Culture and Negotiation Processes
In this theory, we discussed about how culture affects the negotiation strategies and goals, with a concluding remarks.
Negotiation is a communication process by which two or more interdependent parties resolve some matter over which they are in conflict. Negotiators’ strategies and goals are revealed in the content and form of their communication. Communication, the process by which people exchange information through a common system of signs, symbols, and behaviors, is cultural because different social groups have distinct ways of communicating. We suggest that culture affects peoples’ beliefs or cognitive representations of what negotiation is all about, for example, reaching agreement about an outcome or building a long-term relationship. The culture affects the goals people have for negotiation, what they strive for in this interdependent social situation, and what they think is important. And it affects the norms people have for negotiation, what they consider appropriate and inappropriate behavior in a negotiation setting. Lastly, we argue that beliefs, goals, and norms influence communication processes such as negotiation.
How Culture Affects the Process of Negotiation
Culture and beliefs about negotiation
People in different cultures use different language to conceptualize or frame negotiation. In many, possibly even most, cultures negotiation is believed to be about distributing resources. Yet, at the same time, people seem to recognize that negotiation can have both a task focus and a relationship focus, that argument may be dominated by rationality or emotion, and that outcomes can be distributive, reflecting one party’s interests (win–lose) or integrative, reflecting both parties’ interests (win–win). People in all cultures probably have access to all of these different frames for perceiving and interpreting the negotiation process .We propose that culture may explain a negotiator’s tendency to think that negotiation is primarily a process of building, reconstructing, and maintaining relationships or a process of distributing resources. According to these recognize that negotiators have both relational goals and outcome goals. Relational goals emphasize social distance by stressing trust or dominance; outcome goals emphasize individual or joint gains. Cultural differences in negotiators’ relative emphasis on relationship versus outcome may be due to cultural differences in self-construal—how people understand themselves in a social setting. For example, people from Western cultures tend to have independent, also called individualistic, self-construal. They understand themselves as independent or detached from the social groups to which they belong and view themselves as agents free to focus on personal goals to self-actualize rather than on social obligations. People from Eastern cultures tend to have interdependent, also called collectivist, They tend to understand themselves within the context of the social groups to which they belong and view themselves as agents constrained by social obligations to maintain harmony and preserve “face” within their social groups.
Culture and Negotiation Processes: A Model
Region East West
Self-construal Interdependent Independent
Communication Norms High Context Low Context Beliefs Relationship Building Distribution of Resources Goals Cooperative Competitive Cooperative Competitive trust dominance joint gains individual gains
Behaviors Indirect Affective Direct Rational Information influence information influence
An independent self-construal seems to be a worldview that is naturally associated with the perspective that negotiation is about distributing resources, not so much about relationships. An interdependent...
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