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A Vietnamese – American Cross – Cultural Study On Business Negotiations Bui Thi Ngan.051 E8

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    A Vietnamese – American Cross – Cultural Study On Business Negotiations   Bui Thi Ngan.051 E8 A Vietnamese – American Cross – Cultural Study On Business Negotiations Bui Thi Ngan.051 E8 Document Transcript

    • VIETNAM NATIONAL UNIVERSITY, HANOI UNIVERSITY OF LANGUAGES AND INTERNATIONAL STUDIES ENGLISH DEPARTMENT BUI THI NGAN A VIETNAMESE – AMERICAN CROSS – CULTURAL STUDY ON BUSINESS NEGOTIATIONS SUMITTED IN PARTIAL FULFILLMENT OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF BACHELOR OF ARTS (TEFL) Hanoi, 5/2009 1
    • VIETNAM NATIONAL UNIVERSITY, HANOI UNIVERSITY OF LANGUAGES AND INTERNATIONAL STUDIES ENGLISH DEPARTMENT BUI THI NGAN DAO THI THU TRANG A VIETNAMESE – AMERICAN CROSS – CULTURAL STUDY ON BUSINESS NEGOTIATION SUMITTED IN PARTIAL FULFILLMENT OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF BACHELOR OF ARTS (TEFL) Hanoi, 5/2009 2
    • ACCEPTANCE I hereby state that I: Bui Thi Ngan, currently study in class 051E8, being a candidate for the degree of Bachelor of Arts (TEFL) accept the requirements of the College relating to the retention and use of Bachelor’s Graduation Paper deposited in the library. In terms of these conditions, I agree that the origin of my paper deposited in the library should be accessible for the purposes of study and research, in accordance with the normal conditions established by the librarian for the care, loan or reproduction of the paper. Signature Bui Thi Ngan 3
    • ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS This research would not have been completed without support from a number of people. My teachers at College of Languages and International Studies, Vietnam National University, friends and family have given me support and have in one way or another contributed to the work present here. I owe my greatest debt of gratitude to Ms. Dao Thu Trang, my examiner and adviser, who has been encouraging since the start. She followed the research from the initial stage giving support and constructive criticism. I am very grateful and have learnt much from her. With deep gratitude and joy I acknowledge Mr. William Reid at National Accounts – Pfizer International Pharmaceutical Cooperation for introducing me to various contributors. He has been working on negotiation for 14 years and particularly with Vietnamese people in some nonprofit projects in Vietnam funded by Pfizer. My particular thank goes to Mr. Frisby at Nova capital, who shared valuable insights of business negotiation practices in Vietnam as well as in the USA. He possesses 30 years of working experience in business and non– business negotiations, so his knowledge of negotiation and negotiating with Vietnamese and Americans is indispensable. Special thanks also go to my friends who have nonstop helped me distribute and collect the research surveys, without whose help the study would not have come to fruition. Without the well of love and support from my family this thesis would not have been as successful. Last but not least, there are unnamed others who contributed to this study in ways both tangible and intangible. 4
    • ABSTRACT Ngan, B.T (2009): A Vietnamese – American cross-cultural study on business negotiations. A Bachelor’s Thesis submitted to Vietnam National University, College of Foreign Languages and International Studies. Negotiations are a frequent part of international business. Parties involved in a negotiation face different problems in reaching a successful outcome. When the parties have different cultural backgrounds, the faced problems become more complex. Quantitative methods are mainly employed in this study as they have proved to be widely accepted and standardized. The fundamental data collection instruments are surveys and face-to-face interviews. The study presents knowledge of business negotiations, particularly those conducted between Vietnamese and American business people. From identifying the cultural similarities and differences, the study analyzes how these differences affect the negotiation process and outcomes. Many potential areas of misinterpretation which may prevent parties from closing a deal successfully are also located. With an insightful understanding of Vietnamese–American business negotiations, the research contributes its efforts to help Vietnamese and American negotiators better achieve the goal of their Far East or Far West journey. 5
    • TABLE OF CONTENTS Acknowledgements i Abstract ii Lists of figures, tables, and abbreviations iii CHAPTER 1: INTRODUCTION 11 1. Rationale 11 2. Aims and objectives of the study 12 3. Significance of the study 13 4. Scope of the study 13 5. Methods of the study 14 6. Organization 15 CHAPTER 2: LITERATURE REVIEW 16 1. Negotiations 16 2. Business negotiations 16 3. Cross-cultural business negotiations 18 3.1. An overview of cross-cultural business negotiations 18 3.2. A framework for international business negotiations 19 4. General influence of culture on business negotiation 23 5. Non-verbal communication in international business negotiations 25 5.1. The importance of non-verbal communication 26 5.2. Areas of non-verbal communication 26 5.3. Interpretations of non-verbal messages 27 6. Styles and tactics in international business negotiations 28 6.1. Negotiating goal 28 6.2. Negotiating attitude 29 6.3. Approach to building agreement 29 6
    • 6.4. Approach to making decision 30 6.5. Types of business entertainment 30 7. How the proposed study contributes to the existing literature 31 CHAPTER 3: METHODOLOGY 32 1. Quantitative study 32 2. Selection of subjects 33 3. Methods of data collection 33 4. Procedures of data collection 35 5. Methods of data analysis 35 CHAPTER 4: RESULTS AND DISCUSSION 36 1. Description of survey questionnaire 36 2. Description of interview 38 3. Findings and discussion of findings 39 3.1. Non-verbal communication 39 3.2. Negotiation styles and tactics 50 3.3. Social factors 54 3.4. Potential areas of misunderstanding 61 4. Cross-cultural implications 62 CHAPTER 5: CONCLUSION 66 1. Summary of the study 66 2. Limitations of the study 67 3. Suggestions for further study 68 REFERENCES APPENDICES GLOSSARY 7
    • LIST OF TABLES Table 1: Types of sitting posture Table 2: View on sitting postures Table 3: Frequency of expressing emotions Table 4: Manner of dressing Table 5a: Frequency of punctuality Table 5b: Frequency of punctuality Table 5c: Frequency of punctuality Table 6: Level of physical distance preferred Table 7a: Negotiating attitude Table 7b: Negotiating attitude Table 8: Approach to building an agreement Table 9a: Types of business entertainment Table 9b: Types of business entertainment Table 10: Approach to negotiations Table 11: Approach to making decisions Table 12: Practice of and view on gift giving Table 13: Approach to making decisions Table 14: Frequency of direct eye contacts Table 15: Manner of handshaking Table 16: Frequency of punctuality Table 17: Approach to making decisions 8
    • LIST OF CHARTS AND FIGURES Figure 1.1: The framework of international business negotiation. Figure 1.2: Cross-cultural non-verbal etiquette Chart 1: Frequency of direct eye contacts Chart 2: View on indirect eye contacts Chart 3: Manner of handshaking Chart 4: View on emotional expressions Chart 5: Practice of giving gifts Chart 6: View on gift-giving practice Chart 7: Interpretation of unpunctuality Chart 8: Timing approach to negotiations Chart 9: Negotiating goal Chart 10: Approach to making decisions Chart 11: View on a signed contract 9
    • LIST OF ABBREVIATIONS Cross-cultural business negotiation(s): CCBN(s) International business negotiation(s): IBN Vietnamese business people: VBP American business people: ABP Direct eye contacts: DECs Indirect eye contacts: IECs Experienced Vietnamese negotiator(s): EVN(s) Experienced American negotiator(s): EAN(s) Inexperienced Vietnamese negotiator(s): IVN(s) Inexperienced American negotiator(s): IAN(s) Small-sized companies: SSCs Medium-sized companies: MSCs Big-sized companies: BSCs State-owned companies: SOCS Other types of business: OTBs 10
    • CHAPTER1: INTRODUCTION 1. RATIONALE Negotiation is a process to manage relationships. It is a basic human activity that exists between husband and wife, children and parents, employers and employees, buyers and sellers as well as between business associates. In business relationships, the stakes are often high and therefore it is necessary to plan and prepare the negotiations more carefully (Ghauri, 2003). When business parties negotiate, the purpose is to influence the process so they can get a better deal than just accepting or rejecting what the other party is offering. It is a voluntary process between the two parties where both can modify their offers and expectations to come closer to each other. Another view of the process is to see it as problem-solving process (Ghauri, 1986). The perspective of this thesis is that it is difficult to negotiate with other cultures even if the parties belong to the same company. This is mainly caused by the cross-cultural differences both sides bring to the negotiation table. There have been so many books and research papers devoted to international business negotiations, especially from the cross- cultural point of view. However, few of them discussed in details about the negotiations practices in Vietnam, especially in comparison with those in the United States. Even fewer of them touched upon the field of non-verbal communication and different negotiation styles and tactics employed in both cultures. Due to the growing importance of successful business negotiations conducted between Vietnam and America as the two countries come to facilitate long-term cooperation, researchers have begun to investigate the potential cultural differences and their great influence on the negotiation 11
    • process and outcomes. When a company fails to negotiate a contract involving international cooperation, it misses a golden opportunity to collaborate, create more jobs, make more money and contribute its part to the whole society. To summarize, the research problem can be presented in the following sub-questions:  What are the cultural similarities and differences in a face-to-face negotiation between Vietnamese and American business people regarding the field of non-verbal communication and negotiation styles and tactics?  How do these cross-cultural differences influence the negotiation process and outcomes?  What are the potential areas of misinterpretation that can prevent both parties from closing a deal successfully? 2. AIMS AND OBJECTIVES OF THE STUDY First and foremost, the research objective is to understand the nature of a cross-cultural business negotiation. Secondly, through the research I would like to find out the cross- cultural differences when Vietnamese and American business people come to negotiate with each other. As these cross-cultural differences are the potential areas of misunderstanding and misinterpretation during the course of a negotiation, the research attempts to analyze how determining factors in the field of non-verbal communication and negotiation styles and tactics influence the negotiation process and outcomes. Thirdly, the study aims at identifying and understanding the cultural misinterpretations of non-verbal message during the course of exchanging information and expectations. 12
    • Finally, but most importantly, on the ground of identifying and analyzing the similarities and differences, hopefully a cross-cultural understanding between the two nations is obtained. 3. SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY With four objectives mentioned above, the study primarily contributes its knowledge of international business negotiations from cross-cultural point of view to the existing literature. Together with practical survey findings, the study displays insightful knowledge of how the cross-cultural differences in the field of non-verbal communication and negotiation styles and tactics affect the negotiation process and outcomes practiced by Vietnamese and American business people. The study also plays its own important part in upgrading the current level of cross-culture awareness of Vietnamese and American business people as they meet up for joint benefits at the negotiation table. Above all, it helps potential Vietnamese and American business negotiators and those who are going to conduct business in Vietnam and the United States better prepare themselves to achieve the goal of their Far East or Far West journey. 4. SCOPE OF THE STUDY Number of the cultures studied To draw a comparison in terms of non-verbal communication and negotiation styles and tactics in a Vietnamese–American business negotiation, the research would be central to these two target nations. A number of other cultures would also be referred to in the Literature Review so as to provide a comprehensive background. 13
    • Target population A number of native Vietnamese and American business people regardless of gender and backgrounds and of more than 23 years old would be surveyed in response to the researched problems. Field of study Culture is reflected in many aspects such as language, which entails both verbal and non-verbal, food, visual arts, dress, music, drama, literature, celebrations and games. Within this study, the researcher would only like to focus on non-verbal communication and negotiation styles and tactics, the cross-cultural analysis of the similarities and differences as American and Vietnamese business people meet up at the negotiation conference. 5. METHODS OF THE STUDY In order to collect appropriate information throughout the process of researching, such methodologies as followed as are taken into use: • Analyzing documents and materials: since most of the materials on business negotiation and particularly international business negotiation are all text-formed, or from the Internet, critical reading is required along with a careful selection of materials. • Questionnaire: for primary data, no way is better than questionnaire, which is both time-saving and information reliable. • Interview: having face-to-face talks with native American and Vietnamese business people is the best way to exploit the needed information. It is therefore easier to draw out conclusions and suggestions for the research. • Comparing American with Vietnamese negotiation styles: only by analyzing responses to certain situations of the same scale together, 14
