Cross Culture Negotiation

Topics: Negotiation, Culture, Sociology Pages: 27 (7215 words) Published: December 1, 2012
Written by:
Hooper, Christopher (section I, II (intro), II-c, III-a, III-b, IV, V) Pesantez, Maria (section III-c)
Rizvi, Syed (section II-a-b)

Proof read and edited by:
Hood, Amanda
Hooper, Christopher
Pesantez, Maria
Rizvi, Syed

Cross-Cultural Communication and Negotiation – Spring 2005 MANA 4340, Section 00586
TTH: 2:30 – 4:00pm. Room 128 MH
Professor: Dr. Roger N. Blakeney

Table of Content

I. Introduction

II. Negotiation

A. The Western View: Direct confrontation

B. Types of Negotiations: Transactional and Dispute Resolutions

C. Forms of Negotiation: Distributive and Integrative

III. Culture

A. Individualism vs. Collectivism

B. Egalitarian vs. Hierarchy

C. High vs. Low-Context communication

IV. Culture and Context in Negotiation

A. Culture as Shared Values

B. Culture in Context

V. Summary

More than ever Americans are expanding into the global markets, whether it is an individual trying to buy a rug while on vacation or a business seeking to form a joint venture in a new market. The commonality for all those who travel abroad is that some form of negotiation will be prevalent. This paper examines how cultural differences play a role in the outcomes of negotiations using Western culture as a basis for comparison. It begins by explaining what negotiation is, how it is carried out and describes different types and forms of negotiation. Next, the paper examines the cultural aspects of individualism vs. collectivism, egalitarianism vs. hierarchy, and high vs. low-context communication as well as the effect of culture and the contextual effect of role on the different forms of negotiation.

The importance of

information in the negotiating process is also discussed. It explains how communication styles and cultural differences can lead to unfavorable outcomes and how the opportunity for trade-offs in the negotiation process can be missed. Our intentions are for the reader to gain some insight into the dynamic world of cross-cultural negotiation.

To help you appreciate how culture can affect negotiation some elements of negotiation based on Western theory need to be explained. One element is direct confrontation. When the majority of Westerners think of negotiation they think of it as a direct confrontation. Other elements include the types of negotiations, either transactional (with buyers and sellers) or dispute resolutions. These types of negotiations can have two possible agreement outcomes (distributive, integrative) or a stalemate. In addition we will explain how power, information and persuasion are used in different forms of negotiations. Ultimately, when a negotiator has information concerning the others relative power, they can make tactical decisions regarding when to walk away, when to seek more concessions or when to accept an offer. We will show how cultures differ when it comes to the basis of power in negotiation, information sharing and the degree to which information is seen as significant to negotiation.

The Western View: Direct Confrontation

“Negotiation involves direct confrontation, either face-to-face, or electronic, of principles and or their agent” (Brett, 2000: 98). Face-to-face negotiations foster rapport and offer fewer opportunities for misunderstanding when body language, facial expressions, and cultural attitudes are foreign to the other


party. If both parties are already familiar with each other or if tensions are already high, then negotiating by phone or email may be the best choice. In many cultures, negotiations are handled through indirect methods. With indirect methods, third parties can be agents who represent one side or the other. Third parties can also become a neutral who tries to mediate an agreement between both sides. Finally, third parties have also been known to act as go-betweens, where they facilitate information exchanges between the parties (Brett, 2000: 98).


References: Brett, J. M., & Okumura, T. 1998. Inter-and intracultural negotiation: U.S. and Japanese negotiators.
Brett, J. M. 2000. Culture and Negotiation. International Journal of Psychology, 35 (2): 97-104.
Drake, L.E. 2001. The culture-negotiation link: Integrative and distributive bargaining through an
intercultural communication lens
Elliot, A.J., Chirkou, V.I., Kim, Y., & Sheldon, K.M. 2001. A cross-cultural analysis of avoidance
(relative to approach) personal goals
Erez, M., & Early, C.P. 1993. Culture, self-identity, and work. Oxford, NY: Oxford University Press.
International Negotiating, 2005. Video shown in class.
Lewicki, J.R., & Saunders, D.M., & Barry, B., & Minton, M.W. 2004. Essentials of negotiation. New
York, NY: McGraw-Hill/Irwin.
Lewis, R.D. 1999. When cultures collide. Clerkenwell London, UK: Nicholas Brealey Publishing.
Menger, R. 1999. Japanese and American negotiators: Overcoming cultural barriers to understanding.
Stevens, G. K., & Greer, C. R. 1995. Doing business in Mexico: Understanding cultural differences.
Working with Japan, 2005. Negotiating-part one: What to expect. Video shown in class.
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