Tips on Negotiating better in Cross-Cultural Relationships


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Nowadays, organizations of all sizes search for suppliers on a global level. International competition, foreign suppliers, and global sourcing may become a danger, but they may also create huge opportunities to develop your business. The increasingly global business environment requires purchasers to approach the negotiation process from the global business person’s point of view.

When you understand the personal, national, or organizational culture of your negotiation counterpart, then you can seek to align with them and hence gain greater influence. In this presentation, we attempt to bring these patterns of awareness to your attention:
 Cross Cultural Communications and Negotiations
 Hall’s Context, Chronomics, and Proxemics
 Hofstede’s Five Key Elements of Culture
 Paralanguage and Tips on Negotiation Better

So what? say. Given that cultural differences exist, the issue becomes how do they influence negotiations. Even though language molds thinking, other cultural classifications have a pervasive effect on how the world is perceived, how the self is experienced, and how life is organized.

Learning to communicate and negotiate business across cultural boundaries is paramount as today’s workplace rapidly changes because:
 The business environment expands to include various geographic locations and span numerous cultures and,
 The United States becomes more multi-culturally and ethnically diverse.

Published in: Business, Technology
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  • Thomas,

    Excellent slideshow and presentation. The concept of understanding people from other cultures is vital to negotiations in a global economy. This also breeds cross cultural collaboration.
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  • It impacts everyone, and influences how we act and respond.
    It is a way people create, send, process and interpret information. 
    Cultural noise occurs in intercultural communication because the message intended by the sender (encoder) was transformed by the cultural lens of the receiver (decoder).
    This process of transformation is due in part to attribution.
    On a different level, it is also useful to be aware of cultural variables that can affect the communication process by influencing a person’s perceptions.
    These variables are as follows: attitudes, social organization, thought patterns, roles, language (spoken or written), nonverbal communication (including kinesics behavior, proxemics, paralanguage, and object language), and time.
  • Once negotiators establish rapport, barriers disappear, trust grows, and an exchange of information follows.
  • When you understand the personal, national or organizational culture, then you can seek to align with them and hence gain greater influence.
  • High Context--This can be very confusing for person who does not understand the 'unwritten rules' of the culture.
    Low Context--It also means there is less chance of misunderstanding particularly when visitors are present.
  • When interacting with others, people from high context cultures rely extensively on situational cues such as physical context, body language and status, whereas people from low context cultures rely extensively on explicit codes, especially the spoken and written word.
  • French contracts tend to be short (in physical length, not time duration) as much of the information is available within the high-context French culture.
    American content, on the other hand, is low-context and so contracts tend to be longer in order to explain the detail.
  • Highly mobile environments where people come and go need lower-context culture. With a stable population, however, a higher context culture may develop.
  • Which characterizes Americans, do you think?
    Here’s a hint: People from high context cultures emphasize relationships and empathy, whereas people from low context cultures emphasize sending and receiving accurate messages.
    Unless they recognize and accept their differences, individuals from low context cultures may get frustrated with those from high context cultures.
    Problems occur when high context types insist upon spending time building relationships, won’t “get down to business,” and won’t “put it in writing.” Because they need to establish the social context of their relationships, people from high context cultures exchange significantly more messages and offers during negotiations than people from low context cultures.
    For their part, people from high context cultures may find those from low context cultures to be pushy and impersonal, and, unless the low context individuals change their ways, they are unlikely to trust them.
  • Monochronic--it assumes careful planning and scheduling and is a familiar Western approach that appears in disciplines such as 'time management'.
    Monochronic approaches to time are linear, sequential and involve focusing on one thing at a time.
    These approaches are most common in the European-influenced cultures of the United States, Germany, Switzerland, and Scandinavia. Japanese people also tend toward this end of the time continuum.
    Polychronic--leading to a lesser concern for 'getting things done'---they do get done, but more in their own time.
    Polychronic orientations to time involve simultaneous occurrences of many things and the involvement of many people.
    The time it takes to complete an interaction is elastic, and more important than any schedule.
    This orientation is most common in Mediterranean and Latin cultures including France, Italy, Greece, and Mexico, as well as some Asian and African cultures.
    For example, in Latin America, certain cultures rank time as being of less importance. The phrase that has been popularized is, “Hora americana, hora mejicana?” which means, “Our time or your time?”
    Western cultures vary in their focus on monochronic or polychronic time. Americans are strongly monochronic whilst the French have a much greater polychronic tendency -- thus a French person may turn up to a meeting late and think nothing of it (much to the annoyance of a German or American co-worker).
    In Africa, people may jokingly tell you that you must learn to run on “African Standard Time.” In Trinidad it is called “Trini” time.
  • Countries whose cultures tend to be of a monochronic nature include the United States, Australia and Germany amongst others.
    Polychronic cultures, on the other hand, are those where multi-tasking is the order of the day and time is inferior to interpersonal relations.
    Example polychronic cultures include Greece, Philippines, France and Saudi Arabia.
