Cross-Cultural Dimensions in Negotiations

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CADR 510
Problem Solving, Negotiation and Conflict Assessment
Professor: S.I. Keethaponcalan, Ph.D.

Cross-cultural dimensions in negotiations
Western-American vs. Eastern Sudanese

Mohamed A.Tirab
November/12/2012

The intellectual knowledge, ideas and opinions found in this assignment are mine, and mine alone. Any additional knowledge, ideas, thoughts, words, or phrases belonging to others have been properly attributed using standard and approved citations. Mohamed Tirab

ABSTRACT
International negotiations share many similarities, but significance differences are also present. One important aspect, and difference, relates to culture as negotiation style is to a great extent determined by culture. Clashing cultures can create misunderstandings and difficult challenges for negotiating parties, and may be even collapse of the process ultimately. Understanding and appreciating cultural impacts is essential in achieving successful intercultural communication and negotiation, despite differences. Parties involved must therefore obtain an understanding and respect of cultures present. Without reflection and consideration of this aspect the negotiation process and outcome could end in failure. INTRUDUCTION

Negotiation has been defined as a discussion between two or more parties aimed at resolving incoming goals (Pruitt & Carnevale, 1993). Negotiation however is an art practiced everyday in day-to-day social interact with others. Among the interaction and communication between parties during the process to resolve perceived incompatible goals, if parties which are in the process are not understanding very well each other’s values as well as culture ,misunderstanding or collapse may face the process. This concerns all kinds of negotiations, domestic, national, or international negotiations, but it could be clearer in the International negotiations. The International community and the interdependent relationships amongst the nations is ever-growing, causing increased communication across cultures. Culture is the most important variable affecting international negotiations and the values and norms that are encompassed by culture can affect negotiations .Cultural values establish what members perceive as important, while cultural norms outline, and guides what is considered proper and improper behavior. Together, cultural values and norms influence how one perceives situations and how one reacts to the behavior of others. Cultural differences play a role in the outcomes of negotiations .Using American culture -as western culture – vs. Sudanese -as eastern culture, for comparison, with intentions to gain some insights into the dynamic world of cross-cultural negotiation. WEST vs. EAST, INDIVIDUALISM vs. COLLECTIVISM.

The term culture can be applied in many contexts, but with different meanings associated. In a negotiation context it is common to define culture in terms of an identifiable group of people sharing the same values and beliefs (Lewicki, & Barry, Negotiation, International Edition, 5th edition, 2006) A common and potentially dangerous misconception held by some scholars , is that people from all over the world conceptualize in an identical manner. Certain conceptualizations are often considered universal and can lead to difficulties in different areas of international cooperation. Decision makers, who are working in a cross-cultural environment and making decisions- as well decision on negotiations- based only on their own culturally specific treatment of an issue, idea or situation can result in miscommunication and, ultimately, misguided outcomes. Decision makers from the west, when negotiating people from east, could consider the cultural differences, between those two societies. Culture is not genetically inherited, and cannot exist on its own, but it is always shared by members of a society (Hall 1976). Culture is passed from one generation to the other, it is changing all the time...
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