Chinese Negotiation Style

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Journal of Business & Industrial Marketing
Emerald Article: Negotiation: the Chinese style Tony Fang

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To cite this document: Tony Fang, (2006),"Negotiation: the Chinese style", Journal of Business & Industrial Marketing, Vol. 21 Iss: 1 pp. 50 - 60 Permanent link to this document: http://dx.doi.org/10.1108/08858620610643175 Downloaded on: 08-10-2012 References: This document contains references to 76 other documents Citations: This document has been cited by 10 other documents To copy this document: permissions@emeraldinsight.com

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Negotiation: the Chinese style
Tony Fang
School of Business, Stockholm University, Stockholm, Sweden
Abstract Purpose – To examine the nature of Chinese business negotiating style in Sino-Western business negotiations in business-to-business markets involving large industrial projects from a social cultural point of view. Design/methodology/approach – A conceptual approach developed from personal interviews. Findings – This study reveals that the Chinese negotiator does not possess an absolute negotiating style but rather embraces a mixture of different roles together: “Maoist bureaucrat in learning”, “Confucian gentleman”, and “Sun Tzu-like strategist”. The Chinese negotiating strategy is essentially a combination of cooperation and competition (termed as the “coop-comp” negotiation strategy in this study). Trust is the ultimate indicator of Chinese negotiating propensities and role choices. Research limitations/implications – The focus of this study is on Chinese negotiating style shown in large B2B negotiations with Chinese SOEs. Originality/value – Differing from most other studies on Chinese negotiating style which tend to depict the Chinese negotiator as either sincere or deceptive, this study points out that there exists an intrinsic paradox in Chinese negotiating style which reflects the Yin Yang thinking. The Chinese negotiator has a cultural capacity to negotiate both sincerely and deceptively and he/she changes coping strategies according to situation and context, all depending on the level of trust between negotiating partners. Keywords China, National cultures, Negotiating, Management skills, International business Paper type Research paper

An executive summary for managers can be found at the end of this article. The People’s Republic of China (PRC) has emerged as one of the most dynamic elements in the global economy (Lardy, 2002; Nolan, 2001; Panitchpakdi and Clifford, 2002). During the 1990s, US$300 billion foreign direct investment (FDI) went to China. In 2002, China overtook the USA as the world’s largest FDI recipient (China Daily, 2003; Kynge, 2003). In 2003, the FDIs in China have increased by US$53.5 billion in 2003. Today, some 500,000 foreigninvested enterprises including more than 400 large companies of Fortune 500 with numerous large projects and establishments are now operating in China, now known as “the...
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