  • We are problem resolvers, while they are problem preventers.
  • In United States and Canadian dominant culture settings as well as many Arab cultures, eye contact is taken as a sign of reliability and trustworthiness.
    In North American indigenous people settings, eye contact may be seen as disrespectful and inappropriate. Similarly, in Asian settings, looking down is usually interpreted as a sign of respect.
    Beyond these generalizations is a great deal of complexity. Lederach observes, for example, that in Central America, “a slight movement of the eyes may indicate embarrassment, showing respect, or disagreement.“
    Seating arrangements for negotiations should take norms for space into account. In general, Americans tend to talk with people seated opposite them, or at an angle.
    For the Chinese, these arrangements may lead them to feel alienated and uneasy. They may prefer to converse while sitting side by side.
  • An example of a mobile form of territory and people need less or greater distances between them and others.
    A Japanese person who needs less space thus will stand closer to an American, inadvertently making the American uncomfortable.
    For example, in America needs to be a greater use of space, whilst Japanese need less space (partly as a result of limited useful space in Japan). Use the contrast in warehousing as an example.
    Certain cultures, including Mediterranean, Arab, and Latin American, are more demonstrative and allow more touching.
    Asian, Canadian, and U.S. cultures tend to discourage touching outside of intimate situations.
    Certain cultures allow cross-gender touching, including the United States, while same-gender touching is less acceptable. These rules change in Japan, where women are frequently seen holding hands, but not men. In the Mediterranean, it is common to see men holding hands or touching in public, but not women.
    Greeting rituals fit with these patterns, so awareness of local norms is important for negotiators.
  • Cultural expectations about these spaces vary widely. Intimate space---entry into this space is acceptable only for the closest friends and intimates.
    In the United States, for instance, people engaged in conversation will assume a social distance of roughly 4- feet', but in many parts of Europe the expected social distance is roughly half that with the result that Americans traveling overseas often experience the urgent need to back away from a conversation partner who seems to be getting too close.
    In Northern European countries, personal space is much larger than in Southern European countries. For a German or a Swedish person, for example, the Italians or the Greeks get too close.
    At the level of fixed and semi fixed feature space, the terms Hall uses to describe furniture, buildings and cities, every culture has similar internalized expectations about how these areas should be organized.
    By way of contrast, United States cities, for instance, are customarily set out along a grid, a preference inherited from the British; but in France and Spain a star pattern is preferred.
  • <number>
    Edward Hall's theory of proxemics suggests that people will maintain differing degrees of personal distance depending on the social setting and their cultural backgrounds.
    It is a mobile form of territory, personal space, and people need less or greater distances between them and others.
    A Japanese person who needs less space thus will stand closer to an American, inadvertently making the American uncomfortable.
    Some people need bigger homes, bigger cars, bigger offices and so on. This may be driven by cultural factors.
    For example, the space in America needs to be a greater use of space, whilst Japanese need less space (partly as a result of limited useful space in Japan).
  • High territoriality people, like animals, tend to have boundary wars with neighbors.
    This happens right down to desk-level, where co-workers may do battle over a piece of paper which overlaps from one person's area to another.
    At a national level, many wars have been fought over boundaries.
    On the other hand, people exhibiting low territoriality behaviors have little interest in owning space and establishing boundaries.
    They tend to share ownership and territory with very little thought, hence aligning more with high-context cultures.
  • Tell story about Budweiser’s takeover by the Belgian company InBev and change of corporate offices with the breakdown of barriers and an open office environment.
  • From those results, and later additions, Hofstede developed a model that identifies four primary dimensions to differentiate cultures.
    He later added a fifth dimension, Long-Term Orientation.
    Armed with a large database of cultural statistics, Hofstede analyzed the results and found clear patterns of similarity and difference amid the responses along these five dimensions.
    A score of 125 is the highest possible score.
    Interestingly, his research was done on employees of IBM only, which allowed him to attribute the patterns to national differences in culture, largely eliminating the problem of differences in company culture.
  • Power Distance Index (PDI) focuses on the degree of equality, or inequality, between people in the country's society. A High Power Distance ranking indicates that inequalities of power and wealth have been allowed to grow within the society. These societies are more likely to follow a caste system that does not allow significant upward mobility of its citizens. A Low Power Distance ranking indicates the society de-emphasizes the differences between citizen's power and wealth. In these societies equality and opportunity for everyone is stressed.
    Individualism (IDV) focuses on the degree the society reinforces individual or collective, achievement and interpersonal relationships. A High Individualism ranking indicates that individuality and individual rights are paramount within the society. Individuals in these societies may tend to form a larger number of looser relationships. A Low Individualism ranking typifies societies of a more collectivist nature with close ties between individuals. These cultures reinforce extended families and collectives where everyone takes responsibility for fellow members of their group.
    Masculinity (MAS) focuses on the degree the society reinforces, or does not reinforce, the traditional masculine work role model of male achievement, control, and power. A High Masculinity ranking indicates the country experiences a high degree of gender differentiation. In these cultures, males dominate a significant portion of the society and power structure, with females being controlled by male domination. A Low Masculinity ranking indicates the country has a low level of differentiation and discrimination between genders. In these cultures, females are treated equally to males in all aspects of the society.
