Cultural Patterns

Why some Cultures are able to make a Win in their Negotiation Processes with other Foreign Cultures

Brett, J. M., Gunia, B. C. & Teucher, B. M. (2017). Culture and negotiation strategy: A framework for future research. Academy of Management Perspectives, 31(4), 288-308

Introduction

Cultural differences are claimed to cause a win-win or a lose-win outcome in negotiation processes involving two or more parties from different cultures. The fact that the world is globalizing, appreciating the negotiation strategies that are being employed to manage the cultural differences is a good approach that business leaders can employ to succeed in the globalized business world. Nevertheless, the approach is quite complex and challenging even though it increases chances of succeeding in negotiations. Negotiations involving foreigners is more difficult due to the existence of the cultural differences than when dealing with individual differences. The effort of having linguistic competence is not enough to succeed in negotiations with foreigners but more knowledge of the cultural differences can influence negotiation outcomes (Zieba, 2017). Chang (2006) expounds that from a broad perspective, negotiation involves all forms of communication, consultation, reaching agreements, discussion, exchanging views, and others. Narrowly, negotiations can be carried out on occasions which parties are well prepared to hold them. Generally, negotiation strategies varies from one country to another based on its cultural difference meaning each culture has its own way of negotiating. The article by Brett, Gunia & Teucher (2017) focuses on the strategies different negotiators from different countries use to succeed in their international negotiations. Some negotiators use questions and answers and these negotiators are those that are most likely aiming to reach a win-win negotiation outcome. The other negotiators are those that use “substantiation and offers” strategy and these ones are those that aim at putting their interests first than those of their counterparts and thus target at wining in the negotiation process. There are also those negotiators that use the two different negotiation strategies. The authors consider other factors that influence the use of the strategies and these factors are cultures that have high trust levels and those that have low levels of trust. Those negotiators that are from low-trust cultures tend to make use of question and answers strategy when negotiating while those from high trust levels can use substantiation and offers strategy. Other interesting points that the authors include in the article are- tight and loose cultures, holistic and analytical thinkers, in terms of how they affect negotiation strategies and communication processes important in negotiation. The article is found at the Ashford University Library. Jeanne M. Brett is a lecturer at the Northwestern University, Brian C. Gunia is a senior lecturer at Johns Hopkins University, and Brosh M. Teucher is a lecturer at the Saint Michael’s College.

Critique Section

An Introduction to the field of Negotiation Strategies by World Regions

As the business world is globalizing, there is an increasing demand for countries especially those that are developing economically to improve their negotiating abilities. The required capabilities are those that enable these countries to get the trade information they need, make consultations, and analyse trade policies and trade. Increased negotiating abilities are also aimed at enabling the countries make desirable trade policies that enable them make gains from the trade agreements they make internationally. In this regard, improving the capacity to negotiate is aimed at making it easy for a country to express its needs and to make gains in the agreements it makes (UNCTAD Secretariat, 2004). The processes involved in negotiations are not only able to address individual needs but also consider the interests and goals of each party and resolving any existing differences. Those negotiators that are after winning at the interests of their counterparts are those that are not after having a long lasting relationship with them and such relationships end up having unhealthy disputes. Developing countries have been a victim of such negotiations as they have mostly ended up compromising their own demands for the interests of others and the results have been harmful to them. Such outcomes are realized because, the winning party is often not honest about their motives, and they end up misleading their victims (Bilal, 2003).

Bilal (2003) agrees with UNCTAD Secretariat (2004) that developed countries have adequate negotiating capacity and are experienced negotiators. The developing nations are weak negotiators since they do not have the resources to make them strong negotiators in terms of being informed, trained, and experienced. Thus, the developed countries have had the opportunity to make wins in their negotiations with developing countries, as these developing nations have no ability to make any important influence on the negotiations. The concept of win-win and win-lose negotiation outcomes can be related to the competitive and cooperation cultural orientations that Walker (2017) describes. The competitive cultures tend to aim at making wins more than anything else and the achievements are what define their success. Hence, they structure their activities in a manner that promotes their goals to win and people are trained to put their interests first every time they are in competitive situations. The cooperative cultures are the opposite since they tend to consider the quality of life and therefore, they are sympathetic, value long-term relationships and hence nurture them. According to Walker (2017), it is not easy for competitive and cooperative cultures to agree as the former views the latter as a lazy one and the latter views the former as being disrespectful and invasive.

The contents of the article by Brett, et al. (2017)

Brett, et al. (2017) encourage researchers in this field to change their focus on how cultural differences affect negotiation processes from concepts such as Hofestede’s cultural dimensions and others. According to the authors, their perspective is new in the field in that, there are those cultures that are after making a win-win negotiation outcome and there are those that are after making a win in the negotiation process. Those that are after reaching a win-win negotiation outcome are those that use the question and answer strategy have a high tendency to trust others, and their culture is loose in that they can be flexible to adapt to any behavior they desire. The culture also allows people to make clear communication that is easy for one to understand and interpret. Those that are after making a win in the negotiations, make use of the substantiation and offers strategy, do not trust others, their culture is tight, and they communicate indirectly in effort to make it hard for one to understand what is being communicated. However, those cultures that think analytically are likely to lose when negotiating with those competitive cultures while those cultures that think holistically, are likely to make a win-win negotiation outcome.

Review of the ideas and concepts of the article by Brett, et al. (2017)

Brett, et al. (2017) intend to add to what other scholars have argued about preparing for negotiation processes affected by cultural differences. The ideas and concepts the articles has discussed are those that are less covered by existing literatures in this topic. What is gathered from the article is mainly to explain the tendency of the win-win or win-lose negotiation outcomes that involve parties of different cultures. The ideas and concepts discussed are employed in making one understand why in cooperative cultures, teamwork is upheld while in competitive cultures, hierarchical structures are commonly used in organizations. More so, the ideas and concepts have enabled one to establish the advantages of holistic thinking style and disadvantages of analytical thinking style. In that, for a party interested in making a win-win negotiation outcome, it needs to think mostly holistically and only analytically when necessary.

Conclusion

The article that has been reviewed has created a new knowledge that is valuable to countries like the United States that are mostly analytical thinkers and the developing economies that need to benefit from their international negotiations. For countries like the United States, they need to train themselves to be holistic thinkers especially when dealing with Asian countries if they need to benefit from the business deals they make with them. For developing nations, they need to establish which countries have a culture that causes them to make a win-win negotiation outcome and such countries are like the United States for example.

References

Bilal, S. (2003). Preferential Trade Agreements with EU: Preliminary lessons from some developing countries. Retrieved< http://www.hubrural.org/IMG/pdf/ecdpm_bilal.pdf.

Brett, J. M., Gunia, B. C. & Teucher, B. M. (2017). Culture and negotiation strategy: A framework for future research. Academy of Management Perspectives, 31(4), 288-308.

Chang, L. C. (2006). Differences in business negotiations between different cultures. Journal of Human Resource and Adult Learning. Retrieved< http://www.hraljournal.com/Page/18%20Lieh-Ching%20Chang.pdf>.

UNCTAD Secretariat (2004). International trade negotiations, regional integration and South-south trade, especially in commodities. Retrieved< http://www.g77.org/doha/Doha-BP02-International_Trade_Negotiations.pdf>.

Walker (2017). Doing business internationally 2nd ed.: Global environment: The cultural orientations model. New York: McGraw-Hill Education

Zieba, M. (2017). Cross cultural negotiation. Retrieved< https://www.calumcoburn.co.uk/articles/cross-cultural-negotiation/>.

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