    • can the similarities and differences between the two cultures be found. Based on that, cross-cultural understanding is obtained. • Mathematically adding up all the data: this is one of the most effective ways to have correct statistics and to make tables and charts which best serve the research. 6. ORGANIZATION The paper is scientifically organized into 5 Chapters. Chapter 1 is the introduction to the thesis. Chapter 2 reviews existing literature on business negotiations and the influence of culture on business negotiations across borders. Chapter 3 presents methods used in the present research to collect and analyze data. Chapter 4 provides discussions of the findings from the surveys as well as analyses of the cultural similarities and differences. Chapter 5 is the conclusion of the study. The following parts are references and appendices. 15
    • CHAPTER 2: LITERATURE REVIEW 1. NEGOTIATIONS. Negotiation is an important part of developing business in any market. The estimate time spent in negotiations is 50% of the total working time (Fraser & Zarkanda – Fraser, 2002). Thus, the amount of research on negotiation has increased considerably in the past two decades. One view is that negotiation is a complex social process (Lewicki, Barry and Saunders, 2005). It is a process that takes place in a particular context. The context, the nature of parties involved and the degree of formality determines the skills required in any specific negotiation situation (Woo & Prud’homme, 1999). Additionally, it has been viewed as a universal phenomenon (McCall & Warrington, 1989). Negotiating is to communicate and effective negotiating is about good communication. Poor communication kills deals (Salacuse, 1992). There are many available and well-defined definitions of “negotiation”, but the researcher is only going to present the one given by Shockley-Zalabak (1988, p. 247). Negotiation is “a broad conflict management process involving discussions between and among individuals who are interdependent and need to come together for a decision or course of action; frequently associated with the need to compromise effectively.” 2. BUSINESS NEGOTIATIONS. Negotiation can be seen anywhere as a basic human activity. It is a process we undertake everyday to manage our relationships, which can be simple as in the case when parents receive a ‘dark’ school report of their children. Then both sides need to sit down to talk to each other to come up with a solution to improve the situation. The case in point is also between newly married couples over who should be in charge of running the house 16
    • physically and who should be responsible for feeding the family financially. Sometimes it can be complex, as the case between employers and employees when the companies run out of money and the workers demand for year–end salary bonuses. It can be between buyers and sellers in an effort to buy or sell an aircraft. In the first two cases, the interests are not that high and we do not have to preplan the process and outcomes. In other cases, business relations are involved with high stakes so we have to prepare, plan and negotiate more carefully. As clearly as can be seen, business negotiation is strikingly different from other negotiations. In business, it is considered the most challenging communication task (Woo & Prud’homme, 1999) and is more and more considered a crucial part of the managerial process, which is highly relevant to the implementation of business strategies (Ghauri, 2003). In literature, the terms ‘negotiation’ and ‘bargaining’ can have the same meaning and can be used interchangeably. Bargaining is more often referred to as competitive or distributive bargaining in which each side tries to maximize their own benefits and may ignore the high cost paid by the other. Thus, it is more accurate to refer to bargaining as win–lose negotiation in which both parties are more competitive and opportunistic. They do not normally share information but exploit as much as they can from the other for their own interest (Walton & McKersie, 1965). As a result, one side tends to gain at the expense of the other. However, business negotiation, so – called integrative bargaining, refers to win–win negotiation where both or all parties involved can end up with equally beneficial or attractive outcomes. It is a problem solving approach where both parties involved perceive the process of negotiation as a process to find a solution to a common problem (Ghauri, 2003). Therefore, in business negotiation it is possible for both parties to achieve their objectives and one party’s gain is not dependent upon 17
    • the other party’s concession (Fisher & Ury 1991; Pruitt 1983; Ghauri, 1983 & 1986). Some major characteristics of business negotiations which are highlighted by Pervez and Jean – Claude (2003, p. 4) are:  Both parties openly share information they possess with each other. They also genuinely expose their goals and keep listening attentively to find a common ground between the two.  The negotiation process includes search for an agreement that meets the objectives of both parties.  Both sides understand a fact that they share common as well as conflicting goals and try to find a way to achieve these goals.  To achieve the above, both parties sincerely and truly try to understand each other’s point of view. 3. CROSS-CULTURAL BUSINESS NEGOTIATIONS 3.1. Overview of cross-cultural business negotiations Cross-cultural business negotiations have many characteristics that distinguish them from negotiations in the domestic markets. In a mono– cultural environment, the negotiation process is more predictable and precise since the negotiators do not have to be concerned with the differences of language or culture. Behavior is consistent within cultures and each culture has its own distinctive negotiation style. Cross–cultural negotiations are negotiations when the negotiating parties belong to different cultures, and do not share the same ways of thinking, feeling or behaving. In a cross–cultural negotiation, it is important to understand the cultural differences and to modify the negotiation style accordingly (Woo & Prud’homme, 1999). In international business, the purpose of “know thyself” means “know your own culture”. It is important to understand the ways in which business can 18
    • be different, to be able to understand how it can differ. If it is understood why we do something in a certain way, it can be easier to understand and gain insight into why “they” do something in a certain way (Foster, 1992). National culture differences may affect determinants of business performance in one or two ways that are often confused in discussions of cultural specificity. The most visible cultural differences are in the averages of measures, which reflect that different culture defining factors are no doubt present to a greater or lesser degree in various national cultures. Second, there is a more trivial potential cultural difference that may have major implications for strategic management. Organizational culture is the pattern of shared values and beliefs that help people understand how an organization functions. 3.2. A framework for international business negotiations An overall framework for business negotiation has three groups of variables: background factors, the atmosphere and the process. Since the negotiation process is inherently dynamic, a certain perception of the parties or a particular development in the process may influence a change in the background factors. 3.2.1. Background factors: Background factors include objectives, environment, market position, third parties and negotiators. Objectives, defined as the end stage each party desires to achieve, are often classified as common, conflicting and complementary. Common and complementary can have direct and positive effects on the negotiation process, whereas conflicting interests can provoke negative ones. These effects, in turn, influence the negotiation atmosphere and outcomes. The dominance of common and complementary interests raises the opportunity 19
    • for an agreement while conflicting ones reduce the chance of a successful relationship. Figure 1.1: The framework of international business negotiation. Source: International Business Negotiation, Ghauri & Usunier (2003) The environment refers to the political, social and structural factors relevant to both parties. Some of the characteristics directly influence the process while others directly influence the atmosphere. Political and social 20
    • aspects influence the process, and market structure influences the atmosphere. The market position of each party is an important factor influencing the negotiation process. The number of buyers and sellers in the market determine the number of alternatives available to each party, which, in turn, affects the amount of pressure imposed by its counterpart within the market. Third parties such as governments, agents, consultants, subcontractors are involved in most international business negotiations. Negotiators bring to the table their own experience and negotiation skills which have great influence on the choice of negotiation styles and tactics. Negotiators operate within two limits: firstly, they act to increase common interests and to expand cooperation among the parties; secondly, they act to maximize their own interests and to ensure an agreement valuable to themselves. 3.2.2. Atmosphere: Atmosphere involves the active participation of conflict/cooperation, power/dependence and expectations. The existence of both conflict and cooperation is a fundamental characteristic of the negotiation process. The magnitude of conflict or cooperation in the atmosphere depends upon the objectives of the negotiating parties. The degree of conflict or cooperation during different stages of the negotiation process is often a function of the issues being dealt with, while the degree of conflict or cooperation in the atmosphere is a function of how the parties handle various problems. The power and dependence relation is another basic characteristic of all negotiation processes. It is closely related to the actual power relation, which is influenced by the value of the relationship to the parties and their available alternatives. 21
    • 3.2.3. The Negotiation Process The process of an international business negotiation is subdivided into three stages: pre-negotiation, face-to-face negotiation and post-negotiation. The pre-negotiation stage begins with the first contact between parties in which an interest in doing business with each other is shown. During this stage, some negotiations take place and tentative offers are made. In this stage, the parties gather as much relevant information as possible on each other, the operating environment, the involvement of other third parties, influencers, competitors and the infrastructure. Parties also begin to formulate their strategy for face-to-face negotiation. By strategy we mean a complete plan regarding problems, the solutions available and preferred choices, relative to the other party’s choices and preferences. In the face-to-face negotiation the basic issue is that parties believe that they can work together to find a solution to a joint problem. The parties should also be aware that each side views the situation, the matter under discussion, in its own way. Not only that it has a different perception of the process but it has different expectations for the outcome. It is therefore, important to start face-to-face negotiation with an open mind and to have several alternatives. At this stage, as the process continues, the parties should evaluate the alternatives presented by the other party and select those that are compatible with their own expectations. The best way is to determine criteria for judging the alternatives and then rank order each alternative, one’s own as well as those presented by the other party, against these criteria. Here the parties can even help each other in evaluating these alternatives and can discuss the criteria for judgment. The main issue is to explore the differences in preferences and expectations and to come closer to each other. 22
    • In the last stage, post-negotiation, all the terms have been agreed upon. The contract is being drawn up and is ready to be signed. Experience has shown that writing the contract and the language used can be a negotiation process in itself, as meaning and values may differ between the two parties. In several cases involving Western firms and emerging-country parties, the language used and the recording of issues previously agreed upon took considerable time. This stage can lead to renewed face-to-face negotiation if there is negative feedback from background factors and atmosphere. 3.2.4. The Cultural and Strategic factors are discussed in detail below (Part 4, 5 and 6). 4. GENERAL INFLUENCE OF CULTURE ON BUSINESS NEGOTIATIONS Existing literature shows that there are many ways to investigate the role of culture in international business negotiations such as from cross- cultural, intercultural and trans-cultural point of view. In this study, the researcher would direct her attention mainly to the first mentioned point of view, which is attempting, from one cultural perspective to understand another. Moreover, from research perspective, a cross-cultural study is broader and more general than an intra-cultural one. The former compares two target cultures to find out the similarities and differences while the latter only investigates the differences. The researcher desired to have a comprehensive look at the topic, so she adopted the first mentioned research methodology. Culture is a shared background (for example, national, ethnic, religious) resulting from a common language and communication style, customs, beliefs, attitudes and values (Levine and Adelman, 1993). These 23
    • components of culture affect negotiation and the way people communicate (Mintu-Wimsatt & Gassenheimer, 2000). The culture also dictates how people process and interpret information and also affects which strategies and tactics to pursue (Mintu-Wimsatt & Gassenheimer, 1996). Culture is largely neglected as a variable influencing the process as well as the outcome of cross-cultural business negotiations. Cultural differences can cause four different kinds of problems in international business negotiation: language, non-verbal communication, values, and with the thinking and decision-making process. Culture forces people to view and value differently the many social interactions inherent in fashioning an agreement (Herbig & Gulbro, 1997). Different cultural systems can produce divergent negotiation styles. Styles are shaped by each nation’s culture, geography, history and political system. Unless you see the world through the other’s eyes, you may be not seeing or hearing the same. The two business negotiators are separated from each other not only by physical features, a totally different language and business etiquette, but also by a different way to perceive the world, to define business goals, to express thinking and feelings, to show or hide motivation and interests (Herbig & Gulbro, 1997). Cross-cultural comparisons are made by finding the important norms and values that distinguish one culture from another and then understanding how these differences will influence international negotiation (Lewicki, Sauders & Barry, 2006). In summary, research suggests that culture does have an effect on negotiation outcomes, although it may not be direct, and it likely has an influence through differences in the negotiation process in different cultures. 24
