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Latin American Business Review
ISSN: 1097-8526 (Print) 1528-6932 (Online) Journal homepage: http://www.tandfonline.com/loi/wlab20
Analysis of the Decision-Makers’ Profile when
Making Decisions in Logistics
Henrique Soares Iwamoto, José Geraldo Vidal Vieira, Cristina Lourenço
Ubeda & Maria Luisa Laiate Liesack
To cite this article: Henrique Soares Iwamoto, José Geraldo Vidal Vieira, Cristina Lourenço
Ubeda & Maria Luisa Laiate Liesack (2017): Analysis of the Decision-Makers’ Profile when Making
Decisions in Logistics, Latin American Business Review, DOI: 10.1080/10978526.2017.1354704
To link to this article: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/10978526.2017.1354704
Published online: 24 Oct 2017.
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Date: 25 October 2017, At: 05:58
LATIN AMERICAN BUSINESS REVIEW
https://doi.org/10.1080/10978526.2017.1354704
none defined
Analysis of the Decision-Makers’ Profile when Making
Decisions in Logistics
Henrique Soares Iwamotoa, José Geraldo Vidal Vieiraa ,
Cristina Lourenço Ubedab , and Maria Luisa Laiate Liesackc
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a
Department of Production Engineering—CCGT, Federal University of São Carlos, Sorocaba, Brazil;
Department of Management—CCGT, Federal University of São Carlos, Sorocaba, Brazil; cPhD Student
of PROLAM, University of São Paulo, São Paulo, Brazil
b
ABSTRACT
ARTICLE HISTORY
This article aims to analyze how personal characteristics relate
to decision-making style, considering the cultural environment
in logistics decisions. This empirical research is tested using
descriptive statistics, Cronbach’s Alpha and nonparametric
correlation with 49 logistics decision-makers who work in
manufacturing and service sectors. Results show that top
managers’ representatives bear the following characteristics:
higher openness to new experiences, goal and accomplishment
orientation, greater agreeableness (being easy to deal with on a
daily basis), high risk aversion, and elevated spontaneity. In
addition, top managers bore lower emotional involvement, and
deliberated less in decisions.
Received 3 November 2016
Revised 10 April 2017
Accepted 11 April 2017
KEYWORDS
Decision-making; decisionmaking style; global
manager; logistics; personal
characteristics
RESUMEN
Este trabajo tiene por objeto analizar cual es la relación entre las
características personales y el estilo de toma de decisiones,
tomando en cuenta el entorno cultural de las decisiones
de logística. Esta investigación empírica se pone a prueba
utilizando estadísticas descriptivas, el Alfa de Cronbach y la
correlación no paramétrica con 49 tomadores de decisiones
de logística que trabajan en los sectores manufacturero y de
servicios. Los resultados muestran que los representantes de los
altos directivos tienen las siguientes características: son más
abiertos a las nuevas experiencias, están orientados al logro
y las metas, son más amables (es fácil trabajar con ellos
diariamente), sienten una profunda aversión al riesgo y son
sumamente espontáneos. Además, los altos directivos asumen
menos compromisos emocionales y reflexionan menos sobre
sus decisiones.
RESUMO
Este artigo tem por objetivo analisar como as características
pessoais e do estilo do tomador de decisão estão correlacionadas, considerando o ambiente cultural envolvido nos
processos de negociação logística. Para testar esta pesquisa
empírica, foram utilizadas estatística descritiva, correlação
não-paramétrica e Alfa de Conbach para analisar o perfil de
49 tomadores de decisão em logística que trabalham em
CONTACT Cristina Lourenço Ubeda
cristina-ubeda@ufscar.br
Centro de Ciências em Gestão e Tecnologia—
CCGT, Campus Sorocaba—UFSCar. Rodovia João Leme dos Santos (SP-264), Km 110, Bairro do Itinga—Sorocaba,
CEP 18052-780 SP, Paulo, Brazil.
© 2017 Taylor & Francis
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H. S. IWAMOTO ET AL.
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empresas de manufatura e serviço. Os resultados mostram
que os gerentes apresentam as seguintes características:
disponibilidade a novas experiências, orientação a meta e
realização, disponibilidade ao aceitar opiniões diversas (sendo
fácil de lidar e aceitar mudanças no dia-a-dia), maior aversão ao
risco, e maior espontaneidade. Além disso, esses decisores
apresentam um menor envolvimento emocional e menor
deliberação nas decisões.
Introduction
When negotiating, decision-making involves technical, personal, and cultural
factors. This research enquires whether or not those personal factors (the
decision-makers’ characteristics and style) and the cultural environment interfere in the decision-making process, with regard to logistics services. Instances
include transportation (inbound and outbound), warehousing, tracking, and
the electronic transfer of data, among others. Moreover, cross-cultural
differences have been recognized as being important in supply chain
management (Wiengarten, Fynes, Humphreys, Chavez, & McKittrick, 2011).
According to Davis, Mora-Monge, Quesada and Gonzalez (2014), crosscultural factors and supply chain management have also been recognized as
being important to e-business success. In turn, the internationalization of
businesses collaborates with the introduction of decision-makers to various
styles and cultures (Power, Schoenherr, & Samson, 2010), increasing the
difficulty level of their daily decisions and negotiations. Decision-making is
directly related to the decision-maker’s style, which itself is related to their
personal characteristics (Migliore, 2011; Spagnoli & Caetano, 2012).
