Culture and International Management
Cultural differences and how it affects the behaviors and perceptions of different parties in an international negotiation
Progressive globalization has caused a rise in need for appropriate skills in international negotiations. This is not only in diplomacy but also in the business environment. An understanding of other cultures is necessary for these negotiations. Culture can be considered a phenomenon that involves a group that has common characteristics manifested in them. It is acquired individually through socialization, and identifies a group uniquely through intangible attributes such as values, beliefs, and behavior patterns (Fisher, 1980, p. 36). Cultural differences affect the perceptions and behaviors of different parties in any international negotiation in different ways. These include the goal of negotiations; different cultures view negotiations differently with some negotiators viewing them as an opportunity to get a signed contract between the involved parties (Brunerand &Tagiuri,1954, 27).
Others view negotiations as a start of a relationship between the two parties. The concept of win-lose or win-win scenarios is deeply ingrained in different cultures and might affect the perceptions of the different negotiators. Time factor is also sensitive in negotiations with Europeans being considered highly punctual while Latinos are usually late and the Americans are fast at cutting a deal. By reducing formalities, Americans maximize on time available which could be the central to the Japanese. Display of emotions during negotiations varies from one culture to another with the Asians hiding their feelings while the Latinos show how they feel.
The cross-culture attributes and skills needed for successful negotiation
The extent of formality in a negotiation varies from culture to culture. However, it is always safe to adopt a formal posture when meeting for the fast time as an informal posture might be considered as a lack of seriousness in whatever people intend to do. There are different methods of communication across the world with some cultures emphasizing in clear and direct methods while others are comfortable with indirect and figurative forms of communication (Brett et al 1999, p. 18). Someone using a direct mode of communication might be considered arrogant for giving clear and definite responses. The kind of agreement expected from a negotiation may also vary from culture to culture with some expecting highly specific outcomes while others are comfortable with general agreements. Americans, unlike the Chinese, are remarkably detailed in their agreements and they try to anticipate any possible eventualities before signing an agreement. Managers are expected to be particularly patient, understanding and open-minded when negotiating.
Cultural differences and the Importance in determining levels of tolerance toward disputes
Business negotiation is either an inductive or a deductive process, whether the process starts as a general agreement or a detailed one. The French starts an agreement on a general principle before proceeding to the specifics, unlike the Americans. It is particularly significant to understand the organizational cultures of other parties as well as those of the individuals in the negotiations. The organization of the negotiating parties determines the outcome of the negotiations. If the organizational culture of a company stress on individuals or team leaders as the key decision makers, then it is prudent to identify the leader and focus on him or her (Habeeb, 1988, p. 67). This would not work if the organization beliefs in participatory decision-making. A negotiating team based on individual authority is lean and can make commitments faster shortening the length of the negotiations, unlike a consensus-based team.
A global corporation that handles multi-cultural disputes is diversified in terms of conflict resolution processes (Brett, 2001, p.103). Such an entity has a vast of different approaches to issues, and this enhances its tolerance to uncertainties from different cultures. It is also easier for the organization to build relationships with other entities of the different cultures. However, due to the diversity in cultures accusations of insensitivity may arise since the different societies have different expectations (Lewicki et al 2006, p. 34).
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Bruner, J.S. & Tagiuri, R. (1954).The perception of people.In The Handbook of Social Psychology, edited by G. Lindzey. Reading, MA: Addison-Wesley. Print
Dialdin, D., Kopelman, S., Adair, W.&Brett, J., Okumura, T., and Lytle, A. (1999).The Distributive Outcomes of Cross-Cultural Negotiations.DRRC working paper. Evanston, IL: Northwestern University. Print
Fisher, G. (1980). International Negotiation: Across-Cultural Perspective. Yarmouth: Intercultural Press. Print
Habeeb, W.M. (1988). Power and Tactics in International Negotiation.Baltimore, MD: John Hopkins University Press. Print
Lewicki, R., Saunders, D., Minton, J. and Barry, B. (2006).Negotiation.New York: McGraw-Hill Irwin. Print