    • 5. NON-VERBAL COMMUNICATION IN CROSS-CULTURAL BUSINESS NEGOTIATIONS Communication Is More Than Verbal. Good negotiators must first be good communicators. Unfortunately, many negotiators think of communication only as oral or written verbal exchanges. But verbal exchanges account for only a fraction of the messages people send and receive. Research has shown that between 70 and 90 percent of the entire communication spectrum is nonverbal. Consequently, you should be aware of the different forms of nonverbal communication that you are likely to encounter during negotiation conferences. 5.1. Importance of Nonverbal Communication. If a negotiator is only aware of` his verbal message, he likely misses the major portion of the overall communication. Being aware of both nonverbal and verbal messages gives him an important edge. • Skills in interpreting nonverbal communications help negotiators glean useful information from others involved in the negotiation. • An awareness of nonverbal communication may also prevent negotiators from harming his own negotiation position by inadvertently sending nonverbal signals that disclose confidential information or weaknesses in his position. 5.2. Areas of Nonverbal Communication. Nonverbal communications include all forms of communication that are not part of the language that we speak or write. There are many ways that we reveal ourselves nonverbally. This text will concentrate on the three areas of nonverbal communication that will most likely affect contract negotiations: 25
    • • Body language (kinesics) using facial expressions, body movements, gestures, posture, and touch (tactile communication) particularly the handshake; Figure 1.2: Cross-cultural non-verbal etiquette ____________________________________________________________ Greetings How do people greet and address one another? What role do business cards play? Degree of Will my counterparts expect me to dress and interact Formality formally or informally? Gift giving Do business people exchange gifts? What gifts are appropriate? Are there taboos associated with gift-giving? Touching What are the attitudes toward body contact? Eye contact Is eye contact polite? Is it expected? Deportment How should I carry myself? Formally or Casually? Emotions Is it rude, embarrassing or unusual to display emotions? Silence Is silence awkward? Expected, Insulting? Respectful? Eating What is the proper manner of dinning? Are certain foods taboo? Body language Are certain gestures or forms of body language rude? Punctuality Should I be punctual and expect my counterpart to be as well? Or are schedules and agendas fluid? ____________________________________________________________ Source: James K. Sebenius, “The Hidden Challenge of Cross-Border Negotiations,” Harvard Business Review, March 2002, p. 76-89. 26
    • • Physical environment (proxemics) using available space, distance from or proximity to other people, and territorial control; • Personal attributes such as: O Physical appearance (artifact) including all options that communicators use to modify their appearance; O Vocal cues (auditory communication); 5.3. Interpreting Nonverbal Messages. A negotiator must interpret nonverbal messages as part of the overall communication system. • Typically, an individual nonverbal message is difficult to accurately interpret in isolation because most messages have several possible meanings. For example: O A yawn might indicate a lack of interest, physical fatigue, or both. O Rapid eye blinking might indicate deceit or just poor fitting contact lenses. • A nonverbal message is easiest to interpret when it is consistent with other forms of communication that you are receiving at the same time. For example, you might be more likely to interpret rapid eye blinking as indicative of dishonesty if the person also avoids eye contact while speaking. • An inconsistent nonverbal message may be impossible to interpret. However, an apparently negative nonverbal message should raise a red flag indicating that you should look more carefully for related verbal or nonverbal clues. Look for messages that correlate with each other so that you can make a more accurate interpretation. 27
    • 6. NEGOTIATION STYLES AND TACTICS IN CROSS- CULTURAL BUSINESS NEGOTIATIONS In a research titled “The Hidden Challenge of Cross-Border Negotiations”, James K. Sebenius (2002) states that there is an important aspect of cross-border negotiations that has been largely overlooked in the literature: the ways that people from different regions come to agreement or the processes involved in negotiations. Negotiating goal, negotiating attitude, the approach to building agreement and making decision and types of business entertainment can differ widely from culture to culture. In this research I would like to examine in detail how the different negotiation styles and tactics can disrupt cross-cultural business negotiations and offer some advice for the negotiators to better overcome possible barriers on the road to “yes” at the end of the paper. 6.1. Negotiating goal According to a book titled “The Art of Negotiating”, a basic source of misunderstanding is an emphasis on making a deal versus establishing a relationship. Making a deal is typical of legalistic cultures such as Western Europe and North America, whereas establishing a relationship is typical of Oriental, Latin America, and Arab cultures. Japanese, Chinese negotiators tend to build long-term relationship before proceeding on further collaborations. Naturally, the emphasis on building a relationship results in a more prolonged negotiation period. It is almost contradictory that Americans, who are extremely sociable, place so little emphasis on relationship building in international business negotiations. 6.2. Negotiating attitude The author of “The Art of Negotiating” also says that parties can see the negotiation as either a win-win or win-lose situation. Win-win is when 28
    • both sides win, while win-lose is when one side benefits at the other side’s expense. The emphasis in the United States on winning tends to push American negotiators toward win-lose strategies. Cultures that emphasize that importance of relationships will most likely emphasize win-win relationships. The win-win approach emphasizes finding interests that both sides have in common and developing them. The win-lose approach emphasizes making gains at the other party’s expense, which creates a competitive and non cooperative atmosphere. The win-lose approach is based on the idea of a fixed pie where one’s gains result in another’s losses. 6.3. Approach to building agreement In his book titled “The Hidden Challenge of Negotiation”, James K. Sebenius states that US negotiators often seek agreement on specifics first, building up toward an overall deal. Their Chinese counterparts often focus first on what seems to many Americans to be a general historical and national frame for discussion. Then, as many French negotiators do, they seek agreement on general principles, later working through the details. This tendency also manifests itself in thought processes: many Chinese tend to reason about the whole while Westerners often proceed by breaking the whole into parts and reasoning analytically. 6.4. Approach to making decision Approaches to decision making can be subdivided into individual and consensus. While in American teams the decision making power often lies in the hands of individuals, other cultures emphasize group agreement by consensus which naturally takes longer to achieve. American approach to making decision has been characterized as a “John Wayne” style where an individual arrives on the scene, conducts the negotiations as quickly as possible, and hopes to leave with a signed contract. 29
    • An individual versus consensus approach also has impact on the concession process. Negotiators from individualistic cultures allow for more flexibility in concession making. However, consensus-oriented teams have very little leeway for concessions because of their difficulty they may have in reach consensus within their group. The Russian often adopt an even more inflexible position as they view compromise as a sign of weakness (James K. S, 2002). 6.5. Types of business entertainment. According to “Doing Business in the USA” by Frank et al. (2005), Americans are informal. Business is often conducted over breakfast, lunch, or dinner. Business entertainment may be conducted at relaxed events such as sports events, dinner parties, or even in personal residences. Also, socializing occurs more often after business is concluded. Business entertaining is not to develop a personal relationship. Business entertaining can be in the form of cocktail parties, golf games, barbecues, formal or casual dinners. According information provided by vietnam-culture.com, most business luncheons and dinners in Vietnamese business culture are held in hotels, restaurants, or government facilities. Usually the Vietnamese arrange for a dinner during the early part of their counterpart’s visit. Dinner in Vietnam usually consists of several courses, similar to a Chinese banquet. A flowery but short speech about Vietnam's beautiful scenery, the friendship of your hosts, and prospects for a successful business venture are appropriate. 7. HOW THE PROPOSED STUDY CONTRIBUTES TO THE EXISTING LITERATURE Up-to-date literature on negotiations in general and cross-cultural business negotiations reviewed above would be further enriched throughout 30
    • my research. Through the process of examining and analyzing, the research would deepen understanding of how the cultural and strategic factors affect the negotiation outcomes. To be more detailed, this study would find out the cultural similarities and differences in terms of non-verbal communication and negotiation styles and tactics as Vietnamese and American negotiators come to meet up at the negotiation conference. Furthermore, an insightful investigation of the influences of the cultural differences on the way a negotiation is conducted would help negotiators from both countries to be more confident in coping with unusual situations. The researcher would also contribute her knowledge to the existing literature through identifying potential areas of misunderstandings and misinterpretations which might lead to failure in closing a deal and facilitate a fruitful relationship. Particularly, as research on doing business and negotiating with Vietnamese people is limited, the researcher tries to enrich existing literature on Vietnamese business culture and etiquette, especially in conducting business negotiations. 31
    • CHAPTER 2: METHODOLOGY 1. QUANTITATIVE STUDY The research is conducted as an application of quantitative approach. The quantitative approach, as defined by Burns (1999, p.21), “values objectivity through the discovery of facts or truths” and pre-established hypothesis here are subjected to “statistical procedures” which are widely accepted and standardized. Therefore, the strength of this method lies in the clarity and rigor of the procedures adopted. Another benefit of the study based on quantitative approach is that it helps the researchers seek effective ways of controlling variables through series of consistent and valid comparisons made across variety of sites as well as sources. In order to compare American and Vietnamese cultures in terms of non-verbal communication and negotiation styles employed by the two countries’ negotiators, the research depends upon reliable statistics which serve as the ground work for content development, which quantitative method is regarded as the suitable choice in the process of research completion as well as results-based analysis. With regard to the limitations of quantitative methods, questionnaires delivered to respondents would be designed with both closed-ended and open-ended questions to facilitate each individual’s ideas to each context stated. On the ground of participants’ responses, a more insightful understanding of the cultural similarities and differences between American and Vietnamese negotiation styles is obtained. 32
    • 2. SELECTION OF SUBJECTS The selection of subject would follow the type of Accidental Quota Sampling (Burma, 1996:118), which is “researchers select individuals of group on the basis of set criteria”. The subjects of the survey are 30 American and 30 Vietnamese business men and women above 23 years old. They have been involved in various business areas in the capacity of employers or employees in either government-owned or privately owned, domestic or international businesses. Involved areas of negotiating could range from sales, import/export, agency, licensing agreements and other kinds. As the participants are typically difficult to access for a number of reasons, the researcher only chose 30 American and 30 Vietnamese business people. These 30 American business people might or might not have worked in Vietnam but needed to possess some working experience in or exposure to business negotiations. The same criteria were applied to Vietnamese respondents. That is to say they needed to have some experience in business negotiations but not necessarily with American business people. Besides, the selection of participants confined to this number could provide the researcher with sufficient data to manage. 3. METHODS OF DATA COLLECTION This study employed questionnaires as the main sources for data collection. Questionnaires, according to Verma and Mallick (1999:24), “can provide data economically and in a form that lends itself perfectly to the purposes of the study” if well-structured. Though no method is consummate, this one has proved its preponderance over the others due to its clarity, consistence, and validity. 33