According to Chartrand, Rose, Elliott, Marmarosh, and Caldwell (1993), this
personality-traits perspective assumes stable and consistent predispositions
and can be used to predict and study human behavior. Nicholson and
Willman (2001) suggested it for financial professionals. Following this, several
adaptations of the decision-making style, managers’ flexibility, and knowledge
of new cultural elements became necessary, highlighting the importance of
attitude changes in leaders (Dewettinck & van Ameijde, 2011).
This research aims to analyze how personal characteristics relate to decisionmaking style, considering the cultural environment in logistics decisions. Since
these elements are embedded in global transactions, investigating such relations
in the logistics negotiation process is relevant for modern companies. For
instance, according to Vieira, Yoshizaki, and Ho (2009), in an optimal negotiation, the purchasers needed information on supplier and retailer logistics, such
as vehicle capacity, target inventory turnover, order frequency, lead times, and
vehicle availability. For Simatupang and Sridharan (2005), stock levels and
inventory policy belong to the scope of essential information sharing by supply
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LATIN AMERICAN BUSINESS REVIEW
3
chain partners. Moreover, the logistics negotiation process (sales forecasting,
purchasing, order and delivery) is part of the logistic function (Langley &
Holcomb, 1992). These logistics aspects are especially so in order to satisfy
the growing need for product management and information flow between
global companies, as there is a dependence on strong logistics management
to make correct decisions. According to Wanke (2003), these logistics decisions
must be coherent with the characteristics of both the decision-maker and the
business, or with the environment of the negotiation.
This study contributes to investigating the negotiation process in the
logistics field, especially regarding cases in which decision-makers deal with
partnership selection and maintenance. Furthermore, this study analyzes
both the logistics decision-makers’ styles and personal characteristics, while
considering the cultural environment of their transactions. According to
D’Amico and Monteiro (2012), these elements are rarely treated in an
integrated way within organizational activities, and even less so when only
logistics related managers are taken into account. Although this study
provides suitable statistical results, a limitation is that the size of the sample
does not allow the application of more robust statistical procedures; therefore,
some elements of personal characteristics, decision-making styles, and
cultural environment could not be analyzed.
Factors of the decision-making process
The decision-making process involves several dimensions and elements, thus
rendering it necessary to consider and integrate various types of information.
The aforementioned factors can help predict the behavior of the person
who makes the decision. Ajzen (1991) pointed out that such behavior can
be controlled by subjective and cognitive factors and could be elaborated upon.
In this line of thought, Gambetti, Fabbri, Bensi, and Tonetti (2008) stated
that progress in the decision-making process is cognitive and expect to find a
strategy, using the available alternatives, which would allow for the selection
of the best decision amongst them all. Factors like experience and world
knowledge are important throughout this process. However, it is observed
that one does not always rely solely on them, but, rather, a sequence of
rational principles is followed. In summary, aspects of the decision-makers
very personality as well as their culture may impact the choice during a
decision process (Gambetti et al., 2008).
When investigating possible relationships in the decision-making process,
many authors defined individual factors and pointed out their relationship
with the decision-making style before different environments; examples
include Delaneya, Strougha, Parkerb, and Bruin (2015); Appelt, Milch,
Handgraaf, and Weber (2011); Al-Omari (2013); Wolff and Kim (2012);
Hong, Paunonen, and Slade (2008); Gambetti and colleagues (2008);
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H. S. IWAMOTO ET AL.
Thunholm (2004); Loo (2000); Venkatesh, Morris, and Ackerman (2000);
Scott and Bruce (1995); and Headey and Wearing (1989). The cultural
environment is explored by Perry and Finkelstein (1999) in the
investigation of the influence of organizational factors —structure, values, and
technology—in decision-making processes.
Based on these relationships, this article reveals dimensions within logistic
decisions: the decision-makers’ style, personal characteristics, and cultural
environment. Regarding the decision-makers’ style, attitude reflects the way
an individual faces a situation. Attitude is directly influenced by perception,
since it is defined as the manner in which we translate influences or external
stimuli captured by our senses (Ajzen, 1991). It includes trust, commitment,
and loyalty, which can inherently alter the negotiation table. Trust is based on
interpersonal behavior, when negotiations are impartial and commitments are
vigorously pursued during joint actions (Anderson & Narus, 1990).
Personal characteristics are directly related to the specific traits of one’s
personality. Personality can be analyzed through five dimensions, determined
by the Big Five Model (Bhatti, Battour, Ismail, & Sundram, 2014; Quintelier,
2014; Rammstedt & John, 2007; Saadullah & Bailey, 2014; Turner, 2014).
Cultural environment, in turn, refers to the culture around the work sphere
and the individual, in such a manner that it is strongly linked to nationality
or simply to their origin (Gulbro & Herbig, 1996).
Figure 1 shows how two dimensions—personal characteristics and
decision-makers’ style—relate to each other in such a way that they influence
the whole decision making processes. While personal characteristics and
decision-makers’ style tend to relate more with individuals, cultural environment pertains more to the collective. It, therefore, permeates those other two
groups of characteristics for each person. Consequently, managers bring those
with them when they meet in a negotiation.
Each manager has their own decision-making style and personal characteristics, which are inserted in a cultural environment. In a negotiation, it is
important that mutual cultural adaptation occurs. It is, therefore, necessary
to combine such adaptation with mutual comprehension for both parties to
strive for optimal outcomes. This work focuses on the existing relations
between personal characteristics and decision profiles, as exhibited in the
Figure 1.
The decision-making process while negotiating.
LATIN AMERICAN BUSINESS REVIEW
5
darker grey regions of Figure 1, highlighting the existing dimensions of the
personal characteristics and decision-makers’ style.
