Please discuss to this multipart question about negotiating in a multi-cultural business environment.
- a) How could you better prepare yourself to negotiate with another individual who is not from the USA? How does a persons culture influence your negotiation?
For the discussion Minimum 150 words Maximum 250
And respond to the following discussions:
In Cultural Contingencies of Decision Making Chapter 8 (Adler, 2008 p. 209), we find that cultural variations or traditional decision-making process involves five basic steps (p 209). An example of using this process is a recent one encountered at our company. In construction, we are constantly challenged with completing projects on schedule and calling upon our Project Managers (PM) or vendors to find alternatives solutions in order to meet schedules. Most recently, a project called out a specialty glass that required two pieces of glass to be fused with a color film inside. After installation, at certain times of the day, this glass produced a mirror effect onto the street. Our PM could have used a situation acceptance approach and pass the blame to others, however he found an alternative with his team. By gathered facts, alternatives, and making a team decision with our general contractor, architect along with engineers, they found a fix to their problem. They placed a tint film on windows to minimize the mirror effect this solved the problem quickly and effectively. In this case, we see how that five step process helps find alternatives and implement contingencies.
When preparing to negotiate with an individual not from the USA you should research not only the topic of your negotiation but any cultural formalities. Alder discusses how during the Iranian peace talks the words compromise and mediator were misunderstood by the local people causing an the United Nations Secretary to receive a hostile welcoming (Adler 2008, pg 242). If you know ahead of time who you are negotiating with attempt to learn things about him or her to see if you have any topics in common to establish an interpersonal relationship. Research previous negotiations with the culture to see if they use extreme initial offers to better prepare your counter offers (Adler 2008, pg 247).
Researching the culture can help you avoid the pitfall and setback the UN Secretary did. An individuals culture influences the negotiation because of what they see as acceptable behavior like addressing someone by just their first name like we do in the States or a more formal first and last name as they prefer to do in Japan (Adler 2008, pg 235). Another cultural difference can be the ethical and moral lines for what they may perceive as dirty tactics. You do not want to make a bad impression with a behavior you see as normal but crosses that invisible line (Adler 2008, pg 254). Although taking the other culture into consideration is important it is equally important to keep the task at hand in mind remembering you are there to help your company.