    • Pools of feedback from a large number of people were quickly collected via the process of questionnaire completion. The questionnaire works as a fundamental method in my study. So, as to gather opinions of both American and Vietnamese negotiators who carry different negotiation styles, respondents of two countries were asked to help finish the questionnaires. Of the two kinds of questionnaires, i.e. one designed for self- completion and another for assisted completion (Verman and Mallick, 1999:117), the former was delivered to Vietnamese respondents and the latter to American ones. This is because of the typical difficulty in accessing business people face-to-face, especially Americans. Surveys were delivered to negotiators in form of hard copy, Word-formatted file and as an on-line version. The on-line survey has proved exceptionally efficient in collecting answers from the Americans due to long geographical distance. See the link to on-line surveys below: http://www.surveymonkey.com/s.aspx? sm=R8NuhLo_2bpyYEo7MN39UuMg_3d_3d for American negotiators http://www.surveymonkey.com/s.aspx? sm=giMruL_2fTC77rZrFkOLzP6w_3d_3d for Vietnamese negotiators In the questionnaire, open-ended questions were given to seek other ways of response that informants may think of. By this way, the restrictions of quantitative methods were pared. The steps of the study were as follows: • Studying the related materials on cross-cultural business negotiations, especially those conducted between American and Vietnamese business people and the cultural similarities and differences in terms of non-verbal communication and negotiation styles and tactics. 34
    • • Delivering questionnaires to American and Vietnamese business people through face-to-face meetings and conversations or via email. • Coding, analyzing all the data and discussing the findings. • Providing implications and recommendations. Face-to-face interviews were conducted right after the questionnaires were completed. Two Americans and two Vietnamese were deliberately chosen to be interviewed because of the limitation of finding respondents. The information exploited from the six interviews was sufficient to strengthen the researcher’s understanding of the subject problem. 4. PROCEDURES OF DATA COLLECTION • Delivering questionnaires to American and Vietnamese business people through face-to-face meetings and conversations or via email. • Selecting intentionally some respondents to questionnaires to take part in a face-to-face interview for further insights of the research problem. 5. METHODS OF DATA ANALYSIS. The researcher used the data analysis approach by Nunan (1992) in which the data were reconstructed so that they were systematic and logical. Collected findings were organized and assembled under sub-headings to make analyses reader friendly. The researcher’s understanding of cross- cultural business negotiations and those conducted particularly between the American and Vietnamese and the literature discussed in the previous chapter are the basis upon which the interpretations were drawn and thoroughly analyzed. CHAPTER 3: RESULTS AND DISCUSSION 35
    • 1. DESCRIPTION OF SURVEY QUESTIONNAIRE The survey questionnaire consists of 15 main questions in English and Vietnamese for American and Vietnamese business people respectively. These questionnaires serve to answer the two research questions mentioned in Chapter 1 closely. The first nine are aimed at finding out the styles of communicating non-verbally practiced by American and Vietnamese negotiators. The other six serve to investigate the negotiation styles and tactics. The content of each has to be both relevant and consistent with the research topic and its scope of study. For sample surveys in English and Vietnamese, see Appendices. 1.1. Research questions The survey is divided into three main parts.  Personal information This includes personal questions such as name, age, gender, company, business scale, business type, and year of experience in negotiations, year of experience in working with Americans or Vietnamese and type(s) of negotiation involved. The objective of these personal questions is to investigate more thoroughly whether the individual features may affect their different responses in what way and to provide the suitable explanations for the given contexts. Furthermore, on the ground of the given information the research would be able to justify the validity and reliability of the study before the board of judges.  Non-verbal communication style The aim of asking these questions is to characterize the styles of communicating non-verbally employed by American and Vietnamese negotiators and to find out different ways of interpreting one non-verbal 36
    • message in each culture. The first one is to investigate the sitting postures during negotiation of both American and Vietnamese negotiators and how these postures are perceived in their own eyes. The second one is about the frequency of maintaining direct eye contacts during negotiations and view on limited direct eye contacts. The third one is supposed to ask about the etiquette of shaking hand. Question four is aimed at finding out the frequency of expressing emotions and view on emotional display during negotiations. The fifth one is designed to exploit information about the dressing manner. The sixth one is about gift-giving culture and view on presenting gifts to counterparts during the course of negotiation. The seventh one is added to seek information about the frequency of unpunctuality and perspective on late appearance. Question eight is about approach to time and question nine is about level of physical distance preferred.  Negotiation styles and tactics The last but no least part of the survey plays a crucial role in helping the researcher obtain information about styles and tactics practiced in both American and Vietnamese cultures. The first question is to find out the negotiating goal set up by both parties ahead of the negotiation meeting. The second one is about the negotiating attitude carried by both sides as they come to the negotiation conference. The third one is aimed at examining how American and Vietnamese negotiators build an agreement. The forth one is designed to point out the approach to decision making and the fifth one is about perspective on a signed contract. The last one is added to help the researcher know more about the frequency of practicing some types of business entertainment. 1.2. Description of informants 37
    • Questionnaires were delivered to 30 American and 30 Vietnamese business people to ensure the symmetry in comparisons made between two subjects. Informants were of both genders and 23 years or older. They may or may not have worked with Vietnamese or Americans but need to possess some experience in business negotiation. 2. DESCRIPTION OF INTERVIEW 2.1. Interview questions The researcher asked American negotiators or Vietnamese negotiators these following questions:  How often are Vietnamese and American punctual?  Do you tend to interpret the case when Vietnamese people come late to the meeting that they are not serious and this is not an important deal for them?  From what you observed, do Vietnamese negotiators negotiate thing by thing or one by one? I mean you can have many decisions in a contract. So you go from one to another or all at a time?  Did you misinterpret any Vietnamese body language? Did they always look at you when they talk to you like I am doing now?  Do American negotiators always look at the other counterparts’ eyes?  How do Americans normally sit during negotiations?  What do you think about the variety of casual sitting postures practiced by Americans?  How do you interpret indirect eye contacts?  How do Americans shake hand?  Do you think such emotional expressions as smiling, laughing and giggling are humorous?  Do you often give gifts to your counterpart? 38
    •  Which approach to time do you often use in negotiations, monochromic or polychromic? 2.2. Description of interviewees Interviewees will be intentionally chosen from those who have answered the survey questionnaires. Criteria are as follows:  Have more than five years of experience in working with business negotiations  Have more than five years of experience in working with Americans or Vietnamese, for Vietnamese negotiators and American negotiators accordingly.  Have experience in negotiating different types of business 3. FINDINGS AND DISCUSSION OF FINDINGS 3.1. NON-VERBAL COMMUNICATION 3.1.1. SITTING POSTURE Table 1. Types of sitting posture (question 1.1) Chosen options A B C D Vietnamese 43% 3% 37% 17% American 43% 24% 13% 20% Note on options: A: Placing both feet on the floor with knees held fairly close together B: Crossing legs by placing one foot or ankle on the knee of the other leg C: Crossing legs by placing one knee directly over the other D: Others As can be seen from table 1, sitting postures are considerably different across American and Vietnamese culture. Nearly half of the number of Vietnamese and Americans (43%) choose A. While only 3% of surveyed Vietnamese choose B, the Americans report 24%. In great contrast, whereas only 13% of surveyed Americans choose C, the number of Vietnamese who 39
    • employed this sitting posture account for as much as 37% of the total number. Seventeen percent of Vietnamese and 20% of Americans say that they sit in the way they feel comfortable or sometimes it depends on the place of meeting and who they are about to work with. Only one American says he normally places both feet on the floor with knees about 1 foot apart and thinks it is acceptable to do so. One interviewed American shares that Americans practice various style of sitting that change during a meeting or negotiation. Table 2. View on sitting posture (question 1.2) Chosen options Rude Acceptable Polite Others Vietnamese 0% 53% 43% 4% American 0% 63% 23% 14% Table 2 shows that most of the surveyed Vietnamese and Americans think their sitting postures are acceptable and polite. For the Vietnamese, most of 53% people surveyed think crossing legs by placing one knee directly over the other is acceptable. Polite postures viewed by 44% Vietnamese are placing both feet on the floor with knees held fairly close together, crossing legs by placing one knee directly over the other and comfortable postures. One person interviewed reveals that placing both feet on the floor with knees held fairly close together often practiced by the Vietnamese is a sign of inferiority. For the American, most of 63% people surveyed think placing both feet on the floor with knees held fairly close together and crossing legs by placing one foot or ankle on the knee of the other leg are acceptable. Twenty-three percent of questioned people view crossing legs by placing one knee directly over the other and placing both feet on the floor with knees held fairly close together as polite postures. The other 14% report that their 40
    • view varies as they work with different cultures. In interview, one thinks that a variety of casual postures practiced by Americans in general are not thoughtful and polite and another shares that formal posture is professional and appropriate for businesspeople that have never met or negotiated before. Some American businessmen prefer to show familiarity in later negotiations by utilizing informal body language because there is a feeling that what is done informally will create a better synergy. Summary: 80% surveyed Vietnamese either cross their legs by placing one knee directly over the other or place both feet on the floor with knees held fairly close together while 67% of all Americans asked either place both feet on the floor with knees held fairly close together or cross their legs by placing one foot or ankle on the knee of the other leg. The surveyed mostly perceive their sitting posture as either acceptable or polite or both. 3.1.2. DIRECT EYE CONTACT MAINTANANCE Chart 1. Frequency of direct eye contacts (question 2.1) It can be seen from chart 1 that almost no Americans or Vietnamese seldom or never maintain direct eye contacts (DECs) with their partners. Often/ frequent DECs are practiced by 18 Americans and 11 Vietnamese out of 30 people in total surveyed. Whereas no Americans choose to sometimes look directly into the eyes of their counterparts, 10 Vietnamese choose to do so. Among 30 surveyors asked in each side, 10 Americans and 6 Vietnamese always maintain direct eye contacts during negotiations. 41
    • Frequency of Direct Eye Contacts 20 18 15 Always 11 Often Chosen 10 10 10 Sometimes options 6 Seldom 5 1 Never 0 0 0 0 0 Vietnamese American Summary: Often/ frequent direct eye contacts are dominant in both American and Vietnamese sides. Americans tend to look directly into the eyes of their partners more often than Vietnamese. Chart 2. View on indirect eye contacts (question 2.2) View on indirect eye contacts 14 13 14 12 9 9 10 8 A Chosen 8 6 B options 6 C 4 2 0 Vietnamese American Note on options: A: Normal; B: Distrustful; C: Others It is clear from chart 2 that the numbers of Vietnamese and Americans who view indirect eye contacts (IECs) as normal are quite modest, only eight and six correspondingly. While nine Vietnamese consider IECs a sign of distrust, as many as fourteen Americans think so. There are a pretty large number of Vietnamese who have other ideas other than the two given options. Most of the thirteen Vietnamese surveyors who sometimes maintain 42
    • DECs perceive IECs as a sign of lack of confidence, disrespect, impoliteness and dishonesty. Only one Vietnamese maintained that DECs show respect to his counterpart. Nine Americans who often look directly at their partners see IECs as unconfident, weak and distrustful, lazy and cultural specific. One person interprets IECs as a signal that their counterpart is not comfortable with the negotiation. Summary: More Vietnamese tend to view indirect eye contact normal than Americans. Most Americans see indirect eye contacts as distrustful. Among surveyed Vietnamese, those who sometimes maintain DECs perceive IECs as a sign of lack of confidence, disrespect, impoliteness and dishonesty. The Americans have somewhat different perceptions, which include weakness and distrust, laziness, lack of confidence, culturally specific behavior and discomfort. 3.1.3. MANNER OF HANDSHAKING (QUESTION 3) Chart 3. Manner of handshaking Manner of handshaking 20 20 18 15 A Chosen 9 B 10 8 options C 5 4 3 D 1 0 0 Vietnamese American Note on options: A: Quick; B: Loose and soft; C: Firm, strong and pumping; D: Others 43
    • As seen from chart 3, Vietnamese and Americans adopt strikingly different manners of handshaking. Eighteen surveyed Vietnamese shake hand loosely and softly while no surveyed Americans do so. In contrary, whereas only eight Vietnamese offer a firm, strong and pumping handshake, as many as twenty Americans do. Generally speaking, the styles of shaking hand employed by the other nine Americans are firm, strong and pumping, but with specifications. Some say they really offer just a firm one. Some others say they often shake hand firmly but with only one or two pumps and not strongly. One Vietnamese interviewed shared that Vietnamese in general often shake hands softly and quickly but year after year the Vietnamese manner of handshaking has become more western-like, which is firm and strong An American interviewed shared that if one knows the Vietnamese culture before he will offer a weaker one than that at home. Another say he does want another man to shake his hand like a woman. Summary: in short, Vietnamese tend to offer a loose and soft handshake while Americans are inclined to shake hands firmly and strongly with normally one or two pumps. There are also some but not many Vietnamese who have up to five years of experience in working with the American often offer a firm, strong and pumping handshake. 3.1.4. EMOTIONAL EXPRESSIONS Table 3. Frequency of expressing emotions (question 4.1) Chosen Kissing (/ Hugging Smiling Giggling Laughing (/ options 5) (5) (/5) (/5) 5) Vietnamese 1.3 2.5 4 2 2.5 American 1.2 1.4 4.1 1.3 2.6 Note on options: 1: Never; 2: Seldom; 3: Sometimes; 4: Often; 5: Always 44