    Uncertainty Avoidance Index (UAI) focuses on the level of tolerance for uncertainty and ambiguity within the society, i.e. unstructured situations. A High Uncertainty Avoidance ranking indicates the country has a low tolerance for uncertainty and ambiguity. This creates a rule-oriented society that institutes laws, rules, regulations, and controls in order to reduce the amount of uncertainty. A Low Uncertainty Avoidance ranking indicates the country has less concern about ambiguity and uncertainty and has more tolerance for a variety of opinions. This is reflected in a society that is less rule-oriented, more readily accepts change, and takes more and greater risks.
    Long-Term Orientation (LTO) focuses on the degree the society embraces, or does not embrace, long-term devotion to traditional, forward thinking values. High Long-Term Orientation ranking indicates the country prescribes to the values of long-term commitments and respect for tradition. This is thought to support a strong work ethic where long-term rewards are expected as a result of today's hard work. However, business may take longer to develop in this society, particularly for an "outsider". A Low Long-Term Orientation ranking indicates the country does not reinforce the concept of long-term, traditional orientation. In this culture, change can occur more rapidly as long-term traditions and commitments do not become impediments to change.
  • This refers to the degree of inequality that exists---and is accepted---among people with and without power.
    A high PD score indicates that society accepts an unequal distribution of power and people understand "their place" in the system.
    Low PD means that power is shared and well dispersed. It also means that society members view themselves as equals. Application: According to Hofstede's model, in a high PD country like Malaysia (104), you would probably send reports only to top management and have closed door meetings where only a select few, powerful leaders were in attendance.
  • For example, Germany has a 35 on the cultural scale of Hofstede’s analysis. Compared to China and Arab countries where the power distance is very high (80) and Russia (95) and Austria (which is not listed) where it very low (11),
    Germany is somewhat in the middle. Germany does not have a large gap between the wealthy and the poor, but have a strong belief in equality for each citizen. Germans have the opportunity to rise in society.
    On the other hand, the power distance in the United States scores a 40 on the cultural scale. The United States exhibits a more unequal distribution of wealth compared to German society.
    As the years go by in the United States it seems that the distance between the ‘have’ and ‘have-nots’ grows larger and larger.
  • This refers to the strength of the ties people have to others within the community.
    A high IDV score indicates a loose connection with people. In countries with a high IDV score there is a lack of interpersonal connection and little sharing of responsibility, beyond family and perhaps a few close friends.
    A society with a low IDV score would have strong group cohesion, and there would be a large amount of loyalty and respect for members of the group. The group itself is also larger and people take more responsibility for each other's well being. Application: Hofstede's analysis suggests that in the Central American countries of Panama and Guatemala where the IDV scores are very low (11 and 6, respectively), a major purchase that emphasized benefits to the community or that tied into a popular political movement would likely be understood and well-received.
  • Individualism is the one side versus its opposite, collectivism, that is the degree to which individuals are integrated into groups.
    On the individualist side we find societies in which the ties between individuals are loose: everyone is expected to look after him/herself and his/her immediate family.
    On the collectivist side, we find societies in which people from birth onwards are integrated into strong, cohesive in-groups, often extended families (with uncles, aunts and grandparents) which continue protecting them in exchange for unquestioning loyalty.
    For example, Germany can be considered as individualistic with a high score (67) on the scale of Hofstede compared to a country like Indonesia where they have strong collectivism (14 on the scale).
    In Germany, people stress on personal achievements and individual rights. Germans expect from each other to fulfill their own needs. Group work is important, but everybody has the right of his own opinion an is expected to reflect those in an individual country like Germany people tend to have more loose relationships than countries where there is a collectivism where people have large extended families.
    The United States can clearly been seen as individualistic (scoring a 91). The “American dream” is clearly a representation of this. This is the Americans’ hope for a better quality of life and a higher standard of living than their parents’. This belief is that anyone, regardless of their status can ‘pull up their boot straps’ and raise themselves from poverty.
  • This refers to how much a society sticks with, and values, traditional male and female roles.
    High MAS scores are found in countries where men are expected to be tough, to be the provider, to be assertive and to be strong. If women work outside the home, they have separate professions from men.
    Low MAS scores do not reverse the gender roles. In a low MAS society, the roles are simply blurred. You see women and men working together equally across many professions. Men are allowed to be sensitive and women can work hard for professional success.
    Application: Japan is highly masculine with a score of 95 whereas Sweden has the lowest measured value (5).
    According to Hofstede's analysis, if you were to open a negotiation in Japan, you might have greater success if you appointed a male employee to lead the team and had a strong male contingent on the team. In Sweden, on the other hand, you would aim for a team that was balanced in terms of skill rather than gender.
  • Masculinity versus its opposite, femininity refers to the distribution of roles between the genders which is another fundamental issue for any society to which a range of solutions are found.
