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ALPHA-BETA

     ALPHA-BETA PARTNERSHIP

GROUP SIZE: 8-30, two rooms, 90 minutes

INSTRUCTIONS

    1. Divide the class into two groups, separate the groups into two rooms, give DISTRIBUTION OF

    REWARDS to participants in both groups, give ALPHA sheets to one group and BETA sheets to

    the other group.

    2. Each group should choose a leader according to their cultural attributes.

    3. Have the groups practice their cultural attributes separately by solving the DISTRIBUTION OF

    REWARDS problem in their own groups first before entering into negotiation with the other

    group.

    4. Take the ALPHA and BETA sheets away after 15 minutes. Do not discuss the results with the

    groups.

    5. Each group prepares to negotiate with the other group by splitting in half and sending half to meet

    with the other group. Therefore, one group gets to host and one group gets to visit. You can call

    one group the field group and one group the HQ group, if you like. You can allow ALPHA-

    ALPHA or BETA-BETA consultation during the negotiations if you like.

6. The ALPHA-BETA negotiations proceed, using DISTRIBUTION OF REWARDS.

    7. You observe the two negotiations and cut them off after 20 minutes. They probably will not have

    solved the problem in the mixed cultural group. The two groups get back together in the same

    room.

8. Each mixed group presents their results to the group as a whole.

    9. Have them drop their roles and debrief for 20 minutes. Debriefing follows two tracks:

    A. The process: How and why was it harder to work in mixed groups then mono groups?

    B. The product/outcome: How did the mixed nature of the groups affect the actual decision

    and why?

?Marcella Simon Peralta 2001

ALPHA-BETA

    DISTRIBUTION OF REWARDS

    (adapted from the exercise of the same name developed by Richard Brislin)

    The ALPHA-BETA joint venture partnership recently received a contract for $800,000 USA dollars to build a road in a third country. Given a number of fortunate circumstances, such as good weather, the project was completed for $700,000. It is now the end of the fiscal year and the board of directors has decided that the extra $100,000 can be distributed in bonuses among the people involved in the project the way financial managers at HQ and the line managers in the field office (which oversaw the project) from both partner companies decide. The people involved were evenly distributed among Alphas and Betas.

    Person A was the hardest worker and was clearly responsible for supervising a great deal of the actual day-to-day work on the project. At least 40% of the day-to-day work on the project was done by him.

    Persons B, C, and D were solid but not spectacular contributors. They were competent workers but not outstanding. Each contributed about 15% of the actual day-to-day work on the project.

    Person E is a very high status and wealthy person in the organization and in the community. Although he did not engage in any of dry-to-day work on the road construction project and did not write the proposal for funding, it is known within the organization that he called upon his connections and used his influence so that the original $800,000 contract would go to the company.

    Person F is a contributor much like B, C, and D. His contribution was about 15% of the work needed for the project's completion. His father died recently, however, and person F has considerable expenses associated with the funeral, nursing care for his mother, and the education of his much younger brothers (his father left no estate).

Note that the contribution of A, B, C, D, and F total 100% of the project’s workload.

    As financial managers from ALPHA and BETA companies you are meeting first with your colleagues at HQ or in the field office to agree on a position and then to discuss your position with your counterparts and reach a joint partnership agreement.

     Amount of Bonus Reason

    Person A

Person B

Person C

Person D

Person E

Person F

     Total = $100,000

?Marcella Simon Peralta 2001

ALPHA-BETA

    ALPHAS

GREETINGS

    Members do not touch each other or others, touching is considered rude and vulgar and is reserved for intimate family members. Greetings are usually a quick bow of the head “hello” and then down to

    business.

THE TEAM

Members believe in the power and strength of the individual. Each person has the responsibility to

    contribute to the team to the best of his/her ability in his/her own way.

LEADERSHIP

The leader is the person with the strongest, most dominant personality and is chosen by majority vote.

    The leader initially presents the team’s position during negotiations.

PROBLEM SOLVING/DECISION MAKING

Problems are best solved through impersonal logic and rational argument. Decisions are reached

    through a vote and majority wins.

CONFLICT

Conflict is healthy and normal. In conversations, you feel free to disagree with others and encourage

    others to disagree with you.

    ?Marcella Simon Peralta 2001

ALPHA-BETA

    BETAS

GREETINGS

    Members greet others by touching lightly on the shoulder. Inquiries about self and family well- being must be made before business discussions can begin.

THE TEAM

The harmony of the group is very important and each team member is very solicitous of fellow group

    members.

LEADERSHIP

You come from a culture where age and experience are revered. The eldest member of the group is

    automatically the leader and deferred to by the rest of the group. The leader chooses the person who is

    to present the team’s initial position in negotiations.

PROBLEM SOLVING/DECISION MAKING

Problems are best solved through consensus, each member of the team must agree before any action

    may be taken.

CONFLICT

Conflict is seen as something to be avoided. Disagreement is expressed through silence and bowing of

    heads.

?Marcella Simon Peralta 2001

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