    • It is clearly seen that both Vietnamese and Americans often maintain a smile on their lips when negotiating and seldom/ never kiss/ hug their counterparts. Both sometimes laugh out loud and the Vietnamese tend to giggle more often than the American. Only one American woman is asked and she reports high frequency of expressing the given emotions: sometimes hugging, often smiling and sometimes laughing. Nine Vietnamese females surveyed always smile during a negotiation though they seldom hug or laugh out loud. Chart 4. View on emotional expressions (question 4.2) View on emotional expressions 25 22 20 15 A Chosen 15 11 B options 10 C 4 4 D 5 1 1 1 0 Vietnamese American Note on options: A: Humorous; B: Acceptable and comfortable C: Acceptable but uncomfortable; D: Embarrassing and humiliating Chart 4 shows that view on emotional expressions as acceptable and comfortable is dominant in both Vietnamese and American cultures. However, more Americans adopt this view point than Vietnamese. Only one person in each side sees these emotional displays as humorous. Some Americans interviewed reveal that smiling and laughing are acceptable and comfortable but not giggling and another says that he will feel acceptable but uncomfortable if these emotions are expressed too often. 45
    • 3.1.5. MANNER OF DRESSING (QUESTION 5) As can be seen from table 4 at the very first row, Americans and Vietnamese have quite formal style of dressing. However, Vietnamese tend to dress more formally than Americans. It is no surprise that no one dresses very casually in a negotiation meeting. Both Vietnamese and American business women tend to dress formally, some Vietnamese even choose a very formal dressing style. Table 4. Manner of dressing American: 2.5 & Vietnamese: 2.4 (on average) Very Very Level of formal Formal Neutral Casual casual formality (1/5) (2/5) (3/5) (4/5) (5/5) Vietnamese 37% 30% 27% 0% 0% American 6% 47% 27% 20% 0% 3.1.6. GIFT-GIVING PRACTICE Chart 5. Practice of giving gifts (question 6.1) Chart 5 demonstrates the number of Vietnamese and Americans who have ever given gifts to their counterparts. It is obvious that most surveyors in the two countries do practice gift-giving culture. However, through interview some reporting a “yes” say that they only present gifts after the negotiation is finished and gifts are often small, like a bottle of wine, to show friendship and consideration. 46
    • Practice of giving gifts 24 23 25 20 Number 15 A of people 10 7 B 5 5 0 Vietnamese American Note on options: A: Yes; B: No Chart 6. View on gift-giving practice (question 6.2) View on gift-giving practice 25 23 20 16 13 A Chosen 15 options 10 B 6 5 C 5 2 0 Vietnamese American Note on options: A: close relationship; B: bribe and distrust; C: Others Chart 6 shows that most Vietnamese and Americans see gift-giving as simply the manifestation of close relationship. Quite a few Americans say that a small personal gift token like a bottle of wine after the negotiation meeting is very nice and does not present any misgivings and some others share that giving gifts before or during the negotiation is seen as an attempt at bribery or distrust. One interviewed says that gift-giving is known as a practice of Asian culture and is not practiced in the USA. 47
    • 3.1.7. TIME ORIENTATION Table 5a. Frequency of punctuality (question 7.1) American: 4.4 & Vietnamese: 3.7 (on average) Frequency of Always Often Sometimes Seldom Never punctuality (5/5) (4/5) (3/5) (2/5) (1/5) Vietnamese 50% 10% 13% 27% 0% American 60% 35% 0% 0% 0% Table 5a illustrates the frequency of punctuality practiced by Vietnamese and Americans. Obviously at the very first row, Americans are much more punctual than Vietnamese (4.4 to 3.7 respectively). To be more detailed, up to 95% asked Americans either always or often come to the negotiation conference on time while 60% questioned Vietnamese do so. A large number of Vietnamese seldom or never show up on time. Chart 7. Interpretation of unpunctuality (question 7.2) Interpretation of unpunctuality 20 16 15 13 11 A Chosen 9 B 10 options 7 C 5 4 3 3 D 0 Vietnamese American Note on options: A: They are not serious.; B: They have troubles. C: They met traffic jams.; D: Others As shown on chart 7, Vietnamese and Americans have very different interpretations of punctuality. Most surveyed Vietnamese think that their counterpart has either troubles or traffic jams, which is quite common in big 48
    • cities like Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh. Many Americans think that their Vietnamese partner is not serious. One American says he has to find causes because judging, another thinks it is rude and unprofessional, another thinks their partner has changed expectations of the negotiation and two people see it as culturally accepted but not good practice. 3.1.8. APPROACH TO NEGOTIATIONS (QUESTION 8) Chart 8. Timing approach to negotiations Timing approach to negotiations 24 25 22 20 A Cho s e n 15 11 o ptio ns 10 B 5 C 5 2 0 0 Vietnamese American Note on options: A: Monochromic; B: Polychromic; C: Others Chart 8 shows that most Vietnamese and Americans employ monochromic style which is linear, sequential and involves focusing on one thing at a time. The Vietnamese who choose the polychromic style are as double as many as Americans. Through interviews, quite a few Vietnamese and Americans say it would very much depend on the specifics of a deal as well as of people they are to work with. 3.1.9. PHYSICAL DISTANCE (QUESTION 9) Table 6. Level of physical distance preferred 49
    • Chosen option A B C D Vietnamese 0% 60% 40% 0% American 3% 53% 44% 0% Note on options: A: Beyond 3.7 m; B: 1.2 – 3.7 m C: 0.5 – 1.2 m; D: Less than 0.5 m It is quite apparent from table 6 that almost all Vietnamese and Americans practice a range of physical distance from 0.5 – 3.7 meters. However, 60% of the surveyed Vietnamese and 53% of the American asked prefer to stand or sit from 1.2 to 3.7 meters away from their partners. 3.2. NEGOTIATION STYLES AND TACTICS 3.2.1. NEGOTIATING GOAL (QUESTION 10) Chart 9. Negotiating goal Negotiating goal 25 25 22 20 A Chosen 15 10 B options 10 6 C 5 2 3 0 Vietnamese American Note on options: A: making a short – term deal done B: building a long – term relationship; C: others It is quite clear from chart 9 that most Vietnamese and Americans target building long term relationships as they meet up at the negotiation conference. Still, there are some Vietnamese and Americans who prefer a short-term deal. One Vietnamese says that which goal he set up depends on 50
    • the specific situations and the other says he does not normally have clear objectives. Two Americans say that it is dependent on the specific situations and the other considers the nature of partnership. 3.2.2. NEGOTIATING ATTITUDE (QUESTION 11) Table 7a. Negotiating attitude Chosen option A B C Vietnamese 80% 17% 3% American 77% 23% 0% Note on options: A: Win-win situation (both sides win) B: Win-lose situation (one side benefits at the other’s expense); C: Others As can be seen from table 7a the majority of questioned Vietnamese and Americans see a negotiation as a win-win situation where two parties seek mutual advantages. Quite a few Americans are willing and ready to benefit at the other’s expense. Only 3% of Vietnamese asked say his attitude to a negotiation depends much upon who he is about to deal with. 3.2.3. BUILDING AGREEMENT (QUESTION 12) Table 8. Approach to building an agreement Chosen option A B C Vietnamese 63% 30% 7% American 80% 20% 0% Note on options: A: Top-down (from general principles to specific items) B: Bottom up (from specific items to general principles); C: Others It is clear from table 8 that the majority of Vietnamese and Americans seek agreement on general principles, later on working through the details. There are pretty large numbers from both countries who prefer to seek 51
    • agreement on the specifics first, later building up toward an overall deal. The other 7% of Vietnamese surveyees say they normally use both approaches. 3.2.4. MAKING DECISIONS (QUESTION 13) Chart 10. Approach to making decisions Approach to making decisions 20 17 15 15 14 15 A Chosen 10 B options C 5 3 0 0 Vietnamese American Note on options: A: Individually; B: Consensually; C: Others Chart 10 shows that the Vietnamese and Americans surveyed have much the same approach toward making a decision. Whereas more Vietnamese make a decision based on group consensus, numbers of Americans choosing two approaches are equal. One American says that his style of making decisions is mostly dependent upon the organization and its management procedures. Another says he mostly adopts the first approach but not entirely. The other says he primarily uses the first one but only occasionally uses the second one. 3.2.5. A SIGNED CONTRACT (QUESTION 14) Chart 11. View on a signed contract 52
    • View on a signed contract 25 22 20 15 15 A Chosen 15 options 10 B 8 7 C 5 0 0 Vietnamese American Note on options: A: A sign of closing a deal; B: The start of a new relationship; C: A general outline which may be altered Chart 11 demonstrates different views of Vietnamese and Americans on a signed contract. About half the number of Vietnamese and Americans considers signing a contract as the start of a new relationship. However, the case is so much different regarding option A. Many more Americans view the situation as a sign of closing a deal than Vietnamese—twenty two to eight, respectively. A small number of Vietnamese think a signed contract signals that a deal has been closed and a new relationship has been established. 3.2.6. BUSINESS ENTERTAINMENT (QUESTION 15) Table 9a illustrates different types of entertainment practiced by Vietnamese and Americans. Clearly, Vietnamese seldom practice cocktail parties, golf games or business breakfast whereas Americans do so more often. Americans almost never go to a karaoke bar while Vietnamese sometimes do this. Regarding barbecues, business lunch, formal or casual dinner, both cultures practice quite often. Table 9a. Type of business entertainment 53
    • Types of business entertainment Vietnamese (/5) American (/5) Karaoke 2.8 1.5 Barbecues 2.6 2.6 Golf games 2.2 3.1 Cocktail parties 2.5 3.2 Business breakfast 2.5 3 Business lunch 3.3 3.5 Formal or casual dinner 3.7 3.4 Note on options: 1: Never; 2: Seldom; 3: Sometimes; 4: Often; 5: Always 3.3. SOCIAL FACTORS Factors affecting the responses of informants are analyzed in the survey including business scale, business type, and year(s) of experience in working with Americans or Vietnamese. Information about age, gender and year(s) of experience in negotiations of the informants and type(s) of negotiation they have involved only serves as testimony for reliability and validity of the study and are not analyzed within this study. 3.3.1. BUSINESS SCALE A company of less than 100 employees: small-sized company (SSCs) A company of 100-1000 employees: medium-sized company (MSCs) A company of more than 1000 employees: big-sized company (BSCs) Question 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7.2, 9, 10, 12, 14: the researcher finds that across both cultures and a range of three business scales there is no difference in the participants’ responses to 10.5 given questions. Question 7.1: Table 5b. Frequency of punctuality Business scale small-sized medium-sized big-sized 54
    • Vietnamese 3.3 3.7 4 American 4.6 4.8 4.7 Note on options: 5: Always; 4: Often; 3: Sometimes; 2: Seldom; 1: Never It is seen from table 5b that the working place affects Vietnamese’ frequency of punctuality but not Americans’. While Vietnamese in small- sized companies are sometimes punctual, those in big-sized companies are often. It is possible to assume that the bigger the company one works for, the more discipline he has to maintain, regardless of his willingness or reluctance. Question 8: Table 10. Approach to negotiations Chosen Business scale Culture option small-sized medium-sized big-sized Vietnames A 6 9 5 e B 7 2 1 A 9 5 7 American B 4 2 3 Note on options: A: Monochromic; B: Polychromic Table 10 shows that there is not much difference in responses from Vietnamese and Americans across three business scales, which is quite out of the researcher’s expectation. Both Vietnamese and Americans prefer monochromic approach to negotiations better. Question 11: As demonstrated on table 7b, across two cultures and three business scales, the win-win approach is better preferred than win-lose. Employees at SSCs 55
    • seem to use win-lose approach more often than those at BSCs and MSCs. It is out of my expectation that of every three Americans there is only one seeing negotiation as a win-lose situation. Table 7b. Negotiating attitude Chosen Business scale Culture option small-sized medium-sized big-sized A 8 12 3 Vietnamese B 5 0 0 A 9 6 6 American B 3 0 3 Note on options: A: Win-win situation (both sides win) B: Win-lose situation (one side benefits at the other’s expense) Question 13: Table 11. Approach to making decisions Chosen Business scale Culture option small-sized medium-sized big-sized A 8 3 1 Vietnamese B 6 9 2 A 6 3 3 American B 6 3 6 Note on options: A: Individually; B: Consensually Table 11 shows a big difference in the approach to making decisions across both cultures and three business scales. To be specific, Vietnamese in SSCs tend to make decision individually while those in MSCs and BSCs base their decision on group consensus more often. Americans in SSCs and MSCs employ the two approaches equally. Question 15: 56
    • Table 9b. Types of business entertainment Type of Business scale business Culture entertainment small-sized medium-sized big-sized Karaoke 2.6 2.6 3.3 Barbecues 2.6 2.6 3 Golf games 2.4 1.9 2 Cocktail parties 2.4 2.2 2 Business breakfast 2.1 2.2 3 Business lunch 2.7 3.4 4.2 Vietnames Formal or e casual dinner 3.9 3.1 4.2 Karaoke 1.1 1.5 1.8 Barbecues 2.2 2.5 2.8 Golf games 3.6 2.3 2.8 Cocktail parties 3.1 3.5 3.2 Business breakfast 3.1 3 2.8 Business lunch 3.6 3.8 3.2 Formal or American casual dinner 3.4 3.8 3 As can be seen from table 9b, types of business entertainment practiced by Vietnamese and Americans vary differently across three business scales. Karaoke and barbecues are the most practiced by Vietnamese in BSCs. Others as follows: golf games: Americans in SSCs; cocktail parties: Americans in MSCs; business breakfast: Vietnamese in BSCs and Americans in SSCs; business lunch and formal or casual dinner: Vietnamese in BSCs and Americans in MSCs. 3.3.2. BUSINESS TYPE 57
