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Paper presented during my Masters studies at Alliant International University

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  1. 1. 1 Final Paper for the course “ Cross-cultural communication “ About :the Relation between Intercultural communication and Negotiations Presented to Professor Dr. Ana Cristina Petersen By Abdelhamied Hany El-Rafie MAIR student at Alliant International University Mexico city campusAbdelhamied ElRafie
  2. 2. 2Introduction: People interacting with people from other cultures often feel lost. Lacking familiarattitudes , beliefs, behaviors, procedures or structures that shape day-to-day interactions,people in cross-cultural situations often get disoriented, make mistakes and spend timeand energy merely surviving rather than understanding and appreciating the differencesthey encounter. They also often fail to negotiate the most favorable agreements possibleor to resolve serious conflicts due to cultural misunderstandings.So the following paper will discuss the relation between Intercultural relations and theInternational negotiations and the paper will be divided into the following parts :1-Defining culture.2- Defining negotiation.3-: Preparing for intercultural negotiations and dispute resolution.4- Characteristics effective intercultural negotiators.5- What affects the outcome of intercultural negotiations?6- The difference between the US and Chinese negotiation styles .7- conclusion .Defining culture:Culture is defined in The Cambridge Advanced learner’s dictionary as the” way of lifeespecially the general customs and beliefs of a particular group of people at aparticular time”(1) Culture is then the result of experience, values, religion, beliefs,attitudes, meanings, knowledge, social organizations, procedures, timing, roles, spatialAbdelhamied ElRafie
  3. 3. 3relations, concepts of the universe and material objects and possessions acquired orcreated by groups of people, in the course of generations, through individual and groupeffort and interactions. Culture manifests itself in patterns of language, behavior andactivities and provides models and norms for acceptable day-to-day interactions andstyles of communication. Culture enables people to live together in a society within agiven geographic environment, at a given state of technical development and at aparticular moment in time When we think of culture we often think of the nationalcultures reported in the international media. However, culture is much broader andencompasses the beliefs, attitudes and behaviors of diverse ethnic groups, clans, tribes,regional subcultures or even neighborhoods. Culture also differentiates people byreligious or ideological persuasions, professions and educational backgrounds. Familiesalso have cultures, as do the two largest cultural groups in the world, men and women. Companies, organizations and educational institutions also demonstrate uniquecultures. Culture as a growing dynamic thing consisting most significantly of sharedperceptions in the minds of its members. With all of these cultural variables, andsignificant variations within cultures, as our World becomes a global village the need forbetter understanding and communication among people from different cultures increases.on this basis how can we develop any common understanding, or conclusionsabout how a particular person or group from any one culture might behave innegotiations or conflicts?(2)Defining negotiations:So what is negotiations it is defined in The Cambridge Advanced learner’s dictionary asthe “ process of discussing something with someone in order to reach anAbdelhamied ElRafie
  4. 4. 4agreement with them or it is the process of discussions itself”(1) or in other words it is“negotiation is the art and ability to use your nice power to convince by yourdemand,persuade and motivate your partner to cooperate with you in order to reach an agreement .In the dictionary of diplomacy Negotiation is a discussion or talks between the representatives of two or more states designed to produce an agreement on a point which is either a shared concern or an issue between them .(2)So negotiations are not limited to direct deal making over fixed values ,in all cultures people negotiate to resolve disputes and to make decisions ,negotiators reach an agreement resources these resources are distributed but the amount of resources for distribution is not necessarily fixed . (6)Preparing for intercultural negotiations and dispute resolution: this will need thefollowing:.1- . Understand that culture can make a difference and pay attention to it.2. Develop an awareness of how cultural differences influence problem solving andnegotiation.3- Establishing, building and maintaining relationships4- Orientation toward cooperation, competition and conflict5- Appropriate and effective communications • direct/indirect • explicit/implicit • emotional/non-emotional expression • one-at-a-time talk vs. overlapping talk • non-verbal communication6- Problem-solving or negotiation processesAbdelhamied ElRafie
  5. 5. 5 • role of relationships and trust • positional or interest-based bargaining styles • ways of performing negotiation stages7- Preferred outcomes to problems or conflicts • orientation towards winning or success • preferences concerning substantive, procedural or psychological emphasis or components of outcomes • culturally acceptable or sanctioned norms about outcomes8- Roles and functions of third parties • relationship to parties • procedures used • involvement in substance • partial/impartial9- Management of time and timing • expectations concerning duration • timing of activities • timing allowed for agreement10- Use and set-up of venue and space • indoors/outdoors • formal/informal • space set-up11. Educate yourself about a new culture.Characteristics effective intercultural negotiators: • Observant • Patient • Adaptable • Good listeners • Keep their promises • Negotiate in good faith • Realise culture influences everything5 elements in intercultural negotiations:Abdelhamied ElRafie