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Decision-makers’ style
Many personal perception-related deviations associated with one individual
may arise during the decision process, which directly affects the decisionmakers’ analyses and conclusions (Enders, Mendes, & Hesketh, 1983).
Therefore, awareness of the existence of cultural divergences enhances the
possibility of an individual interacting, motivating and influencing others
(Minkov & Hofstede, 2011).
To deepen the knowledge related to those deviations correlated with
personal perception within the context of a decision process, this article used
a group of researchers from the London Business School. They studied the
decision-makers’ style during the decision making process by utilizing the
Decision Making Style Questionnaire (Nicholson & Willman, 2001).
The model referenced above considers the interaction of three factors:
differences between individuals, situational demands, and managerial interventions. The following factors are associated with the decision-making style
(see Table 1).
Personal characteristics
This work adopted the idea of Personal characteristics as the specific
personality traits of each decision-maker. According to Hong and colleagues
Table 1.
Factors of decision-makers’ style.
Decision-makers’
style
Risk preference
Achievement
Emotional
involvement
Spontaneity
Deliberation
Descriptions
measures how much a manager is willing to risk in
order to obtain certain gains;
in some business, for instance in start-up decisions,
nascent women entrepreneurs perceive more risk
than nascent male entrepreneurs.
relates to a great need for success;
people fight with strength to accomplish challenging
yet still realistic objectives.
dictated by emotions that influence some decisionmaking characteristics.
involves information processing rules and heuristics
measures the quantity of spontaneity desired by the
respondents;
linked to the existence (or non-existence) of welldefined procedures and actions and negatively
related to stress.
differences between deliberated and analytical
thoughts with those who have quick and intuitive
ones.
Authors
Dalborg, von Friedrichs,
and Wincent (2015)
Nicholson and Willman
(2001)
Nicholson and Willman
(2001)
Bratton, Dodd, and Brown
(2011)
Kipper and Shemer (2006)
Raelim (2012)
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H. S. IWAMOTO ET AL.
(2008), the Big Five Model (also known as the Five-Factor Model) is the
main model used to describe any individual’s personality. This model has
been the focus of many researchers, who developed subsidiary models from
it. However, their core nature is very similar to the original one (Hong
et al., 2008).
The Big Five Model is often referred to as the OCEAN model, as shown in
Table 2.
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Cultural environment
Culture can be defined not only as a characteristic of an individual, but also
as a society’s collective mental programming in a certain environment.
Consequently, culture is normally hard to change; and if it actually does so,
the process is slow (Minkov & Hofstede, 2011). That is why it is necessary
to prepare leaders with the ability to get in touch with varied cultures and
geographical contexts. In order to get to this point, they must have selfknowledge and an awareness of with whom they are dealing (Sant’Anna,
Campos, & Lótfi, 2012). If this can occur, decisions and negotiations will have
a higher success rate. Leadership is also positively associated with extraversion, openness and conscientiousness (Zopiatis & Constanti, 2012), as
previously described.
Table 2.
Factors of personal characteristics (big five).
Personal
characteristics
Openness to
experiences
Conscientiousness
Extraversion
Agreeableness
Neuroticism
Descriptions
describes the depth with which an individual is
willing to accept new learning opportunities;
openness to originality and complex new
experiences, in addition to mental development.
describes how well one can control one’s impulses;
covers factors like thinking before acting, obeying
or disobeying rules;
task planning and prioritization.
encompasses the enthusiasm;
sociability in general activities, assertiveness and
being positive (stable) emotionally;
related to interpersonal relationships (warmth and
sociability may be part of extraversion).
refers to the manner by which an individual relates
to another, embracing characteristics such as
altruism, amiability, trust, and modesty;
tendency to be guided by feelings, especially
those related to the formation of judgments and
attitudes.
covers a person’s emotional stability
describing factors like anxiety, nervousness,
sadness, tension, and stress;
person sees mostly negative aspects in objective
events, and tends to be an unhappier person.
Authors
Wolff and Kim (2012)
Migliore (2011)
Headey and Wearing (1989)
Wolff and Kim (2012)
Migliore (2011)
Spagnoli and Caetano
(2012)
Wolff and Kim (2012)
Migliore (2011)
Headey and Wearing (1989)
Wolff and Kim (2012)
Migliore (2011)
Wolff and Kim (2012)
Migliore (2011)
Magnus, Diener, Fujita, and
Pavot (1993)
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Inevitably, managers must negotiate and communicate with other
managers, whether their nationalities are the same or different, in order to
make deals and obtain contracts between companies (Gulbro & Herbig,
1996). Various factors related to the culture of a particular nation exist, with
unique ideals, expectancies, and behaviors. This is an obvious occurrence
while negotiating internationally. Naturally, whenever two people with
different backgrounds and origins, and therefore distinct thoughts and
actions, attempt to communicate with each other, there is a considerably
higher chance of disagreements and misunderstandings. Along that stream
of thought, various cultural systems may generate varied negotiation styles,
based on the national culture itself as well as its language, geography, history,
and political system (Pagell, 2004).
International negotiations are becoming increasingly more common due to
globalization and, therefore, risk factors must be considered when transacting.
These factors are directly related to differences between nations, currencies,
and laws. A better understanding of these factors among negotiators is
therefore essential, and it is extremely important to know the other side of
the table and, consequently, how to deal with the interlocutor (Godinho &
Macioski, 2005).