    • Only a few American informants working for state-owned companies were surveyed, so within this study the researcher only analyzed results in the Vietnamese side. Question 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 7.2, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 14, 15: across three business scales there is no difference in Vietnamese’ responses to 12.5 given questions. Question 6: Table 12. Practice of and view on giving gifts Business type Chosen option State-owned Others Yes 8 16 No 2 4 A 6 17 B 1 1 C 3 2 Note on options: A: close relationship; B: bribe and distrust; C: Others It is clear from table 12 that Vietnamese in state-owned companies (SOCs) give gifts to their counterpart as often as Vietnamese involved in other types of business (OTBs). It is quite a surprise to the researcher that 85% of asked Vietnamese in OTBs see gift-giving practice as part of a close relationship while 60% of asked Vietnamese in SOCs think so. Question 7.1: As seen from table 5c, Vietnamese in SOCs are on time in negotiation conferences much more often than those in OTBs. Perhaps this is because of the strict discipline of the governmental system. Table 5c. Frequency of punctuality 58
    • Business type State-owned Others Frequency of punctuality (/5) 4.2 3.4 Note on options: 5: Always; 4: Often; 3: Sometimes; 2: Seldom; 1: Never Question 13: Table 13. Approach to making decisions Chosen option State-owned Others A 4 9 B 5 12 Note on options: A: Individually; B: Consensually As shown on table 13, both approaches to making decisions are employed nearly equally by Vietnamese in SOCs. However, Vietnamese in OTBs base their decisions much more on the group consensus. 3.3.3. YEAR(S) OF EXPERIENCE IN WORKING WITH VIETNAMESE OR AMERICANS Experienced Vietnamese negotiators: Vietnamese negotiators with three years and above of experience in working with Americans Experienced American negotiators: American negotiators with three years and above of experience in working with Vietnamese Inexperienced Vietnamese negotiators: Vietnamese negotiators with less than three years of experience in working with Americans Inexperienced American negotiators: American negotiators with less than three years of experience in working with Vietnamese Question 1, 2.2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7.2, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 14, 15: the researcher finds that across both cultures and a range of three business scales there is no difference in the participants’ responses to 13 given questions. Question 2.1: 59
    • Table 14. Frequency of direct eye contacts Restriction Culture Experienced Inexperienced Vietnames e 4.7 3.8 American 4.1 4.5 Note on options: 5: Always; 4: Often; 3: Sometimes; 2: Seldom; 1: Never It is apparent from table 14 that EVNs maintain DECs more often than IVNs to adapt to American culture while IANs maintain DECs less often than EANs to adapt to Vietnamese culture. Question 3: Table 15. Manner of handshaking Chosen Vietnamese American option Experienced Inexperienced Experienced Inexperienced A 3 1 0 6 B 2 15 0 0 C 2 5 12 12 Note on options: A: Quick; B: Loose and soft; C: Firm, strong and pumping Regarding the manner of handshaking, the case is different from eye contact maintenance. EVNs tend to shake hands either quick or firmly and strongly with pumps, which distinguish them from IVNs, who often offer a loose and soft handshake. However, for Americans no matter how many years of working experience they have with Vietnamese, they still keep their style of shaking hand unchanged: firm, strong and pumping. Question 7.1: It is quite strange from what can be seen on table 16. EVNs and IANs are on time less often than IVNs and EANs. Perhaps if Vietnamese who 60
    • have little experience in negotiating with Americans are more serious about their deal, they will come to the conference on time. Table 16. Frequency of punctuality Culture Restriction Frequency of punctuality Vietnames Experienced 3.1 e Inexperienced 3.8 Experienced 4.7 American Inexperienced 4.1 Note on options: 5: Always; 4: Often; 3: Sometimes; 2: Seldom; 1: Never Question 13: Table 17. Approach to making decisions Chosen Vietnamese American option Experienced Inexperienced Experienced Inexperienced A 6 7 9 9 B 3 14 3 9 Note on options: A: Individually; B: Consensually As demonstrated on table 17, EVNs have different ways of making decisions from IVNs. To be detailed, more EVNs make decision individually while more IVNs consult the group consensus. Perhaps the Vietnamese approach to making decisions has been somehow affected by the American culture. As Americans have gained more experience in working with Vietnamese, one group leader is held mainly responsible for making decisions. 3.4. POTENTIAL AREAS OF MISINTERPRETATIONS Going through a long and pain-taking research process, the researcher come to identify some potential areas of misinterpretations in Vietnamese – American business negotiations as follows: 61
    •  Types of and view on sitting postures  Indirect eye contact and its message  Manner of handshaking and its message  Emotional expression and its message  Time orientation  Negotiating goal  Negotiating attitude  A signed contract In such areas like manner of dressing, practice of gift-giving, physical distance, the approach to building an agreement and making decisions and practice of different types of business entertainment, Vietnamese and American negotiators have much the same ideas. 4. CROSS-CULTURAL IMPLICATIONS FOR VIETNAMESE AND AMERICAN NEGOTIATORS 4.1. SITTING POSTURES: As discussed earlier, Vietnamese prefer to place one knee directly over the other or place both feet on the floor with knees held fairly close together. Americans place both feet on the floor with knees held fairly close together or cross legs by placing one foot or ankle on the knee of the other leg. Both sides mostly view their sitting postures as either polite or acceptable or both. 4.2. EYE CONTACT MAINTANCE Both cultures maintain eye contacts quite often during negotiations; however, Americans do this much more often than Vietnamese. Most Vietnamese see IECs as a sign of either lack of confidence, disrespect, impoliteness or dishonesty; most Americans consider IECs as weakness and distrust, laziness, lack of confidence, cultural specific behavior, or 62
    • discomfort. EVNs maintain DECs more often than IVNs to adapt to American culture while IANs maintain DECs less often than EANs to adapt to Vietnamese culture. 4.3. MANNER OF HANDSHAKING Most Vietnamese often offer a loose and soft handshake, while most Americans nearly always offer a firm, strong and pumping one. No matter how many years of working experience Americans have with Vietnamese they still keep their style of shaking hand unchanged: firm, strong and pumping. 4.4. EMOTIONAL EXPRESSIONS The majority of Vietnamese and Americans nearly always keep smiling during negotiations. Both cultures think smiling and laughing are acceptable, but some Americans see giggling unacceptable and uncomfortable. 4.5. MANNER OF DRESSING Americans tend to dress more casually than Vietnamese though both Vietnamese and Americans have quite formal dressing style. 4.6. GIFT-GIVING PRACTICE Many Vietnamese and Americans practice giving gift to their counterpart and see this culture as a sign of close relationship. However, quite a few Americans stress that only presenting small gift token when the negotiation finishes is acceptable, otherwise it would be considered bribery. Vietnamese in state-owned companies (SOCs) give gifts to their counterparts as often as Vietnamese involving in other types of business (OTBs). 63
    • 4.7. TIME ORIENTATION In general, both Vietnamese and Americans are punctual, yet Americans show up on time much more often than Vietnamese. Most Vietnamese interpret their partner’s being late as a signal that he has troubles or meets traffic jams. Many Americans see this as being not serious and professional. One even thinks it is rude. Vietnamese working in big companies tend to be more punctual and thus serious more than those in small ones. Those Vietnamese working in SOCs are on time more often than those involved in OTBs. Perhaps this is because of the strict discipline of the governmental system. EVNs and IANs are on time less often than IVNs and EANs. Perhaps IVNs worry about their limited experience and thus have to come early to prepare. 4.8. APPROACH TO NEGOTIATIONS Most Vietnamese and Americans adopt monochromic approach though there are several Vietnamese who say it depends on specific situations. More EVNs make decision individually and more IVNs consult the group consensus. Perhaps as Vietnamese get more experience, they will become more self-reliant. 4.9. PHYSICAL DISTANCE Most Vietnamese and Americans prefer to sit or stand about 4 – 12 feet or 1.5 – 4 feet away from their counterpart. 4.10. NEGOTIATING GOAL A considerable large number of Vietnamese and Americans target building long-term relationship rather than reaching a short-term deal, though some Americans are interested in the deal more than relationship. 4.11. NEGOTIATING ATTITUDE 64
    • The trend of viewing negotiation as a win-win situation is predominant in both cultures; however, some Americans are still ready to benefit at the other’s expense and the number is bigger than that in the Vietnamese side. Vietnamese in SSCs seem to use win-lose approach more often than those in BSCs and MSCs. 4.12. APPROACH TO BUILDING AN AGREEMENT Most Vietnamese and Americans primarily employ a top-down approach to build an agreement; however there are quite a few people in both cultures who use the bottom-up. 4.13. APPROACH TO MAKING DECISIONS Americans employ two approaches: individual and consensus equally; however, Vietnamese base their decisions on the group consensus more often than individual decisions. Perhaps, it is because Vietnamese culture is collectivist based and America is individualist based. Vietnamese in MSCs and BSCs base their decision upon group consensus more often than on individual’s power. 4.14. A SIGNED CONTRACT An equal number of Americans and Vietnamese share the same view on a signed contract that is the start of a new relationship. Yet, among the rest, more Americans consider signing a contract as closing a deal than Vietnamese. 4.15. BUSINESS ENTERTAINMENT Americans almost never go to a karaoke bar, but Vietnamese sometimes do so. Cocktail parties, golf games or business breakfast are more often practiced by Americans than Vietnamese. Both cultures have business lunches and formal or casual dinners quite often. 65
    • CHAPTER 5: CONCLUSION 1. SUMMARY OF THE STUDY To summarize, the study present the researcher’s ever great efforts to gain a comprehensive understanding of business negotiations in general and those conducted by Vietnamese and American negotiators in particular. From the research perspective, the researcher has applied the theory of quantitative methods into the practice of investigating her research problem. From the cross-cultural point of view, the study identifies the cultural differences as Vietnamese and American business people meet up at the negotiation conference. However, within this study, the focus is mainly on non-verbal communication, negotiation styles and tactics. Potential areas of misinterpretations are also located to help Vietnamese and American negotiators to better prepare themselves for reaching fruitful outcomes. Because of limited time budget and access to a wide range of business people of different backgrounds, the study still presents some limitations. The researcher would warmly welcome any comments or feedbacks from teachers as well as colleagues to make it better and more practical. 66
    • 2. LIMITATIONS OF THE STUDY Although having tried her best, the researcher still left the paper finished with some limitations. Firstly, because of limited access to business people, the participants of the survey are not representative in terms of age, gender and year(s) of experience in working with business negotiations and type of business they involve. That is to say the respondents are of only short range of ages, with a lot more men than women, and few years of experience in working with business negotiations. This difficulty has prevented the researcher from studying the research problem fully and comprehensively. Secondly, many surveys are completed and sent online or via email without researcher’s presence and supervision, so she can not control the received responses. Some questions are still left unanswered, which affect the total added up results and thus the analysis. Last but not least, the researcher’s small network of relationships has prohibited her from inviting more senior executives or CEOs to take part in the survey. And as I mention earlier, this may make the study less representative. 67
    • 3. SUGGESTIONS FOR FURTHER STUDY Some fields I would like to suggest for further study are as follows:  Non-verbal signals in Vietnamese – American business negotiations and potential areas of miscommunications  Sign language and its influence on Vietnamese – American business negotiations  Vietnamese and American cultural values and their influence on Vietnamese – American business negotiations  Different interpretations of non-verbal messages and their influence on the course of exchanging information and expectation in business negotiations 68
    • REFERENCES Janet, H., Fons, Van de Vijver., Peter, Ph. M. (2003) Cross-cultural survey methods. Series in survey methodology. New Jersey: John Wiley & Sons, Inc., Hoboken. Roy, J.L, David, M.S., Bruce, B. (2006). Negotiation. New York: McGraw-Hill Pervez, N.G., Jean-Claude N. (Eds.). (2003). International business negotiation. Series in International Business and Management. (2nd ed.). The United Kingdom: Elsevier Ltd. Michael, W. (June 15, 2002). Breakthrough business negotiation: A toolbox for managers. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass. James, K.S. (March, 2002). The hidden challenge of cross-border negotiations. Massachusetts: Harvard Business School Publishing Cooperation. Randolph, H.H., Getrde, M.M., Bernard, J.S., Richard, M.C. (1983). Business communication: concepts, aplications, and strategies. (3rd ed.). California: Roxbury Publishing Company. David, A.L., & James, K.S. (2003). 3-D Negotiation: Playing the whole game. Boston: Harvard Business School Publishing Cooperation. Retrieved November 2003 from http://hbr.harvardbusiness.org/2003/11/3- d-negotiation/ar/1 Nunan, D. (1992), Research methods in language teaching, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Aaronson, K. (1991), Winning at the sport of negotiation, New York: McGraw-Hill. 69