  6. 6. 6 1. Players and the situation 2. Decision-making styles 3. National character 4. Culture noise 5. Interpreters and translatorsWhat affects the outcome of intercultural negotiations? 1. Policy (concept, negotiators, role, protocol, significance) 2. Interaction (language, persuasive ,time) 3. Deliberation (trust risk-taking ,internal decision-making systems) 4. Outcome (form of agreement)Basic cultural orientation centers around the following items:Beliefs, values, attitudes, behavior and norms (ethnocentrism) When there is a conflictin intercultural communication In intercultural conflicts the following can be ofinfluence: 1. Thinking patterns 2. Language barriers 1. Thinking patterns • Universalistic • Nominalistic or hypothetical • Intuitional or organismic • dialectalUniversalistic:Dominated by the principle of identity of thinking and being. • Hierarchical system of rigid concepts • Can be directly proved by human mindWe can find this in the French, Mediterranean and Latin American cultures.Nominalistic/hypothetical:Puts emphasis on induction and empiricism. Thinking is dominated by hypotheticalconcepts. • Knowledge based on our sense perceptions and freely formed conceptionsAbdelhamied ElRafie
  7. 7. 7We can find this in the Anglo-Saxon countries.Intuitional/organismic It’s a Mixture of universalistic and nominalistic. It denies the existence of innate ideasbut assumes that, with the assistance of the insight of the human mind, we are able toattribute knowledge to the general truth.Intuition and unity of the wholeWe can find this in Germany, Slavic Central European countries.Dialectical :Denies the principle of the existence of innate ideas. It assumes the mind can fullyunderstand the universe and discover the general truth. Where explanations follow theevolutionary process of thesis, antithesis and synthesis. We can find this in the SubSahara Africa3 Major barriers in intercultural communication 1. Verbal communication styles 2. Variant meanings 3. Indirect verbal languageVerbal communication styles 1. Direct: verbal messages used to show our intentions in the process of conversations. 2. Indirect: used to conceal or camouflage our true intentions.(4)The difference between the US and Chinese negotiation styles : 1- Interpersonal orientation : In the US the deal is seen as the objective of any negotiation while for the Chinese a negotiation is just part of the process of forming a life long relationship . 2- Power orientation : It is usually clear where the power lies in a US negotiating team ,the hierarchy is usually clear with subordinates and experts accompanying the boss making it clear inAbdelhamied ElRafie
  8. 8. 8 the deference they show even if the language used between them is informal. For the Chinese side particularly if there are a large number of people in the delegation ,so for the Chinese the consensus building process is undergone . 3- Negotiation strategies : There are two main approaches used in the Us towards negotiations the win/lose approach or the win /win approach the former approach involves taking up an initial position and then making concessions if necessary to reach a compromise agreement , the later approach involves both sides focusing in mutual interests rather than predetermined positions achieving joint profits. The Chinese will probably find it difficult to take such linear approach ,for them negotiation is just one of many encounters whereby the principl is to build a business partnership for the long term . 4- Time frame: For the Chinese therefore a negotiation is not a one off event but a step along the path but for the Americans time is of the essence(3) Conclusion : To conclude this final paper I can say that we negotiate on daily basis either formally or informally and talking about culture doesn’t mean the country culture or the regional culture but we can add to that the sub regional cultures meaning that within the one country there are sub regional cultures in which the people with in these sub regions negotiate but I will go further the negotiation is not just between countries it is also between businessmen ,old people, young people, males, females so negotiation is a process that happens on daily life on cultural basis in which it needs aAbdelhamied ElRafie
  9. 9. 9 high quality cultural communication in order to reach an agreement this agreement could be a deal or a treaty or long/short/medium range relation and it requires lots of behavioral techniques . That is because ideological ,political and legal differences provide both a challenge and opportunity (7) If we apply the last paragraph on the International negotiations each country depends on the following factors: 1- The real foreign policy of that country . 2- The vision in which that country would like to be looked at . 3- The system of beliefs and interests of that country . 4- The target of the country of negotiations. 5- The techniques to achieve these targets. So I can finally say that International negotiations are either a cross culturalcommunication or the clash between cultures and the way in between these to extremesis what we can simply call a win /win situation . ‫ـــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــ‬Abdelhamied ElRafie
  10. 10. 10 References 1- Cambridge advanced learner,s dictionary ,Cambridge University Press 2- Berridge ,Geoff , Adictionary of Diplomacy ,Houndmills Basingstake, Hamshire . Newyork Palgrave Macmillan ,2003. 3- Understanding Cross cultural Management,Marie –Joelle Browaeys and Roger Price, 4- Intercultural communication in negotiations ,Marianne Van Vlierden. 5- Mapping Cultures-Strategies For Effective Intercultural Negotiations, Christopher Moore & Peter Woodrow ,www.mediate.com 6- Negotiating Globally: How to Negotiate Deals, Resolve Disputes, and Make Decisions Across Cultural Boundaries Jossey-Bass Business & Management Series by Brett, Jeanne M. Publication: San Francisco, Calif. Jossey Bass, 2001. 7- Harvard Business Review On Negotiation and Conflict Resolution Harvard Business Review Paperback Series Publication: Boston Harvard Business School Press, 2000.Abdelhamied ElRafie