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a) Cross-cultural business negotiation can be complex at times. Describe some of the characteristic shown by the following negotiators. Give four for each negotiator.
According to Takayuki Ito (2010, p. 48) negotiations are to proceed differently across cultures and cross cultural negotiation has to take cultural differences into account, hence, in business negotiations, we need to pay attention to the cultural differences.
2. American negotiator
The first feature of the American negotiator is direct expression. As said above, power distance is usually low in the western countries, and as a typical western country, the United States cultures encourage direct communication and expression. The second feature of the American negotiator is focus on the immediate interest, because of the low score in the cultural dimension of long term orientation, it is reasonable that the American negotiators would put less focus on the long term interests. The third feature is boldness because of their high score in individualism and the fourth feature would be flexibility in dealing with the conflicts and they focus on the interests rather than rules and principles.
3. Indian negotiator
The first feature of Indian negotiator is limited authorization. According to the Hofstede (1980)’s national cultural dimensions, India is a country that has high power distance, and it means that in many India firms top-down hierarchy would be adopted and therefore we can see that the negotiators Indian companies would only have limited authorization when making key decisions. The second feature of Indian negotiator is obedience to the higher management which is also because of the high power distance as well as the relatively low individualism. And the third feature of Indian negotiator is that the acceptance of imperfection. Because of the medium to low level of uncertainty avoidance, we can see that the negotiators from the Indian firms could accept variable results rather than only one expected result. And the fourth feature of the Indian negotiators who share the value of the national culture the flexibility in dealing with changed situations and they tend to change themselves to get adapted to the changed rules and environments.
4. Italian negotiator
The first feature that we will say that a typical Italian negotiator could have is respect for power. Though we may have the stereotype in our mind that the Italian business men will be less formal and lack of organization, but the national culture dimensions show that in term of power distance, the Italian people could also take a high power distance and they respect for the formal structure as well. Hence, we will say that the Italian negotiator would also respect for power. The second feature is high creativity which we can understand because of the very high score in term of individualism. And in negotiating business deals, the high level of individualism could take the form of high creativity. And the third feature is the strong success orientation which could be seen from the high masculinity in the Italian culture. And the fourth feature of the negotiator from Italy would be the focus on the short term interest because of the low score in the long term orientation in the culture.
With analysis above, we can conclude that there are significant differences in term of the negotiators’ features, and because the existence of the cultural differences among the negotiators, negotiations strategies and techniques need to be refined and changed to the specific negotiators from the specific cultural background.
Hofstede, G. H. (1980). Culture’s Consequences. Beverly Hills, CA: Sage Publications.
Ito, T. 2010, Innovations in Agent-Based Complex Automated Negotiations. Germany: Springer. p. 48