Navigating the Rough Seas of Global Business Negotiation

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National economies are becoming increasingly global, giving rise to international and intercultural partnerships, at every level of business and government. That is why, more and more often, management and marketing issues are addressed from a cross-cultural perspective.

In order to understand cross-cultural management we need to perceive and understand important elements of culture as well as the interrelations between them. We have to avoid Ethnocentrism. The usual definition of the term is "thinking one's own group's ways are superior to others" or "judging other groups as inferior to one's own". Ethnocentrism can be defined as: making false assumptions about others' ways based on our own limited experience.

Culture determines how to proceed to reach an agreement. Thus, French or German culture favors the deductive method by which one both parties first agree on principles and then apply them to address each of the points to negotiate. American culture proceeds by an inductive and pragmatic approach.

There are many different factors that influence cross cultural negotiations: Negotiating Goal and Basic Concept, Protocol, Communications, Risk-Taking Propensity - Uncertainty Avoidance, Decision-Making System, Form of Agreement, Power Distance and Personal Style. By understanding those influences, we can avoid confusion, conflict, misinterpretations while negotiate.

Negotiation is first an interaction, that is to say a process implementing tactics to exchange information, concessions… All these acts are related to values insofar as they may be legitimate in a culture and prohibited in another. Negotiation must be done in three stages: the preparation stage, the negotiation itself and the post negotiation which consists of concessions, compromised. The ultimate product of a negotiation is based on different elements that compose it. The influence of culture on these elements will be shown in the result. It also has a...
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