    • George, H., Stan G. (1991), Business-to-business negotiation. Butterworth- Heinemann. Jeremy, C. (1998), Effective negotiating, Oxford: Oxford University Press. Roy, J.L., Joseph, A.L., John, W.M., David, M.S. (1994). Negotiation textbook, Boston: Irwin McGraw-Hill. Thom, N.X., & Hong, N.V. (1998). International business negotiation techniques, Hanoi: National University Press. Wilbur S. (1973). Handbook of communication, Houghton Mifflin Company Wright, A. (1985). How to communicate successfully. Oxford: Oxford University Press. Ferraro, G. P. 2002. The Cultural Dimension of International Business, 4th ed. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice Hall 18. Hall, E.T., Mildred, R.H. (1996). Understanding Cultural Differences: Germans, French and Americans. Yarmouth, ME: Intercultural Press. 19. Peace Corps. (2002). Culture Matters Workbook, http://www.peacecorps.gov/www/culturematters. http://www.vietnam-culture.com 70
    • APPENDICES Cross-cultural Research Survey I am finishing my last year as a student at Vietnam National University, College of Foreign Languages and International Studies. I am conducting a research on face-to-face cross-cultural business negotiations between Vietnamese and American business people. Your answers would help me gain valuable insights of the Vietnamese – American business negotiation practices and are crucial to my research. This is not a test, so there is no “right” or “wrong” answer. Please give your answers sincerely as only this will ensure the success of this survey. Thank you very much for your cooperation. YOUR ANSWERS ARE HIGHLY CONFIDENTIAL. INFORMATION IDENTIFYING THE RESPONDENTS WILL NOT BE DISCLOSED UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCES. Please provide the following information by filling in the blank space or tick your choice. Full name Year of birth Gender Company’s name Business scale  > 1,000 employees  100 – 1000 employees  < 100 employees Business type - Privately owned / Government owned - Domestic / International Year(s) of experience in negotiation Year(s) of experience in working with Vietnamese business people You have been exposed sales/ export / agency / licensing agreements/ other (please to negotiating explain): _________________ Please answer the following questions by circling your choice or putting in a number if it is a rank question. A. Non – verbal communication style 1. 1.1 How do you most frequently sit during negotiations? . A Placing both feet on the floor with knees held fairly close together 71
    • B Crossing legs by placing one foot or ankle on the knee of the other leg C Crossing legs by placing one knee directly over the other D Others (please specify): _____________________________________________ 1.2 How do you view your sitting posture nowadays? . A Rude B Acceptable C Polite D Others (please specify): _____________________________________________ 2. 2.1 How often do you maintain direct eye contacts during negotiations? . always often occasionally seldom never 2.2 You see indirect eye contacts as: . A Normal B Distrustful C Others (please specify): _____________________________________________ 3. How can you describe the way you shake hands in negotiations? A Quick B Loose and soft C Firm, strong and pumping D Others (please specify): _____________________________________________ 4. 4.1. How often do you express the following emotions? Rank in order of frequency from 1 to 5. never sometimes always 1 2 3 4 5 Kissing Hugging Smiling Giggling Laughing 4.2. How do you view the actions of smiling, laughing and giggling during negotiations? A Humorous B Acceptable and comfortable C Acceptable but uncomfortable D Embarrassing and humiliating 5. How do you describe your dressing manner nowadays? Very formal: ___1___:___2___:___3___:___4___:___5___: Very casual 6. 6.1. Do you ever give gifts to their counterparts? 72
    • If yes, please proceed on answering question 6.2. A Yes B No 6.2. You see gift-giving as a signal of: A close relationship B bribe and distrust C Other (please specify): _____________________________________________ 7. 7.1. How often are you unpunctual? Always: ___1___:___2___:___3___:___4___:___5___: Never 7.2. What do you think if your Vietnamese counterparts come to the negotiation conference late? A They are not serious. B They have troubles. C They met traffic jams. D Others (please specify): ____________________________________________ 8. Which approach do you often employ in negotiations? A Monochromic B Polychromic C Others (please specify): ____________________________________________ 9. How much physical distance do you prefer? A Beyond 12 feet B 4 – 12 feet C 1.5 – 4 feet D Less than 1.5 feet B. Negotiation styles and tactics 10. The goal you set to a negotiation is: A making a short – term deal done B building a long – term relationship C Others (please specify): ____________________________________________ 11. You see a negotiation as: A a win-win situation B a win-lose situation C Others (please specify): ____________________________________________ 12. What is the most frequent approach you employ to build an agreement? A Top – down B Bottom – up C Others (please specify): ____________________________________________ 13. How do you make a decision? 73
    • A Individually B Consensually C Others (please specify): ____________________________________________ 14. You view a signed contract as: A a sign of closing a deal B the start of a new relationship C a general outline which may be altered D Others (please specify): ___________________________________________ 15. How often do you practice these following types of entertainment? Order of frequency never sometimes always 1 2 3 4 5 Karaoke Barbecues Golf games Cocktail parties Business breakfast Business lunch Formal or casual dinners Thank you very much for your help. If you are interested in the research results, you can send a request to my email: buingan87@gmail.com or call 01687365272. Keywords monochromic linear, sequential and involve focusing on one thing at a time polychromic involve simultaneous occurrences of many things and the involvement of many people a win-win both sides win situation a win-lose one side benefits at the other’s expense situation top – down from general principles to specific items bottom – up from specific items to general principles individually by one group leader consensually by group consensus Note: Informants are American business people 74
    • Bản câu hỏi Nghiên cứu Giao thoa Văn hóa Tôi là sinh viên năm cuối trường Đại học Ngoại Ngữ, Đại học Quốc Gia Hà Nội. Hiện tại tôi đang làm một nghiên cứu về đàm phán kinh doanh Việt – Mỹ từ góc nhìn giao thoa văn hóa. Bản câu hỏi này có vai trò vô cùng quan trọng trong việc giúp đỡ tôi hiểu sâu sắc hiện thực đàm phán kinh doanh Việt – Mỹ hiện nay. Xin quý vị vui lòng dành chút thời gian trả lời các câu hỏi trong bản điều tra này nhằm giúp chúng tôi hoàn thành việc nghiên cứu khoa học. XIN KHẲNG ĐỊNH CÙNG QUÝ VỊ RẰNG CHÚNG TÔI SẼ KHÔNG NÊU DANH TÍNH CỦA QUÝ VỊ TRONG BẤT CỨ TRƯỜNG HỢP NÀO. XIN CẢM ƠN SỰ HỢP TÁC NHIỆT TÌNH CỦA QUÝ VỊ. Làm ơn cung cấp những thông tin sau bằng cách điền vào phần để trống hoặc tick (v) sự lựa chọn của quý vị. Họ và tên Năm sinh Giới tính Tên công ty bạn đang làm Quy mô công ty  Trên 1000 nhân viên  Từ 100 đến 1000 nhân viên  Dưới 100 nhân viên Loại hình kinh doanh - Tư nhân/ Nhà nước - Trong nước/ nước ngoài Số năm kinh nghiệm trong đàm phán Số năm kinh nghiệm làm việc với người Mỹ Bạn đã từng tham gia bán hàng/ xuất khẩu/ đặt đại lý/ thoả thuận cấp phép/ loại đàm phán hình khác (cụ thể): _______________________________ Vui lòng trả lời những câu hỏi sau bằng cách khoanh tròn lựa chọn của quý vị hoặc viết số nếu đó là câu hỏi xếp hạng. A. Giao tiếp phi ngôn từ 1. 1.1. Bạn có tư thế ngồi như thế nào trong các cuộc đàm phán? A Để hai chân trên đất và hơi chụm hai đầu gối vào nhau B Vắt chéo chân bằng cách để bàn chân hoặc mắt cá chân này lên đầu gối chân kia C Vắt chéo chân bằng cách để đầu gối chân này lên đầu gối chân kia D Ý kiến khác (cụ thể): ______________________________________________ 1.2. Bạn suy nghĩ gì về tư thế ngồi của mình trong đàm phán hiện nay? A Không lịch sự 75
    • B Chấp nhận được C Lịch sự D Ý kiến khác (cụ thể): ______________________________________________ 2. 2.1 Bạn có hay nhìn thẳng vào mắt đối phương khi đàm phán không? . Luôn luôn thường xuyên thỉnh thoảng ít khi không bao giờ 2.2 Bạn thấy việc không nhìn thẳng vào mắt đối phương khi đàm phán là: . A Không tin tưởng B Bình thường C Ý kiến khác (cụ thể): _______________________________________________ 3. Bạn bắt tay như thế nào khi gặp đối tác đàm phán? A Nhẹ và lỏng lẻo B Mạnh mẽ, chắc chắn và dứt khoát C Nhanh D Ý kiến khác (cụ thể): _______________________________________________ 4. 4.1. Bạn có hay biểu lộ những cảm xúc sau đây không? Xếp hạng các sự việc sau theo mức độ thường xuyên xảy ra từ 1 đến 5 không bao giờ đôi khi luôn luôn 1 2 3 4 5 Hôn Ôm Mỉm cười Cười khúc khích Cười to 4.2. Bạn thấy hành động mỉm cười, cười khúc khích và cười to trong đàm phán như thế nào? A Hài hước B Thoải mái và chấp nhận được C Không thoải mái nhưng chấp nhận được D Lúng túng và không tự nhiên 5. Bạn mặc như thế nào trong các cuộc đàm phán? Rất trang trọng: ___1___:___2___:___3___:___4___:___5___: Rất xuồng xã 6. 6.1. Bạn có bao giờ tặng quà đối phương không? Nếu có, làm ơn trả lời tiếp câu hỏi 6.2. A Có B Không 6.2. Bạn xem tặng quà là biểu hiện của: 76
    • A Mối quan hệ thân mật B Sự hối lộ và không tin tưởng C Ý kiến khác (cụ thể): ______________________________________________ 7. 7.1. Bạn có hay đến muộn trong các cuộc đàm phán không? Luôn luôn: ___1___:___2___:___3___:___4___:___5___: không bao giờ 7.2. Bạn nghĩ gì nếu đối phương người Mỹ đến muộn? A Đối tác không nghiêm túc. B Đối tác gặp rắc rối. C Đối tác gặp tắc nghẽn giao thông. D Ý kiến khác (cụ thể): ______________________________________________ 8. Bạn hay dùng phương pháp nào trong đàm phán? A Đàm phán theo trình tự rõ ràng và tập trung vào 1 vấn đề 1 lúc B Đàm phán nhiều vấn đề cùng 1 lúc và liên quan đến nhiều người C Ý kiến khác (cụ thể): ______________________________________________ 9. Bạn yêu cầu khoảng cách như thế nào trong đàm phán? A Trên 3.7 m B Từ 1.2 m đến 3.7 m C Từ 0.5 m đến 1.2 m D Dưới 0.5 m B. Phong cách và kỹ thuật đàm phán 10. Mục tiêu bạn đặt ra cho một cuộc đàm phán là: A Kí được hợp đồng ngắn hạn B Xây dựng mối quan hệ hợp tác lâu dài C Ý kiến khác (cụ thể): ____________________________________________ 11. Bạn xem đàm phán là: A một tình huống mà cả hai bên cùng được lợi B một tình huống mà bên này được thì bên kia mất C Ý kiến khác (cụ thể): ___________________________________________ 12. Bạn hay dùng phương pháp nào để đi đến một thỏa thuận? A Từ trên xuống (đi từ cái chung, bao quát đến cái riêng cụ thể) B Từ dưới lên (đi từ cái riêng, cụ thể đến cái chung, bao quát) C Ý kiến khác (cụ thể): ______________________________________________ 13. Bạn ra quyết định như thế nào khi đàm phán? A 1 người quyết B Dựa trên sự nhất trí của cả nhóm C Ý kiến khác (cụ thể): _____________________________________________ 14. Bạn xem việc kí được một bản hợp đồng là: 77
    • A sự kết thúc đàm phán một bản hợp đồng B nền móng của một mối quan hệ mới C một thoả thuận chung, có thể thay đổi sau này C Ý kiến khác (cụ thể): _____________________________________________ 15. Bạn có hay mời đối tác đàm phán những hình thức giải trí dưới đây không? Mức độ thường Không bao giờ đôi khi luôn luôn xuyên 1 2 3 4 5 Karaoke Tiệc nướng Chơi Golf Tiệc Cocktail Bữa sáng trang trọng Bữa trưa trang trọng Bữa tối trang trọng hoặc thân mật Chân thành cảm ơn sự giúp đỡ nhiệt tình của quý vị. Nếu quý vị quan tâm đến kết quả của nghiên cứu, quý vị có thể gửi yêu cầu đến địa chỉ email: buingan87@gmail.com hoặc liên lạc với tôi theo số điện thoại 01687365272. Note: Informants are Vietnamese business people 78
    • Brief description of participants OTBs 21 25 Business type SOCs 9 5 BSCs 15 13 Business scale MSCs 12 7 SSCs 3 10 Female 8(27%) 1(3%) Gender Male 22(73%) 29(97%) Nationality Vietnamese American Interviews’ script 79
    • 1. Interview with an American man Interviewer: Hello, Mike. Could I ask you some more questions about the Vietnamese and American business practices. Okay, the first question is how often Vietnamese and American are punctual? Interviewee: Let me start first with my experience in working with Saudi Arabians. These people are sometimes not on time especially royal people, princess or senior executives because they are very busy. They tend to lose track of time, not to be always punctual. In Vietnam, 9 years before people were more punctual, but now less punctual because of traffic jam. So, it comes from both cultural and environmental factors. Some are being late because they have been tied up in meetings and can not get out. But, serious business people and have good understanding of non-Vietnamese business practice: always punctual and many times on time. Not serious business people and do not really control the deal: less punctual. Remark: business people who are serious and have high appreciation of business practices are on time 75% (3/4) of the time. The other 25% is probably the situation they can not control. American businessmen are most of the time punctual. The reasons are that they come all the way to Vietnam, they are serious and serious enough to invest a lot of time and money. If they can control the situation, they’ll be on time. In the course of negotiation, it might be after the negotiation has begun and there is an impasse (things have slow down for some subjective reasons, the negotiation is not going forward well, maybe the Americans for the third or forth meeting come late. Maybe it is an indication that they are not exactly happy. The same thing could be said of the Vietnamese. Sometimes, not being punctual is part of the process, but not always and most of the time it is not the case. I was going to Thai Nguyen the other day and we were talking about …… coming to Vietnam for an investment in Dong Anh last year. They came and spent three weeks negotiating with the company owned by EVN and it was going to be a joint venture. But, after three weeks the American had to get up and walk away. I suspect that during the course of the meeting, there are probably cases when Americans are late maybe to show that they are willing to be a little bit rude or maybe to let them know if you don’t get these things done and not on time, we may get up and walk out. It only takes 25% control of the company and on the management board 50% control and only within the investment 25%. But the Vietnamese said no. It’s some kind 80
