Monday, November 24, 2008

8th Interview: “emotional branding” in a cross-cultural context

1st order: The 8th interview was with a student from Germany, who conducted a study on emotional branding for a German research institute. The study comprised ten interviews with organizations in the region. Therefore I took the opportunity to gain insights on another scientific observer’s perspective.
Research focus and design
The study was solely focused on B2B relationships, relationships between the German research institute and its stakeholders in the UAE. The concept of emotional branding consists of the idea that emotions influence decision-making, in terms of whether cooperation is more likely or not. A second pillar within the study has been values. Following the question, whether values are functional or emotional thereby influencing the likelihood of cooperation. The interviews were semi-structured containing a set of guiding questions.
• Business relationships of organizations rely very much on interpersonal relationships between single individuals. Trust building is thereby the predominant factor.
• Intercultural competences and knowledge come especially within theses personal interactions into account. However Arabs seem to be gracious when it comes to pitfalls and mistakes.
• Business agreements take time. Only after a personal relationship and the corresponding trust has been a built a deal is going to be offered.
• While the German stakeholders rather seemed to base their decisions first on facts and only secondary on interpersonal relations, the Middle Eastern stakeholders, be them Syrians, Emirati, etc. based their decisions primarily on the relationship to one contact person.
• Certain attributes, like reliable, rational, fact-based, high quality work were referred to the institute, because these were associated with a German institution.

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