According to Hofstede (1980), it is possible to empirically determine four
criteria or main dimensions in which cultures diverge from each other, using
40 independent nations. Those criteria are Power Distance, Uncertainty
Avoidance, Individualism/Collectivism, and Masculinity/Femininity. Those
dimensions are widely cited, from annals (as seen in Freitas, Macadar, &
Moscarola, 1996), to theses (Cardiga, 2002). This is, therefore, a great and
renowned reference in this particular area. Masculinity/Femininity is included
in this paper as they contribute to the concepts that permeate its composition.
Power Distance, Uncertainty Avoidance, and Individualism/Collectivism are
primarily used here.
Power Distance is the degree to which society accepts that power is
unequally distributed among institutions and organizations. Using this logic,
low power distance cultures tend to see every single person as equal, having
more respect for the individual. Managers from companies that are part of
these societies would rather have employees that give suggestions, while
employees prefer that managers consult them about their opinions more
frequently. On the other hand, high power distance societies tend to accept
an unequal distribution of power and authority. In this case, workers appear
to be afraid of their superiors and therefore tend to agree with their decisions.
Freitas and colleagues (1996) stated that this dimension presents itself as a
continuum of the perception of power distribution, defined as something
between relatively equal and extremely unequal.
The main characteristics involved in Individualism/Collectivism are those
related to the degree to which an individual is concerned primarily about
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H. S. IWAMOTO ET AL.
himself. In individualist societies, each person is responsible for himself, and
it is expected that each person then takes care of himself as well (Migliore,
2011). Therefore, people from individualist societies usually do not feel
comfortable with group work and, according to Cardiga (2002), presented
strong features like independence, decision autonomy, and personal initiative,
among others. In contrast, in collective societies, everyone belongs to a
particular group, and this group protects its members while also expecting
loyalty in return (Hofstede, 1980). These are cultures that avoid confrontation
and aim for harmony and cooperative behavior amongst themselves, while
greatly respecting the group (Cardiga, 2002; Freitas et al., 1996).
Lastly, the fourth factor is Masculinity/Femininity. Societies that are
classified as masculine are more assertive, aggressive, and competitive. They
value material success, which is more likely to be the kind of role a man
has in society (Migliore, 2011). In these types of societies, work plays a more
centered role in peoples’ lives; thus, accomplishment and fulfillment come
from wealth and success (for instance, Japan) (Herbig & Jacobs, 1998).
Feminine societies tend to put more value on quality, to the detriment of
quantity. Work here is less important, and the feeling of accomplishment is
defined by peoples’ interpersonal relationships (Hofstede, 1980).
Herbig (1997) also pointed out the difference between expressive and
reserved cultures. He uses non-verbal messages to help assist in describing
this. Examples such as the handshake, eye contact, comfort distance, and
touch are subcategories to nonverbal communication. He claims it is a
mistake to consider this sort of message as being universally comprehensible.
Arab countries, Latin Europe, and Latin America (more expressive) prefer to
keep greater proximity to other people (20–35 cm). Meanwhile, Asians,
Northern Europeans, and North Americans prefer to maintain more space
(40–60 cm). Still, there can be variations between cultures of the same
intensity of expression. For instance, in Germany, a delicate or soft handshake
may be potentially interpreted as weak, while in most Asian countries this is
considered polite.
Methodology
Based on the literature review related to personal characteristics, cultural
environment, and decision-making style, this research was conducted with
decision-makers in logistics with the objective of understanding decisionmaking and its relation to those factors in their negotiation process. To that
end, a survey was distributed to logistics decision-makers who work in
manufacturing and service sectors. This survey was carried out with companies hosting logistics headquarters in the São Paulo Metropolitan Region
(SPMR), where the negotiations take place. The SPMR represents 56% of
the GDP of São Paulo State (which represents 33% of Brazil’s GDP).
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Sample and procedures
The sample of this research comprises 49 companies’ representatives who
work in logistics. They belong to diverse segments, including areas such as
the food industry, hospitals, personal hygiene, chemicals, electronics, and
logistical service providers (LSP). Most of those representatives are senior
managers and directors, representing approximately 49% of the largest
companies in their sectors (22.5% retail, 8.2% hospital and LSP, and 18.3%
shipping). Usually, large companies play an important role in showing
their negotiation procedures to other smaller companies in a global context.
Although this study was carried out with more than one decision-maker at
the same company, opinions came directly from the individuals (i.e., not their
companies) responsible for negotiations in the logistics area.
Snowball sampling was adopted as a method to recruit interviewees. In
this method, it is asked that the respondents inform and forward an
invitation to complete the questionnaire to their contacts, especially in
relation to senior logistics managers who may also take part in the research.
According to Lima, Bellettini, Silva, and Amador (2008), the population
obtained from this criterion is an intentional sample and it allows for the
coverage of a small and specialized group, consistent with the objectives
of the research. With that in mind, this process began with the largest
retailer group, including 10 senior managers and one director. In this group,
two pre-tests were applied.
Therefore, an infinite population was considered and an intentional
sampling was used. Data was collected through the authors’ participation
and networking during events, such as conferences and training courses,
and a logistics-professionals e-mail address list. During the data collection
process, the search for people with higher positions (for instance, supervisors,
managers, and directors) was emphasized.
Questionnaire development and summary of data analysis
The questionnaire was developed based on Rammstedt and John (2007),
Nicholson and Willman (2001), Gulbro and Herbig (1996) and Hofstede
(1980) (Appendix). Respondents were asked to express their agreement with
the personal characteristics and decision making style using a 0–10 scale
(0 = totally disagree; 10 = totally agree). Options about “Cultural environment
in a negotiation” were obtained in a mutually exclusive manner. We invited
them to answer the questionnaire with a focus on negotiation in logistics.