    The IBM studies revealed that (a) women’s values differ less among societies than men’s values; (b) men’s values from one country to another contain a dimension from very assertive and competitive and maximally different from women’s values on the one side, to modest and caring and similar to women’s values on the other. The assertive pole has been called ‘masculine’ and the modest, caring pole ‘feminine’.
    For example, Germany has a masculine culture with a 66 on the scale of Hofstede, while the Netherlands scored 14.
    Masculine traits include assertiveness, materialism/material success, self-centeredness, power, strength, and individual achievements. Compared to Austria (79) which is not listed and Japan (95), Germany pales in comparison. The United States scored a 62 on Hofstede’s scale. So these two cultures share, in terms of masculinity, similar values.
  • This relates to the degree of anxiety society members feel when in uncertain or unknown situations.
    High UAI-scoring nations try to avoid ambiguous situations whenever possible. They are governed by rules and order and they seek a collective "truth".
    Low UAI scores indicate the society enjoys novel events and values differences. There are very few rules and people are encouraged to discover their own truth.
    Application: Hofstede's Cultural Dimensions imply that when discussing a purchase with people in Belgium, whose country scored a 94 on the UAI scale, you should investigate the various options and then present a limited number of choices.
    But you should also have very detailed information available on your contingency and risk plans.
    (Note that there will be cultural differences between French and Dutch speakers in Belgium!)
  • Uncertainty avoidance deals with a society’s tolerance for uncertainty and ambiguity; it ultimately refers to man’s search for Truth. It indicates to what extent a culture programs its members to feel either uncomfortable or comfortable in unstructured situations. Unstructured situations are novel, unknown, surprising, and different from usual.
    Uncertainty avoiding cultures try to minimize the possibility of such situations by strict laws and rules, safety and security measures, and on the philosophical and religious level by a belief in absolute Truth: ‘there can only be one Truth and we have it’.
    For example, in Germany there is a reasonable high uncertainty avoidance (65) compared to a country as Hong Kong (29). Germans are not to keen on uncertainty, by planning everything carefully they try to avoid the uncertainty. In Germany, there is a society that relies on rules, laws and regulations. Germany wants to reduce its risks to the minimum and proceed with changes step-by-step.
    The United States scores a 46 compared to the 65 of the German culture. Uncertainty avoidance in the US is relatively low, which can clearly be viewed through the national cultures.
  • This refers to how much society values long-standing - as opposed to short term - traditions and values.
    This is the fifth dimension that Hofstede added in the 1990s after finding that Asian countries with a strong link to Confucian philosophy acted differently from western cultures. In countries with a high LTO score, delivering on social obligations and avoiding "loss of face" are considered very important.Application: According to Hofstede's analysis, people in the United States and United Kingdom have low LTO scores. This suggests that you can pretty much expect anything in this culture in terms of creative expression and novel ideas.
    The model implies that people in the US and UK don't value tradition as much as many others, and are therefore likely to be willing to help you execute the most innovative plans as long as they get to participate fully.
    (This may be surprising to people in the UK, with its associations of tradition!)
  • Long-Term Orientation is the fifth dimension of Hofstede which was added after the original four to try to distinguish the difference in thinking between the East and West. From the original IBM studies, this difference was something that could not be deduced.
    Therefore, Hofstede created a Chinese value survey which was distributed across 23 countries. From these results, and with an understanding of the influence of the teaching of Confucius on the East, long term vs. short term orientation became the fifth cultural dimension.
    Look at the scores for China (100) and Hong Kong (96) compared to West Africa (16) and Russia (10). The United States (29) is somewhat short-term oriented, while the Netherlands at 44 is somewhere in the middle.
    Below are some characteristics of the two opposing sides of this dimension:
    Long term orientation-persistence-ordering relationships by status and observing this order-thrift-having a sense of shame
    Short term orientation-personal steadiness and stability-protecting your ‘face’-respect or tradition-reciprocation of greetings, favors, and gifts
  • These four countries groupings are consistent with Hall’s and Hofstede’s cultural value data for all dimensions except Hall’s Space.
    It is important to realize that culture is an exceedingly complex phenomenon. Cultural contrasts between countries or regions can only be analyzed at a very high level of generalization. Extensive diversity exists within cultures such as the USA.
    Power distance, a measure of the inequality between bosses and inferiors, extent to which this is accepted
    Uncertainty Avoidance, the degree to which one is comfortable with ambiguous situations, can tolerate uncertainty
    Individualism v. Collectivism, degree to which one thinks in terms of 'I' versus 'we, either ties between individuals are loose or people are part of cohesive in group throughout their lives.
    Masculinity v Femininity. Also known as achievement- versus relationship- orientation - cultures high on masculinity rate achievement and success more than caring for others and the quality of life.
    Time perspective, the long or short term orientation of different cultures. a dimension found in Asian cultures
    Monochronic--it assumes careful planning and scheduling and is a familiar Western approach that appears in disciplines such as 'time management'.
