The paper "Negotiating across Cultures" is an outstanding example of business coursework. In the past five or so decades, culture was much less important in international relations conduct than it is today. In the subsequent years, the world experienced a fast-growing and deep network of political, social and economic and cultural interdependence and interconnections at an exceptional level. This forced scholars and experienced diplomats to realize and appreciate the importance of cultural norms and their influence on global negotiations and their outcomes (Cohen, 2007). International business scholars widely agree that culture, more so cultural differences are very significant when it comes to international relations.
More organizations are expanding to the global markets and most of them are seeking joint ventures in these markets. One thing that is common and prevalent in these ventures is the different forms of negotiations. Cultural and communication differences can lead to missed trade-off opportunities and unfavorable outcomes (Hooper, Pesantez & Rizvi, 2005). As the world becomes a global village, different nations and cultures are brought together and this emphasizes the importance of cultural literacy in the different types of diplomacy that are used nowadays.
Understanding differences in culture and consequently different communication strategies is very important for a cross-cultural manager as it plays a vital role in the outcomes of global negotiations. Global organizations and those intending to expand internationally have now realized the importance of cross-cultural literacy in order to facilitate cooperation and avoid conflicts and misunderstandings and eventually ensure their access to the economic benefits offered and fostered by globalization. Taking culture into account on the negotiations table is very crucial especially when there is more contrast between the cultures.
There is a higher potential of misunderstandings in negotiations between western and Arab or African countries than there would be between two Western countries or two already developed countries (LeBaron, 2008). People from different cultures behave differently during negotiations. According to Adler and Graham (1997), people behave differently when negotiating across cultures than when they are negotiating between familiar or similar cultures. These differences are identified through a range of variables that include outcomes, satisfaction levels, cooperation, processes, joint profit results acculturation and obstinacy.
Understanding the host cultures is vital for a cross-cultural manager to be able to come up with culture-specific bargaining tactics and strategies In order to appreciate the importance of culture on negotiating global agreements, some aspects of negotiation according to the Western theory have to be outlined. The first one is direct confrontation; most Westerners perceive negotiations as a direct confrontation (Brett, 2000). The other aspects are based on the type of negotiations as either dispute resolutions or transactional i. e. with customers and sellers. There are two possible agreement outcomes from these types of negotiations which are either a deadlock or distributive/integrative.
Direct confrontation can be either electronic or face-to-face (Brett, 2000). Face-to-face negotiations are however the best when the two cultures are new to each other since they offer fewer understandings and foster rapport where cultural attitudes, facial expressions and body language are still unfamiliar to the other parties. Phone or email negotiations would be relevant where the negotiators are already familiar with each other; these methods could also be used when tensions are already high between the two parties.
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Cohen, R., 2007. Negotiating across cultures: International Communication in an interdependent world. (2nd Edn). Washington: United States Institute of Peace press.
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Hooper, C., Pesantez, M. & Rizvi, S., 2005. Cross-Cultural Communication and Negotiation. [Online]. Available at: http://www.hooper.cc/pdfs/cross-culture_negotiation.pdf. [Accessed 19 Apr 2017].
LeBaron, M., 2008. Culture-Based Negotiation Styles. [Online]. Available at: http://gevim.co.il/wp-content/uploads/2014/01/Culture-Based-Negotiation-Styles.pdf. [Accessed 19 Apr 2017].
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