First, descriptive statistics were carried out to understand the data. For
example, each decision-maker possesses different personal characteristics
(especially behaviors) when negotiating. The descriptive analyses are
important for the initial results and will be detailed later under the factors
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H. S. IWAMOTO ET AL.
of personal characteristics and decision-making style. The elements of these
factors were confirmed by Cronbach’s α (alpha) analysis and will be used
in nonparametric correlation between personal characteristics and decisionmaking style. These techniques are appropriate for the size of the sample.
SPSS Statistics V21.0 was used to conduct the analysis.
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Definition of the research’s proposition
After reviewing the literature, the proposition “Personal characteristics is
related to decision-making style in the logistics negotiation process,” was set.
Chartrand and colleagues (1993) affirmed that personal characteristics may
be used to study human behavior. On the other hand, the characteristics of
the personality itself and a decision-maker’s culture might influence their
decisions (Gambetti et al., 2008; Wanke, 2003). Nicholson and Willman
(2001) investigated how personal characteristics influence a decision-maker’s
style (or profile).
Results and discussion
Sample profile
Directors and senior managers make up around 58% of the sample (see
Table 3). In other words, the interviewees predominantly occupy higher
positions in the hierarchy. They are the individuals who normally make more
strategic decisions and, therefore, have more negotiation impact in a
company. These decisions are related to shared inventory information,
logistics network, automation logistics standards, key accounts and suppliers,
logistic alliances with other partners, and logistic service providers and
relationship history in the negotiations (Vieira et al., 2009). Analysts and
coordinators occupy the lower position and are responsible for improving
tactical elements, such as on-time delivery, inventory reduction or out-ofstock issues. Supervisors are responsible for proposing organizational
changes in logistics decisions (team composition, leadership, setting tasks,
incorporation of new routines, automatic data exchange, and so on).
Table 4 presents the average respondent’s amount of experience and age by
position. This information helps with the analysis of the individual’s profile.
Table 3.
Number of respondents per position and company type.
Company
Shippers
Carriers
Services (LSP, hospital)
Retail
Total
Analyst
Coordinator
Supervisor
Manager
Exec Man.
Total
2
1
2
–
5
2
–
4
–
6
4
–
5
–
9
7
1
3
10
21
2
3
1
1
8
17
6
15
11
49
LATIN AMERICAN BUSINESS REVIEW
Table 4.
Average respondent experience and age per position.
Respondents’ average experience
in the position (years)
Respondents’ average age (years)
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11
Analyst
Coordinator
Supervisor
Manager
Exec Man.
6
3.2
5.25
6.65
6.33
33.4
32.16
38.44
41.86
41.63
It is interesting how the sample reveals that the average age is relatively high
in every position, especially the lower ones.
The research comprises 41% respondents who work in medium sized
companies (100 to 499 employees) and 43% respondents in large companies
(500 or more employees). Thus, it is reasonable to assume most companies are
medium or large. These companies tend to take part in vast projects, which
may also mean they are constantly involved in high-value negotiations, and
that their executives continually face complex decisions.
Analysis of personal characteristics and decision-making style factors
Alpha Cronbach was employed to measure the internal consistency among
the variables related to a construct or factor (Gageiro & Pestana, 2005). It
was used as an estimate of the reliability of a psychometric test, in our case
“personal characteristics” and “decision-making style.” Therefore, it is commonly assumed, for instance, that the average correlation of a set of variables,
which measure the personal characteristics of the individuals, is an accurate
estimate of the average correlation of all variables that pertain to the factor
“personal characteristics.” The value of Cronbach’s alpha varies from 0 to
1, and the internal consistency commonly accepted is as follows: α ≥ 0.9
(excellent); 0.9 > α ≥ 0.8 (good); 0.8 > α ≥ 0.7 (acceptable); 0.7 > α ≥ 0.6
(questionable); 0.6 > α ≥ 0.5 (poor) and 0.5 > α (unacceptable). Table 5 shows
the value of Cronbach’s alpha for each factor.
Based on these cut-off values, Table 5 shows that most variables are reliable
and should be used in drawing the conclusion of good correlations between
variables and their factors. However, the factors Neuroticism (personal
characteristic) and Achievement and Routine (decision-making style) are
not suitable for the analysis and are therefore eliminated.
Descriptive analysis of the personal characteristics
Frequency analysis using first quartile, median, and third quartile were the
best descriptive measures of position due to the high variability of values
when considering means (see Table 6).
Table 6 shows no greater discrepancy between higher and lower score
values in any factor. In general, from the viewpoint of frequency analysis (first
quartile, median and third quartile) the factors present high scores; half the
12
H. S. IWAMOTO ET AL.
Table 5.
Reliability analysis for the personal characteristics and decision-making style factors.
Factors of analysis
Variables
Personal characteristics
Conscientiousness
Openness to experiences
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Extraversion
Agreeableness
Neuroticism
Decision-making style
Deliberation and risk
Emotions
Achievement
Routine
Table 6.
Cronbach’s α
VAR07
VAR10
VAR15
VAR02
VAR01
VAR04
VAR11
VAR16
VAR06
VAR14
VAR05
VAR13
VAR12
VAR03
VAR08
VAR09
–
–
–
–
–
–
–
–
–
–
–
–
–
–
–
–
Perseverant
Following
Organized
Curious
Original
Active
Reflecting
Creative and innovative
Assertive
Enthusiastic
Confident
Sophisticated
Cooperative
Tense
Calm
Temperamental
0.72
VAR27
VAR26
VAR19
VAR20
VAR17
VAR21
VAR23
VAR24
VAR25
VAR18
VAR22
–
–
–
–
–
–
–
–
–
–
–
Pressure
High-risk
Intuitive decisions
Instinctive reactions
Overcome adversity
Emotional
The best
Success
Lose
Routine
Rules
0.75
0.70
0.65
0.60
0.24
0.64
0.43
0.22
Descriptive analysis of each factor of personal characteristics by position.
