Case 04: Confused in Caracas


Some years ago the Venezuelan government contacted the Norwegian offshore oil-platform logistics company Helicopter Service A/S. The Venezuelans wanted to negotiate a contract to service their offshore oil rigs. One member of the Stavanger firm’s negotiating team was Hans Andersen, a tall blond helicopter pilot.

It was Hans’s his first visit to Caracas. Shortly after his arrival the pilot invited to a cocktail party. He was introduced around and soon Evita, an attractive Venezuelan woman, began a lively conversation with him. Hans now quickly understood why so many beauty queens come from this country.

Evita was very animated and attentive to the pilot’s views on various subjects. When Hans mentioned a recent incident from his personal life in Scandinavia, Evita responded by relating an interesting event in her own life. While conversing, she stood very close and touched his arm from time to time.

Pleased how well they were getting along, Hans invited Evita out to dinner. At this, Evita’s conversation suddenly became less enthusiastic, and after a short interval she walked off to converse with friends in another part of the room.

Puzzled, Hans stared into his wine glass and wondered what had happened.


How would you explain to Hans what happened here?