    Polychronic--leading to a lesser concern for 'getting things done'---they do get done, but more in their own time.
    High Context--This can be very confusing for person who does not understand the 'unwritten rules' of the culture.
    Low Context--It also means there is less chance of misunderstanding particularly when visitors are present.
  • The study of paralanguage, also known as paralinguistics, has opened up avenues to understand aspects of cultures that some may have not understood in the past.
  • Intensity or Loudness--the strength in which something is because expressed whether it is loud, soft or breathy (which means powerfully stated)
    Pitch--the changes in the voice from high, medium or low
    Tempo or Rate or Pacing--the speed of the voice whether it is rapid, slow or changing
    Resonance or Tone--whether is the voice is nasally, whining, growling, etc.
    Pauses--means if one is disorganized, shy, hesitant, etc.
  • Enunciation or Articulation—The act of vocal expression; utterance. The articulation of speech regarded from the point of view of its intelligibility to the audience
    Enunciation is that articulation of sounds with the organs of speech and may be clear or careless.
    Articulation is a distinct utterance. A mumbled or clouded annunciation indicates lack of poise, not a high level of "game."
    An increased tempo or rate of speaking generally infers that the individual is more animated and extroverted.
    A flatness in the resonance or tone of voice generally indicates more withdrawn and masculine characteristics.
    A nasal sound in one's voice is generally thought to be undesirable.
  • People will usually believe what they see over what they hear—hence the expression “A picture is worth a thousand words.”
    Studies show that these subtle messages account for between 65 and 93 percent of interpreted communication.
    The media for such nonverbal communication can be categorized into four types: (1) kinesics behavior, (2) proxemics, (3) paralanguage, and (4) object language.
  • Paraverbal--such as pitch, variation, the use of silence, how space is filled in a conversation.
  • The cessation of sound, the stopping of speech, the choice of silence, is always noteworthy.
    The Igbo's tribe of Nigeria are verbally oratorical and spice their speech with proverbs.
    But when mourning the death of a fellow villager, they engage in silence as a form of sympathetic mourning so as to encourage further grief on the bereaved partner.
  • Finns are considered so stubbornly silent that the joke has been made that the Finnish variant of the Grecian conversational maxims would be “Don't speak” or “Be Uncommunicative”.
    Canadians do not pause as long as the Chinese,.
    New Yorkers of Jewish heritage talk enthusiastically and quickly,.
    Navajos pause for relatively long periods in conversation.
    Anglo-Saxon English speakers expect a pause of approximately one second for a change of speakers.
    Speakers of Athapascan languages (Indians in northwestern Canada, Alaska and northern Mexico) expect a pause of about one-and-a-half seconds.
    As a result, when the two meet, the Anglo-Saxon will talk uninterrupted, whereas the Athapascan will wait in vain for a long enough pause.
    Once the Athapascan does get the floor, he can barely finish expressing a thought.
    In such cases, communication problems and mutual personal or ethnic prejudice can result.
  • I have hopefully learned the following lessons about the people and the cultures with which I have been dealing with recently.
    We should always seek out lessons learned for application in cross-cultural situations, while learning how to adapt to different cultural settings.
  • I have hopefully learned the following lessons about the people and the cultures with which I have been dealing with recently.
    We should always seek out lessons learned for application in cross-cultural situations, while learning how to adapt to different cultural settings.
  • Given that cultural differences exist, the issue becomes how they influence negotiations.
    Background factors and objectives that are common, conflicting, or complementary.
    Atmosphere is the perceived milieu or setting---power and dependence.
    Sub cultural issues;
    Hindu versus Moslem in India
    Moslem or Coptic Christian in Egypt
    The Hausa-Fulani in the north, the Ibo in the southeast, and the Yoruba in the southwest in Nigeria
    Men and women in different cultures often have different approaches to the issues surrounding a negotiation and deal-making.
    These different attitudes and approaches provide major communications challenges for the cross-cultural negotiator.
    Negotiators may not be able to modify their approach effectively.
  • Basically, this shows what cultures that we are more comfortable with and would have an easier time establishing rapport.
    Those cultures that are more difficult will require the negotiator to work harder to establish rapport so that barriers disappear, trust grows, and an exchange of information follows.
    It is therefore useful to be aware of cultural variables that can affect the communication process by influencing a person’s perceptions during the negotiations.
  • We tend to attribute different behavior to “badness.”
    Often it simply comes from having a different perception.
  • Tips on Negotiating better in Cross-Cultural Relationships

    1. 1. Tips on Negotiating Better in Cross-Cultural Relationships Track 3-World Class Negotiation Techniques The 63rd Annual Southwest Purchasing Conference By Thomas L. Tanel, C.P.M., CTL, CCA, CISCM , CATTAN Services Group, Inc. College Station, TX Created by CATTAN Services Group, Inc. © 2009
    2. 2. Negotiating in the Global Arena
    3. 3. The Importance of Culture • Culture comes from the Latin word "colere", meaning to build on, to cultivate, to foster. • Culture is a set of accepted behavior patterns, values, assumptions, and shared common experiences. • Culture defines social structure, decisionmaking practices, and communication styles. • Culture dictates behavior, etiquette, and protocol. • Culture is something we learn. • Culture is communication.