    • of components for power generation that GE wanted to appear in Vietnam but could not do, could not make the deal. Interviewer: Do you tend to interpret the case when Vietnamese people come late to the meeting that they are not serious and this is not an important deal for them? Interviewee: people might interpret that they don’t like the deal, they don’t really want to do the deal with you or they think you are not serious or maybe they think they would rather do that with somebody else, or maybe you have not sweetened the deal enough for them with some kind of under the table activities to make them happy. It’s not just entertainment but also money to facilitate the deal. There are people who want money to get things done. Don’t forget TIV. This is Vietnam. You need to be aware of what is going on in Vietnam. Sometimes you need to understand the culture here and sometimes people expect some kind of facilitation payment. Interviewer: from what you observed, do Vietnamese negotiators negotiate thing by thing or one by one? I mean you can have many supervisions in a contract. So you go from one to another or all at a time? Interviewee: it depends on the deal. I am working on a project now that we have to have many different organizations, let’s say many ministries to issue the licenses to get the whole deal done. So obviously, can not have those meetings with multiple ministries, u have to go to each ministry individually. So the question is…… (restate the question)… then, first of all, u negotiate the overall frame work – the deal. One of the deals I worked on required multiple decision makers. For ex, selling aircraft – Boeing 777. Vietnam Airline played the role, the Aviation authority of Vietnam which is the regular…….body played the role. The inside of Vietnam Airline had to talk to some technical people about the engine they wanted to go on there because Boeing can offer multiple engine suppliers. So the 1st thing u focus on is the overall deal or the 1st sale of the aircraft, not the engine. The engine is part of the deal. So u move from the overall to the specific. St is complicated in aircraft sale. It requires a lot of different people, decision makers inside the organization. Then, u gonna talk to people inside Vietnam about the finance. How they are gonna pay for this. Many things need to be decided on this; it takes a long time. That’s a real ex. Let’s say of u buy a piece of property here in Vietnam. If the property is actually held by a company which is the owner, then u can talk about the whole deal. 81
    • Maybe u are having to deal with people committee of Hanoi or HCM. Your initial meeting is gonna be not with everybody there, it takes time toward all these things. So it depends on the scope of the deal, how big is the deal, how many people have to contribute to the decision. Here in Hanoi, a lot of what I do is to do with the government and so in different layers and different players and even different ministries that make the decision. There are absolutely many differences between negotiation among SMEs and the one between your business and the government. Interviewer: Body position and movement: manner of walking. Seeing u – the foreigners walking, we infer that u are very active and energetic. Looking at some Vietnamese governors and officials, what do you think? Interviewee: They are totally different now. The governors, chairman of people committee and officials carry themselves very well and very much with confidence. The more they expose to oversea and travel, the more they become western. There is one official I know for a long time. When I first met him, I went to Washington with him and he sat in meetings very quiet. The way he dressed very Vietnamese. The suit’s likely to come out of Macao and to get the impression of being very poor. And today the same person because in much higher position and he is much different, he is probably wearing Italian suit, no cheap suit from Vietnam. Over year he got promoted but it is also because VN has changed. Long time ago, to show u have any money, people are very suspicious. 25 years ago, people tell me if I come home from the market with meat and everybody wants to know why the hell u have meat. And also about why u have multi-storey houses. But, about 6 years ago, it was ok to be wealthy and show you have money. I know millionaires here before they drove old cars, but I know they have millions in the banks. And when it was ok to come out, they run out and buy... So about the Vietnamese, the style has changed much. Not just about the dress but also the way they appear and talk – the manner. They want to show they are much more sophisticated than they were. A lot of these were imposed upon them because of opening the market, the WTO. So people become more sophisticated and also recognize that people have equitability among Western or Asian partners that they have to appear a little more sophisticated on not only the appearance but in the manner, and their own level of confidence. They have to be more extroverted and not so quiet and sit here like this. There are plenty of people in 82
    • Hanoi that are very different today than they were even 5 years ago. I can also tell u the level of confidence has increased enormously in Hanoi. Before, not very much. I told a group of 400 people here in Hanoi, probably in February 2004 that I am sitting here with many high level Vietnamese and I am the only non-Vietnamese person there, but people from the Vietnamese Embassy and Washington, I said VN will become the next Asian tiger. Many didn’t believe. But it was easy for me to say this, I have been around for a long time. I understand the economic development and the path VN chose. I think VN is much more sophisticated today than it was in even 1975. So, I can say that we are 180 degree from where we were in 2004 when I made that speech. Now everybody believes. So the level of confidence and sophistication is so much different today from what it was before. Before people did not understand what’s going on outside VN, not so much, certainly in business but now they do. They have exposed….many people are coming to VN to invest, to do business here. Let’s say outside exposure, not just western. And within ASEAN. Interviewer: How long has been the change in the manner of the Vietnamese negotiators? Interviewee: let’s me just say. The requirements of the bilateral trade agreement between VN and the USA which came into effect in Dec 12th 2001, I was at the signing ceremony in Washington along with Mr. Nguyen Tan Dung. I…….. There are a lot of requirements concerning national treatment and transparency. Transparency means everything has to be open and for people to know why that decision was made. Before no need for transparency. It became even stronger after the signing of the WTO and more requirements. So with those requirements, u have to have everything in this way, no shady deal. And u have to give explanation for your choice. It’s about money under the table. The deal has to be transparent and must reduce the level of corruption. So, the process of making that decision must be open to the public. And those requirements and decision should be listed on certain newspapers or ministry of finance, from the ministry that made the decision. So probably the change has been around since 2001, 2002 and even more so with the signing of the WTO January 2007. So that forces people to be more open and transparent. VN is playing in a global market and it’s not close any more. 83
    • There’s never been perfection but it’s much better than it was before, and even in America and many other countries. Interviewer: Communication with body parts: eyes, head… Did u misinterpret any Vietnamese body language? Did they always look at u when they talk to u like I am doing now? Interviewee: No, there are people who are not looking at your face when they talk to u. Interpret that they are not real, that they have something to hide though I don’t know what they hide. Maybe they are hiding the truth, or the fact that they don’t really control the deal. But that’s not positive. You want people to look at you and have confidence that they are telling u the truth. So the fact that less confidence can be interpreted as a sign of not truthful. Interviewer: Do American negotiators always look at the other counterparts’ eyes? Interviewee: If they are good business people, they do, sure. There are American who don’t look into your eyes, too. Don’t think that this is just a Vietnamese phenomenon. Of course there are people everywhere who don’t look into the eyes, too. Typically, American negotiators look into the other people’s eyes. If they are smart, it’s easy for them to do and still like. I say when people look in the eyes, wild. It’s like shaking hand. When a man shakes hand, I don’t want him to give me a handshake like a woman. Of course, there are some sense of trust in manner of a handshake. So if a man gives u a firm and strong handshake, you believe him and u gonna like to work with him. Of course, Vietnamese businessmen always extend their hands first and wait for a firm and strong handshake, sure. So in this point, Vietnamese and American negotiators are the same. Interviewer: Are u gonna say that American negotiators are in high-touch or low- touch culture? Interviewee: I think American are touchy-feely people. Don’t be surprised of Americans. Sometimes EU are much different from Americans. Americans are more open and touchy-feely. But, if you do that to a man from England or Germany. It takes a long time to get to know the people later. English, the same. American, very open, very open. I think Vietnamese culture is like American. They like touchy-feely people after a while get to know you. Before Vietnamese people want to do business with you, they want to become friends, drink with you, establish friendship first and then business. A lot of 84
    • times American don’t have time for this, they come in and schedule a week trip to VN because they’re always busy. And many times they come in and give the impression that it’s only the business they care about. And that turns off the Vietnamese. The Vietnamese would rather sit with you, eat with you… Vietnamese could understand the American as the more they deal with them. Maybe they understand that the guys are only here for a week so we must sit down and just do the business. There is no time to go out. But that won’t be the establishment of a long-term business relationship typically. And it’s one short deal, one time deal. But then the business starts to develop and the American come out and they say the next time you come, you have to spend more time with us because they really want to do business with that company for whatever reasons and they are willing to forgo the formality of friendship. They know they’ll get the deal done. It is important in both Vietnamese and American business culture to establish some kind of relationship for long-term business. I think those people know Asia well, they probably understand this better than small medium sized companies who don’t travel much outside the USA or very limited. Maybe because their businesses are in Western Europe. As I told you in Western EU people are very formal. But when they come to VN, they see that Vietnamese want to sit down first, relax and talk about the overall relationship. But some Vietnamese understand that some American come here with not much knowledge of Asia that when I come to do business, the 1st thing I got to do is to take that guy out for Karaoke or to bars. I know many high level guys who make the decision but they want to be entertained first. So it depends on gender. Interviewer: Ok, I think I have made you exhausted after answering my questions continuously. Thank you so much, so much...and if you are interested in my result, feel free to reach me at 01687365272. 85
    • 2. Interview with an American man Interviewer: Hello, Justin. Thank you so much for helping me fill in the survey. Could I ask you some more questions if you do not mind? Interviewee: Yes, you are more than welcome. Interviewer: How do American normally sit during negotiations? Interviewee: you know, the American practice various style of sitting that change during a meeting or negotiation. Sometimes they place both feet on the floor with knees held fairly close together, sometimes cross legs by placing one foot or ankle on the knee of the other leg or cross legs by placing one knee directly over the other as you mention in the survey. Interviewer: What do you think about the variety of casual sitting postures practiced by Americans? Interviewee: in general these are not thoughtful and polite. Formal posture is professional and appropriate for businesspeople that have never met or negotiated before. Some American businessmen prefer to show familiarity in later negotiations by utilizing informal body language because there is a feeling that what is done informally will create a better synergy. Interviewer: How do you interpret indirect eye contacts? Interviewee: Personally, I think it is a signal that my counterpart is not comfortable with the negotiation or has change his expectations toward the deal. Interviewer: How do Americans shake hand? Interviewee: if one knows the Vietnamese culture before he will offer a weaker one than that at home. Another say he does want another man to shake his hand like a woman. Interviewer: Do you think such emotional expressions as smiling, laughing and giggling are humorous? Interviewee: No, I don’t think so. Smiling and laughing can be acceptable and comfortable but not giggling. I will feel acceptable but uncomfortable if these emotions are expressed too often. Interviewee: Do you often give gifts to your counterpart? Interviewee: Yes, I do. But I only present gifts after the negotiation is finished and gifts are often small like a bottle of wine or whisky to show friendship and consideration. 86
    • Interviewer: Which approach to time do you often use in negotiations, monochromic or polychromic? Interviewee: I think it would very much depend on the specifics of a deal as well as of the people they are to work with. For example, if I want to sell a house then I will adopt the second approach. Interviewer: Thank you very much, Justin. Your answers would be of great value to my research. 87
    • GLOSSARY  Cross-cultural perspective: attempting, from one cultural perspective, to understand another  Intercultural perspective: the interplay of cultures  Trans-cultural perspective: aspects of negotiation that are common to all cultures or, in intercultural situations, transcend them.  International businesses: involves similar type of activities like domestic business. The main difference is that in international businesses transactions take place in more than one country and market environment (Cavusgil & Ghauri, 1990)  International business negotiations: refer to win-win negotiation where both or all parties involved can end up with equally beneficial or attractive outcomes. It is a problem-solving approach where both parties involved perceive the process of negotiation as a process to find out a solution to a common problem (Ghauri, 2003)  Cross-cultural negotiation: successful communication across cultures is a prerequisite for international negotiation and for managing people from other cultures (Cullen, 2002) 88