Personal characteristics
Cargo
First quartile
Median
Third quartile
Openness to experiences
Analyst
Coordinator
Supervisor
Manager
Exec Man.
Analyst
Coordinator
Supervisor
Manager
Exec Man.
Analyst
Coordinator
Supervisor
Manager
Exec Man.
Analyst
Coordinator
Supervisor
Manager
Exec Man.
6.30
6.05
7.50
7.00
6.85
6.17
6.33
6.67
7.00
5.75
6.25
6.38
7.75
7.00
6.25
5.83
6.17
7.17
6.50
5.58
7.20
7.80
8.00
7.60
7.30
6.67
7.67
7.33
7.33
7.33
7.00
8.25
8.50
7.50
7.25
6.00
8.00
7.67
7.00
7.33
7.50
9.20
8.60
8.10
7.95
7.50
8.00
9.17
8.50
8.17
8.25
9.50
9.00
8.50
8.88
6.67
8.33
9.33
8.00
8.00
Conscientiousness
Extraversion
Agreeableness
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LATIN AMERICAN BUSINESS REVIEW
13
respondents have a stated score of approximately 7.0 (median); at least 25%
(third quartile) of the respondents “strongly agree” (score around 8) or 75%
(first quartile) “agree” (score around 6) that they have those personal
characteristics. However, because Openness to Experiences and Extraversion
rank higher in terms of score than the other factors, perhaps the respondents
are more in favor of openness to originality and new experiences, and are also
more enthusiastic and assertive in their general logistics activities.
When different job positions were analyzed, we observed that supervisors
and coordinators present the highest scores in every factor of personal
characteristics, and analysts consistently present the lowest scores. Likewise,
senior managers consistently show scores that grant them an intermediate
position in rank.
Descriptive analysis of the decision makers’ styles
Table 7 depicts the relation between each dimension of the decision-making
style and the respondents’ position. For the sake of consistency with the
last section, frequency analysis was used for the personal characteristics
descriptive analysis and divided according to the respondents’ positions.
Risk preference measures show that lower-level positions (and,
therefore, younger representatives) tend to enjoy higher levels of risk. As
the positions ascend, risk aversion seems to rise too. The variables inside
Risk preference and deliberation factor showed that tactical/operational
workers prefer to deliberate slightly more about their decisions.
Meanwhile, those who have higher positions adopt a more intuitive
decision-making style. They may not require as much data or time when
making a decision due to their knowledge and experience. They call it
Intuition in their everyday lives.
Getting emotionally involved with work and managing to overcome
adversity and setbacks seems to be less of a challenge to middle managers
and senior managers; most of them present a low score, that is, along their
Table 7.
Descriptive analysis of each dimension of decision-makers’ styles per position.
Decision-makers’ style
Risk preference and deliberation
Emotional involvement
Cargo
First quartile
Median
Third quartile
Analyst
Coordinator
Supervisor
Manager
Exec Man.
Analyst
Coordinator
Supervisor
Manager
Exec Man.
4.63
4.44
6.00
4.75
5.25
6.75
7.00
7.00
6.75
6.25
5.50
6.38
6.50
6.00
6.38
7.50
7.75
8.00
7.50
7.50
6.25
7.06
8.00
7.00
7.44
8.00
8.13
8.25
8.00
8.00
14
H. S. IWAMOTO ET AL.
greater negotiating experience, their emotions bear little influence in their
logistics decision-making.
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Analysis of the factors that constitute the cultural environment
Regarding the cultural environment, we noted that the majority of the
respondents (approximately 92%) claim to prefer group work. Roughly 88%
of them mentioned arriving on time to their appointments. Given the sample’s composition, it appears there is a tendency among those higher in the
decision-making hierarchy to work in teams. When it comes to punctuality,
respondents who hold less strategic positions prove to be more punctual.
Every analyst and every coordinator responded that they arrived on time.
Negotiation preferences are another point of analysis. Only 23% claimed
they would rather negotiate with people previously known to them, friends,
or even family. This result suggests that decision-makers may have a hard
time when trying to dissociate personal matters from professional ones. This
tendency has been pointed to as a disadvantage of the Brazilian manager in
contrast with other nationalities (Oliveira & Moriguchi, 2010). In relation
to wages and the prioritization of life quality, roughly 78% of the interviewees
said they would prefer higher salaries, even if that meant more hours. When
taking their job position into account, 77% of the more tactical/operational
individuals and 80% of the strategic ones represented this finding.
Those who prefer working less coincide with those who put more value on
people, the environment, and time itself. Interestingly, those who declared
themselves as being more materialist are represented by those who occupy
tactical/operational positions.
Regarding the hierarchy itself, the sample has shown it to be rather split:
53% think that the hierarchy does not bear great importance and that all their
department’s employees may have the same point of view of the business.
Among those respondents, 68% have higher job positions, which indicates
that, in comparison to the commanded ones, they have more trust in the
group’s collaborative contributions and decisions. However, hierarchy plays
an essential role in business for the other 47% of the sample. In this case,
the proportion of the positions is the reverse—52% of the answers come from
more tactical and operational workers.