    4. 4. Cultural Sensitivity • When negotiating make it a point to know your counterparts. • Communicate in a form that will most likely be understood as it is intended. • This means the negotiator must: – Be aware of their own culture – The recipient’s culture – The expectations surrounding the situation
    5. 5. How Culture Impacts Negotiation • By conditioning one’s perception of reality • By blocking out information inconsistent or unfamiliar with culturally grounded assumptions • By projecting meaning onto the other party’s words and actions • By pushing the ethnocentric negotiator to an incorrect attribution of motive
    6. 6. Cross-Cultural Negotiations Involve
    7. 7. The Communication Process Cultural communications are deeper and more complex than spoken or written messages. The essence of effective cross-cultural communication has more to do with releasing the right responses than with sending the “right” messages. —Hall and Hall
    8. 8. Hall’s Cultural Factors • Context • Time • Space
    9. 9. High and Low Context • In a high-context culture, there are many contextual elements that help people to understand the rules. • As a result, much is taken for granted. • In a low-context culture, very little is taken for granted. • This means that more explanation is needed.
    10. 10. High Context and Low Context Cultures Source: Munter, M. ”Cross-cultural Communications for Managers”, Business Horizons, May/June 1993.
    11. 11. Contrasting the Two Contexts  Factor  High-Context  Culture   Overtness of  messages Many covert and implicit messages, with use of metaphor and “reading between the lines”. Many overt and explicit messages that are simple and clear. Inner locus of control and personal acceptance for failure. Outer locus of control and blame of others for failure. Much nonverbal communication. More focus on verbal communication than body language.  Locus of control   and attribution  for failure  Use of non-verbal  communication  Low-Context  Culture  
    12. 12. Contrasting the Two Contexts  Factor  High-Context  Culture    Low-Context  Culture   Expression of reaction Reserved, inward reactions. Visible, external, outward Reaction. Cohesion and separation of groups Strong distinction between in-group and out-group. Strong sense of family. Flexible and open grouping patterns, changing as needed.  People bonds  Strong people bonds with affiliation to family and community Fragile bonds between people with little sense of loyalty. Level of commitment  to relationships High commitment to longterm relationships. Relationship more important than task. Low commitment to relationship. Task more important than relationships. Time is open and flexible. Process is more important than product. Time is highly organized. Product is more important than process. Flexibility  of time  
    13. 13. Cultural Impact on Messages and Context in Negotiations Source: Adapted from Edward Hall’s book Beyond Culture, 1976.
    14. 14. Chronomics: Time Orientation and Predictable Patterns • Monochronic or M-Time, as Hall called it, means doing one thing at a time. • Monochronic people tend also to be low context. • In Polychronic cultures, human interaction is valued over time and material things, leading to a lesser concern for 'getting things done‘ • Polychronic people tend also to be high context.
    15. 15. Chronomics—Country Comparison with Differing Time Orientation Systems Monochronic Polychronic • • • • • • • • • • • • Germany Canada Switzerland Australia United States Scandinavia Saudi Arabia France Egypt Greece Mexico Philippines
    16. 16. Culture & Chronomics Decision Making: “Process Time” versus “Implementation Time” UNITED STATES Process Process Implementation Implementation JAPAN Process Process Implementation
    17. 17. Hall’s Cultural Space Orientation Space orientations differ across cultures, according to Hall. • Space also relates to comfort with eye contact and attributions related to eye contact or lack of eye contact. • There are large differences in spatial preferences according to gender, age, generation, socioeconomic class, and context. • These differences vary by group, but should be considered in any exploration of space as a variable in negotiations.
    18. 18. Space and Proxemics • Hall was concerned about space and our relationships within it. • He called the study of such space-Proxemics. • Some people need more space in all areas. • People who encroach into that space are seen as a threat. • Some people are more territorial than others with greater concern for ownership.
    19. 19. Edward Hall's Definitions of Space • Hall's most famous innovation has to do with the definition of the informal, or personal spaces that surround individuals: – Intimate space--the closest "bubble" of space surrounding a person. – Social and consultative spaces--the spaces in which people feel comfortable conducting routine social interactions with acquaintances as well as strangers. – Public space--the area of space beyond which people will perceive interactions as impersonal and relatively anonymous.
