and Americans (whether businesspeople or language students), the entire text is presented in both English and Portuguese. In addition, Apple QuickTime movies of the executives' comments, which allow viewers to see and hear native speakers of both languages, are available on the Internet at www.laits.utexas.edu/orkelm/casos/intro.html.

  • Preface/Prefácio
  • Acknowledgments/Reconhecimentos
  • Chapter 1/Capítulo 1. The Pressure's On
  • Chapter 2/Capítulo 2. World Ship
  • Chapter 3/Capítulo 3. Burger World
  • Chapter 4/Capítulo 4. Electro World
  • Chapter 5/Capítulo 5. Petro Fibras
  • Chapter 6/Capítulo 6. World Car
  • Chapter 7/Capítulo 7. Donut World
  • Chapter 8/Capítulo 8. Pizza World
  • Chapter 9/Capítulo 9. World Auto Parts
  • Chapter 10/Capítulo 10. Eco-Amusement World
  • Glossary/Glossário: English-Portuguese/Inglês-Português
  • Glossary/Glossário: Portuguese-English/Português-Inglês
  • Suggested Readings/Leituras sugeridas
  • Index/Índice

Brazilians Working With Americans: Cultural Case Studies is a collection of ten short case studies designed to help readers understand some of the cultural factors that come into play when North American business professionals work in Brazil. The ten cases are based on actual experiences that Brazilian executives relate about their work with North Americans. The names and the locations in the cases have been changed, but the observations and stories are real.

The format of each chapter is the same. Although the business aspects of the cases are important, the focus is the cultural part of the interactions. Thus the cases are presented without a lot of data or numbers, focusing instead on the interactions among the people involved. The story background of each case is presented and reinforced by videotaped comments from three American and three Brazilian executives, who offer their personal observations about the case. In all, there are sixty videotaped observations from seventeen executives. Since the comments represent their personal opinions, they vary in content and approach, but most importantly, they are real observations from real people about the cultural issues presented by each case. After the executive comments, readers are provided with a number of topics and questions for discussion. Finally, there is an appendix with suggested readings and glossaries of the English and Portuguese terms that are used in the cases and in the executive comments. All of the cases are independent and can be presented in any order.

The complete text of the book is provided in both English and Portuguese. The cases themselves are written in both languages, and the videotaped executive comments were recorded in the native language of the participants and translated into the other language. Thus both North American and Brazilian readers can take advantage of the cultural information in the text even if they do not completely understand the other language. Readers who already speak or are learning to speak Portuguese or English can also consider the language aspects of the cases. The sixty video clips of the executive comments are available online as QuickTime movies. Readers may view the clips using a normal Internet browser at the following URL: http://www.laits.utexas.edu/orkelm/casos/intro.html.

This book is designed, not to present a complete survey of business culture, but rather to apply those concepts to American/Brazilian situations. There are many books that deal with general and business culture; interested readers may want to consult the sources in the reference list at the end of this book.


Brazilians Working With Americans: Cultural Case Studies é uma coleção de dez pequenos estudos de casos que foram desenhados para ajudar os leitores a entender alguns dos fatores culturais que aparecem quando profissionais americanos trabalham no ambiente de negócios brasileiro. Os dez casos são baseados em experiências verdadeiras que executivos brasileiros relatam sobre seu trabalho com norte-americanos. Os nomes e lugares foram alterados, mas os casos representam observações e estórias verdadeiras.

O formato de cada capítulo é o mesmo. Mesmo sendo importante os aspectos do negócio em cada caso, o foco desses casos resumidos é o lado cultural das interações. Dessa forma, os casos são apresentados sem muitas informações e números, focando apenas na interação entre as pessoas envolvidas. Depois de ambientalizar a estória, cada caso é reforçado por comentários vídeo-gravados de três executivos americanos e três executivos brasileiros que oferecem suas observações pessoais sobre o caso. No total, existem 60 comentários vídeo-gravados de dezessete executivos diferentes. Como os comentários representam as opiniões pessoais de cada um, eles variam em conteúdo e abordagem, mas o mais importante é que eles representam observações reais de pessoas reais sobre o que eles realmente pensam sobre as questões culturais de cada caso. Depois dos comentários dos executivos, os leitores têm acesso a alguns tópicos e questões para discussão. Finalmente, existe um apêndice com uma lista de referências e um glossário em português e em inglês de termos que foram utilizados nos casos e nos comentários dos executivos. Todos os casos são independentes dos demais e podem ser apresentados em qualquer ordem.

O texto completo do livro é apresentado em ambas as línguas, inglês e português. Os casos, em si, são também escritos em ambas as línguas e os comentários dos executivos em vídeo foram gravados na língua nativa dos participantes e traduzidos para a segunda língua. Dessa forma, leitores norte-americanos e brasileiros podem aproveitar a informação cultural no texto, mesmo não entendendo completamente a língua que lhe é estrangeira. Ao mesmo tempo, leitores que já falam ou estão aprendendo a falar inglês ou português podem aproveitar o aspecto lingüístico dos casos. Os vídeos dos comentários dos executivos são apresentados online e guardados como QuickTime Movies. Os leitores podem assistir aos vídeos através de seu navegador normal de Internet no seguinte site: http://www.laits.utexas.edu/orkelm/casos/intro.html.

Esse livro não foi desenhado para apresentar uma pesquisa completa sobre a cultura de negócios, mas sim para aplicar aqueles conceitos em situações americanas e brasileiras. Existem muitos livros que abordam cultura em geral ou a cultura de negócios. Leitores interessados podem consultar a lista de referências no final do livro.

Orlando R. Kelm is Associate Director of Business Language Education at UT CIBER, the Center for International Business Education and Research at the University of Texas at Austin, where he also teaches in the Department of Spanish and Portuguese.

Mary E. Risner is Assistant Director of the Latin American Business Environment Program at the University of Florida Center for Latin American Studies.

“This book is a very significant contribution [because] it touches an area where not much research has been done—differences in business approaches between Americans and their counterparts in Brazil—utilizing both original languages and translations. . . . There are no other books of similar content on this specific subject matter.”
—Glauco Ortolano, Director, Portuguese Program, The Lauder Institute, Wharton-Arts & Sciences, University of Pennsylvania