Finally, after observing various actions and what is valued at a negotiation
table, 49% answered that they look firmly in the interlocutor’s eyes, 31% use
strong handshakes, 14% discretely observe the other’s reactions, 2% keep
some physical distance, and 2% touch the other person with some frequency
(disregarding handshakes). According to Herbig (1997), Brazilian people are
considered to have a more expressive culture and, therefore, the position of
looking firmly in the eyes, a closer physical proximity, and more touching
is expected.
LATIN AMERICAN BUSINESS REVIEW
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Personal characteristics within decision-making
Proposition: Personal characteristics is related to decision-making style
in the logistics negotiation process
In order to investigate this proposition, a nonparametric correlation analysis
was used aiming to determine whether personal characteristics coincides with
decision-makers’ behaviors when deciding. Table 8 shows the correlation
between variables. Values in bold are the most representative ones, as they
are the ones that bring forth the idea of the existence of more linear relationships between variables.
Judge, Bono, Ilies, and Gerhardt (2002) observed that the research has
generally concluded that personality is not a very good input to validate or
to help predict performance at work. Yet, it is reasonable to say that such
performance is intrinsically related to the worker’s decisions (Cha, Park, &
Lee, 2014). However, it was verified, with 1% significance, that the decisionmakers involved emotionally in logistics work and who seem to overcome
adversity and setbacks at work present the follow personal characteristics:
original, curious, active, enjoy reflecting and playing with ideas, creative,
enthusiastic, assertive, perseverant, and organized. It means, dictated by
emotions, their personal characteristics can influence some decision-making.
Moreover, those personal characteristics also contribute to the deliberation of
the decision-makers—they make decisions under pressure and in an intuitive
manner, in the presence of high-risk, and to have trust in their instinctive
reactions.
Additionally, this article’s results relating to personal characteristics are
consistent with the work of D’Amico and Monteiro (2012) (Table 9). Results
were sorted according to their means in order to measure how strong or how
relevant each dimension is for each result (this work and also D’Amico and
Monteiro’s). Factors were scored 1 to 5, 1 being the most relevant and 5 being
the least.
The results presented in Table 9 are similar to those of D’Amico and
Monteiro, albeit with a slight difference. While Extraversion is more important in this paper when compared to Openness to Experiences, D’Amico
and Monteiro found the opposite. However, both were ranked as intermediate
level of relevance.
Table 8.
Correlations between personality traits and decision-making factors.
Openness to experiences
Agreeableness
Extraversion
Conscientiousness
Deliberation
Emotions
0.286**
0.206
0.364**
0.244*
0.617***
0.361**
0.697***
0.601***
Note: ***Correlation is significant at the 0.01 level; **at 0.05 and *0.10.
16
Table 9.
H. S. IWAMOTO ET AL.
Comparison between this work’s and D’Amico and MonteirO’s (2012) results.
Factor
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Neuroticism
Extraversion
Agreeableness
Conscientiousness
Openness to experiences
Paper’s results
D’Amico e Monteiro’s results (2012)
Relevance
Mean
Standarddeviation
Relevance
Mean
Standarddeviation
5
4
1
2
3
–
7.80
7.25
7.42
7.60
–
1.22
1.27
1.26
0.92
5
3
1
2
4
2.55
4.77
5.65
5.46
4.60
0.56
0.7
0.48
0.61
0.58
Discussion
Several inferences were made based on the cross-analysis of the decisionmakers’ styles and cultural environment. Individuals who are part of the
tactical and operational levels are concerned with how to improve the tactical
elements (delivery process, out-of-stock issues and order frequency) and they
propose organizational changes in logistics decisions (team or person dedicated per logistics project, task definition, sharing joint logistic goals/plans,
automatic data exchange) (Vieira et al., 2009). They also revealed themselves
as being more materialist. Holding lower positions in the hierarchy, they desire
higher wages and, therefore, higher positions. Those who believe in the importance of the hierarchy are also at the lower levels, which is consistent with the
previous observation. On the other hand, strategic level professionals normally
have greater income and their needs tend to lie on superior stands. These
individuals report wishing to spend more time with their families and are more
concerned with the environment of the negotiation. In other words, they are
more strategic in the relationship with their partners, involved in the drafting
of logistics agreements, and knowledgeable of the reality of the logistical
partners (Vieira, Yoshizaki, & Ho, 2015). Table 7 shows these people also tend
to put more value on less risk. This is explained by the fact that upper and
middle managers are more dependent on their results, which has a major
impact on their remuneration. It is also a heavy influence on logistics negotiations and may also influence operational parameters (such as shipment
frequency, lead times and lot sizing) (Vieira et al., 2009).
In a general way, the interviewees are already too emotionally involved with
work. This is corroborated by the fact that only 23% of the decision-makers
would rather negotiate with closer people or family. Thus, they are also averse
to the idea of getting even more emotionally involved in decisions. However,
Table 7 suggests that there is a tendency to reduce emotional involvement
as one advances positions at work. Therefore, to avoid uncertainties and
stress, or emotions related to this, there is a strong search for more rationalist
working methods.
Additionally, when focusing on professionals’ ages and time of experience
in their positions, one notes that they are young professionals with relatively
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LATIN AMERICAN BUSINESS REVIEW
17
little experience (timewise). This indicates that such professionals have been
valued and promoted quicker. Analysts, for instance, are older and have more
time in their current position. Yet, for some reason, they remain inert. The
reason for this may be their deficiency in the dimensions related to the general
characteristics that a global executive should present.