    20. 20. Edward Hall's Theory of Proxemics and Personal Space The nature of the message communicated also affects interaction distances. Average comfortable distances among North Americans are shown below: Distance Between Faces Tone of Voice Type of Message Very close (3-6") Soft whisper Top secret or Sensual Close (8-12") Audible whisper Very confidential Neutral (20-36") Soft voice Low volume Personal subject matter Neutral (4.5-5') Full voice Non-personal information Across the room (8-20') Loud voice Talking to a group Stretching the limits (20-24' indoors and up to 100' outdoors) Loud hailing voice Departures and arrivals Derived from The Silent Language by Edward Hall (1959)
    21. 21. Proxemics: High Territoriality Versus Low Territoriality • High territoriality people seek to mark out the areas which are theirs. • Territoriality also extends to anything that is 'mine' and ownership concerns extend to material things. • Security thus becomes a subject of great concern for people with a high need for ownership. • People with high territoriality tend also to be low context. • People with lower territoriality have less ownership of space and boundaries are less important to them. • They will share territory and ownership with little thought. • They also have less concern for material ownership. • People with low territoriality tend also to be high context.
    22. 22. Proxemics: High Territoriality Versus Low Territoriality Typical American Office Typical Japanese Office
    23. 23. Geert Hofstede Model of Cultural Dimension Analysis • Dr. Geert Hofstede conducted perhaps the most comprehensive study of how values in the workplace are influenced by culture. • From 1967 to 1973, while working at IBM as a psychologist, he collected and analyzed data from over 100,000 individuals from forty countries.
    24. 24. Geert Hofstede Dimension Analysis “Culture is more often a source of conflict than of synergy. Cultural differences are a nuisance at best and often a disaster." --Dr. Geert Hofstede
    25. 25. Professor Geert Hofstede’s— The Five Dimensions of Culture • • • • Power/Distance (PD) Individualism (IDV) Masculinity (MAS) Uncertainty Avoidance Index (UAI) • Long Term Orientation (LTO)
    26. 26. Hofstede’s Model— Power/Distance (PD)   High PD Low PD Characteristics Tips Centralized companies. Strong hierarchies. Large gaps in compensation,  authority, and respect. Acknowledge a leader's  power.  Be aware that you may need  to go to the top for answers Flatter organizations.  Supervisors and employees  are considered almost as  equals. Use teamwork  Involve as many people as  possible in decision making.
    27. 27. Culture Dimension Score for 10 Countries—Power/Distance (PD)
    28. 28. Hofstede’s Model— Individualism (IDV)   Characteristics Tips High IDV High valuation on people's time  and their need for freedom. An enjoyment of challenges, and an  expectation of rewards for hard  work. Respect for privacy. Acknowledge accomplishments. Don't ask for too much personal  information. Encourage debate and expression  of own ideas. Low IDV Emphasis on building skills and  becoming masters of something. Work for intrinsic rewards. Harmony more important than  honesty. Show respect for age and wisdom. Suppress feelings and emotions to  work in harmony. Respect traditions and introduce  change slowly.
    29. 29. Culture Dimension Score for 10 Countries—Individualism (IDV)
    30. 30. Hofstede’s Model— Masculinity (MAS)   High MAS Low MAS Characteristics Tips Men are masculine and women are  feminine. There is a well defined distinction  between men's work and women's  work. Be aware that people may expect  male and female roles to be distinct. Advise men to avoid discussing  emotions or making emotionally  based decisions or arguments. A woman can do anything a man  can do. Powerful and successful women are  admired and respected. Avoid an "old boys' club" mentality. Ensure job design and practices are  not discriminatory to either gender. Treat men and women equally.
    31. 31. Culture Dimension Score for 10 Countries—Masculinity (MAS)
    32. 32. Hofstede’s Model— Uncertainty Avoidance Index (UAI)   High UAI Low UAI Characteristics Tips Very formal business conduct with  lots of rules and policies. Need and expect structure. Sense of nervousness spurns high  levels of emotion and expression. Differences are avoided. Be clear and concise about your  expectations and parameters. Plan and prepare, communicate often  and early, provide detailed plans and  focus on the tactical aspects of a job  or project. Express your emotions through hand  gestures and raised voices. Informal business attitude. More concern with long term strategy  than what is happening on a daily  basis. Accepting of change and risk. Do not impose rules or structure  unnecessarily. Minimize your emotional response by  being calm and contemplating  situations before speaking. Express curiosity when you discover  differences.
    33. 33. Culture Dimension Score for 10 Countries —Uncertainty Avoidance Index (UAI)
    34. 34. Hofstede’s Model— Long Term Orientation (LTO)   Characteristics Tips High LTO Family is the basis of society. Parents and men have more  authority than young people and  women. Strong work ethic. High value placed on education  and training. Show respect for traditions. Do not display extravagance or  act frivolously. Reward perseverance, loyalty,  and commitment. Avoid doing anything that would  cause another to "lose face". Low LTO Promotion of equality. High creativity, individualism. Treat others as you would like to  be treated. Self-actualization is sought. Expect to live by the same  standards and rules you create.  Be respectful of others.  Do not hesitate to introduce  necessary changes. 