Openness to Experiences and Extraversion have gotten larger scores under
the personal characteristics group. This group is the factor that shows
statistical relevance on the analysis of the proposition. Correlation analysis
indicates that Deliberation and Emotions trend in the same direction as
Extraversion and Openness to experiences. This is consistent with the idea
that Extraversion might have relevant influence when determining preferences for deliberation as per Wolff and Kim (2012).
Conclusions
We conclude that personal factors and cultural environment influence the
decision-making process of the managers at 49 logistics companies (half of
which are the largest companies in their sectors) acting in the São Paulo Metropolitan Region (SPMR). SPMR is the most important region in Brazil in terms
of gross domestic product; indeed, many company headquarters are located
there, which is why it is the location for most logistics and trade negotiations.
The integrated analysis of the results enables us to see that top managers’
representatives bear the following characteristics: higher openness to new
experiences, goal and accomplishment orientation, elevated agreeableness
figures (being easy to deal with on a daily basis), greater risk aversion,
heightened spontaneity, and less deliberation in logistics decisions. They
may control their impulses, think before acting, and plan and prioritize
their tasks. Consequently, there is less emotion involved in their logistics
decision-making. They are also concerned about the relationship with partners and the scope of essential information-sharing by supply chain partners.
Thus, these managers’ profiles suggest a future change. Moreover, regarding
cultural aspects, most of these mangers (roughly 80%) look firmly into the
interlocutor’s eyes or use strong handshakes in negotiations. On the other
hand, difficulties related to dealing with family and isolating the professional
from personal affairs were found in the sample: a few points managers
might want to develop in order to become better prepared when negotiating
internationally (Sousa & Valadão Júnior, 2013).
Although the sample is restricted to decision-makers in logistics, the results
may be useful for other similar studies; the intentionally constructed sample
sought spontaneous answers from the questionnaires with the purpose of
revealing characteristic elements of the population researched. The findings
may be useful to decision-makers who, in their daily negotiations, work in
an environment involving a variety of cultural elements, insofar as those
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18
H. S. IWAMOTO ET AL.
elements of personal characteristics and decision-making styles are well known
in the literature and have been confirmed by this research. Therefore, familiarity with these elements of personal characteristics and cultural factors can also
help in analyzing Brazilians’ negotiations in the international scenario.
This research provides adequate statistical results; however, the sample size
is limited and, therefore, certain elements could not be analyzed. Tests for the
reliability of the constructs lessened the risk of incorrect estimations of the
relationships between the factors; consequently, elements of the decisionmaking style such as Routine and Achievement, and the personal characteristics such as Neuroticism are lacking in this proposal.
Another limitation of the sample size is that it applied only to nonparametric tests. Therefore, further statistical analysis should be made using bigger
samples. To do so, other methods such as factor analysis and structured
equation modeling could be adopted in order to corroborate or refute this
paper’s results. Lastly, the data collection used the snowball method, therefore
sampling was not random. Most of the respondents came from an existing
contact list that the researchers used to develop logistics projects.
Acknowledgements
We thank Jasmine Jewel Thompson for proofreading the article.
ORCID
José Geraldo Vidal Vieira
Cristina Lourenço Ubeda
http://orcid.org/0000-0002-5913-2652
http://orcid.org/0000-0001-6460-9462
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H. S. IWAMOTO ET AL.
Appendix
1. Respondent’s profile
Nationality
Language used in negotiations (able to use 1
or more options)
Age
Current position and experience (time in this
position)
Open question
Options: Portuguese; English; Chinese;
Japanese; Spanish; Italian
Open question
Open question
Downloaded by [UNIVERSITY OF ADELAIDE LIBRARIES] at 05:58 25 October 2017
2. Cultural environment (Options are mutually exclusive)
I like working:
In my meetings:
I prefer negotiating with:
I prefer having:
I consider myself:
I believe that:
In the professional/negotiation sphere, I
prefer being called by the:
At a negotiation table, I:
Options: alone; in team/work
Options: I am punctual; I arrive a bit late
Options: family/friends/close people; no or
almost no contact people
Options: high wages; reduced work time
Options: more materialist; to put more value
into people/environment/time
Options: hierarchy is essential to business;
every employee might have the same point
of view of the business
Options: first name; last name
Options: use a stronger handshake; keep
physical distance; discretely observe the
other’s reaction; firmly look into the other’s
eyes; use touch to emphasize something
3. Personal characteristics; Scale: 0–10 (0 = totally disagree; 10 = totally agree)
VAR01—I
VAR02—I
VAR03—I
VAR04—I
VAR05—I
VAR06—I
VAR07—I
VAR08—I
VAR09—I
VAR10—I
VAR11—I
VAR12—I
VAR13—I
VAR14—I
VAR15—I
VAR16—I
am original. I always have new ideas
am curious about new things
get tense easily
continuously take part in new activities
am normally confident
have an assertive personality
persevere until the task is complete
keep calm in tense situations
may be temperamental
make and follow plans
like reflecting and play with ideas
like cooperating with others
consider myself sophisticated in arts, music or literature
make my team enthusiastic
consider myself organized
consider myself creative/innovative
4. Decision making style; Scale: 0—10 (0 = totally disagree; 10 = totally agree)
VAR17—I overcome adversity and setbacks at work
VAR18—I prefer routine
VAR19—I make quick and intuitive decisions
VAR20—I have trust in instinctive reactions
VAR21—I get emotionally involved with work
VAR22—I prefer situations with no rules
VAR23—I aim for being the best
VAR24—Success is everything
VAR25—I know how to lose
VAR26—High-risk excites me
VAR27—I am comfortable when I have to decide quickly and under pressure
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