    35. 35. Culture Dimension Score for 10 Countries—Long Term Orientation (LTO)
    36. 36. West versus East Cultural Values: Hall’s and Hofstede’s Data Applied Dimensions United States United Kingdom Singapore Korea Power Distance Small Small Large Large Individualism Individualist Individualist Collectivist Collectivist Masculinity Masculine Masculine Feminine Feminine Uncertainty Avoidance Weak Weak Strong Strong Time Perspective & Orientation Monochronic Short-term Monochronic Short-term Polychronic Long-term Polychronic Long-term Communication Context Low Context Low Context High Context High Context
    37. 37. Principles of Paralanguage • Paralanguage refers to the vocal aspect of communication. • Vocal elements of language vocal elements involve sound and its manipulation for certain desired or undesired effects. • Verbal elements are the particular words we choose when speaking.
    38. 38. Ingredients of Paralanguage: Voice Qualifiers and Segregates Voice Qualifier Examples: Voice Segregate Examples: • • • • • • • • Intensity Pitch Resonance Tempo “Uh" “Um" “Uh-huh" Silent pauses
    39. 39. Messages in the Voice— Infer Emotional States Feeling Intensity Pitch Resonance Tempo Enunciation Anger Loud High Blaring Fast Clipped Joy Loud High Moderately  Blaring Fast Somewhat  Clipped Sadness Soft Low Booming Slow Slurred
    40. 40. Nonverbal Communication: Kinesics and Proxemics Acts • Kinesics: The study of nonverbal gestures, facial expressions, eye contact, and body posture. • Proxemics: The study of the use of space, touch, and distance as features of nonverbal communication.
    41. 41. Other Non-Verbal Communication 1. Haptics Touch, Arm and Hand Movements 2. Paralanguage Non-Verbal Elements of Speech 3. Paraverbal Non-Lexical Aspects of Verbal Communication 4. Olfactory Smells
    42. 42. Non-Verbal Communication— Dangers of Overgeneralizations • We cannot assume everybody in a culture behaves the same way • Infrequent actions should not be used to characterize a culture • We should not ignore that nonverbal behaviors are part of complex communication processes
    43. 43. Silence: Is Also Part of Nonverbal Communication • Sends nonverbal clues during communication • Culturally determined • Igbos Tribe of Nigeria adage: It’s not the sound you hear that I will have to dance to.
    44. 44. Silence As A Part of Cultural Communication • The distribution of speaking and silence in conversations is influenced by the specific individual participants. • But it is also something which is observed and interpreted very differently in different cultures. • Silence can shape sequences of speech, carry meaning, and organize the social relationships between speakers.
    45. 45. Recent Cross-Cultural Negotiation Lessons Learned • • • Greeks: Relationships are the linchpin of business dealings, since Greeks prefer to do business with those they know and trust. Greeks prefer face-to-face meetings rather than doing business by telephone or in writing. Business is conducted slowly. Greeks are skilled negotiators and they love to argue and debate. Malaysians: Focus on the credibility of your organization and its management and leadership. Negotiations will be lengthy and you should have every detail of your proposal worked out before presenting it. Building long-term relationships with individuals from Malaysia is a long-term process. Remember to remind them frequently of your offer---the repetition of key points in your proposal. Argentineans: Decisions are made at the top and you often need several meetings and extensive discussion to make deals. Argentines are tough negotiators. Concessions will not come quickly or easily. Good relationships with counterparts will shorten negotiations. Be punctual for business appointments, but be prepared to wait for your counterpart. Spanish is heavily influenced by Italian and is unlike Spanish spoken anywhere else.
    46. 46. Recent Cross-Cultural Negotiation Lessons Learned • • • Indians: The pace of business meetings in India is comparatively far more relaxed than in the United States. Indians are somewhat lax about time. The word “No" has harsh implications in India. Remember that hierarchy, titles and degrees are very important. More open to unstructured ideas and situations but very literal in some respects. Chinese: Be aware of their non-verbal messages and provide them with enough information for their decision-making process which is slow. Allow them to “save face”. The most important member of your negotiation team should lead important meetings. Chinese value rank and status as well as a long-term approach. Arabs: Communications occur at a slow pace. "Yes" usually means "possibly". Arabs will also employ some body contact to emphasize a point or confirm that they have your attention. It is important not to draw back, however. This may be interpreted as a rebuff or rejection of what is being said. Respect is a value that is held very highly by the Arab people. Be aware that they may use deceptive price-negotiation strategies––don't give away your minimum acceptable position too soon or be taken in by their flattery.
    47. 47. Cross-Cultural Tips—Not Everyone Negotiates Like Americans • Cultural differences influence negotiations • Intercultural differences may cause misperception and misunderstandings • Body language is important at the local cultural level • Subculture issues may be present • Moderate adaptation to a counterpart’s culture is perceived positively
    48. 48. Cross-Cultural Negotiation Degree of Difficulty for Americans Highest • • • • • • • Africa Middle East Far East South America Eastern Europe/Russia Western Europe/Scandinavia Australia/New Zealand Lowest
    49. 49. Cross-Cultural Tips—Perceptions & Negotiations • Discovering the other side’s interests is an exercise in discovering perceptions. • Appreciating perceptions helps us distinguish between people and problems. • Understanding perceptions can expand the range of possible solutions to achieve negotiations rapport with the other side.
    50. 50. THANKS—Questions???