How business negotiation is against a multicultural context – Term Paper


Abstract 3


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Business negotiations and cultural differences..5

Definition of business negotiation.6

Selection of business negotiations.6

Rituals of negotiation7



Risk tendency…8

Group individuals.9

Natural agreement….9

Multinational Negotiation and multicultural context……………………………………………………..10





As a result of escalating worldwide globalization of the business, international negotiation takes a large part of the organization time. Also, academic research asserts that a cultural context shapes the negotiation activities. For example, negotiation from the same culture who comprehend one anothers behavioral peculiarities attain better outcomes compared to the negotiators with the culturally disparate attitudes, values, traditions, and beliefs. For this reason, there is an escalating demand for the cultural intelligence and sensitivity. As businesses increasingly go global, we may find ourselves having to negotiate with different people from different cultures different from our cultures. Going abroad in look of new business partners or new business customers is an obvious instance, but we may also have to get potential customers, suppliers, or clients from the overseas. If we look at the organization that is multinational, we may even be involved in the cross-cultural negotiations within our organizations (Bradley, 1991). We are therefore required to remember that it is our role to make efforts to adapt and attempt to comprehend the multicultural background that we may face in our organizations. In a variety of cultures, individuals will be pleased by our way of negotiating because our way of negotiating plays an essential role in advertising our businesses. Therefore, we are required to check the way we negotiate in business so as to attract a variety of suppliers and customers from various parts of the world.


Negotiation, globalization, cultural context, partner, multinational, multicultural, advertising, clients



To succeed in business, based on the globalization context, there is an essential to understand how multicultural is against all the essential processes that takes place in different organizations. For instance, products are designed in one culture, the same product can be manufactured in a different culture, and the same product can be solved or consumed in a different culture. Understanding the relationship between culture and business negotiation is essential for various organizations in the world. To understand the relationship between business negotiation and multicultural involvement in business, we need to understand how business negotiation is against the multicultural context.        

Negotiation can addressed from a narrow or a broad sense. When we consider the broad sense, negotiation in business includes all the forms of communication, discussion, reaching a consensus, formal negotiation, and consultation. When we consider a narrow discussion of negotiation, we will get the narrow sense of a narrow negotiation include all the activities that are carried out in some places that are formally or publicly arranged for the negotiation purposes. The academic sphere of business negotiation has mixed viewpoints towards the relationship between culture and the behavior of negotiation. Some of the business people consider that business negotiations have become the common behavior, and despite of the cultural backgrounds of the business negotiators. The behavior of business negotiation can be carried out within the prearranged framework (Chang, 2001). However, other business negotiators consider that business negotiations in different nations are different from each other since they take different forms. To a varied extend, different cultural backgrounds go ahead to the different types of business negotiations. The correlation between business negotiation and the multicultural context is not absolute. However, the typecasting should be evaded in the business negotiation and the multicultural context.

To comprehend the influence of business negotiation and culture, we can use the multicultural studies and the different countrys cultural weaknesses and strengths to foresee the opposing countrys possible behavior in the business negotiation process. It is frequently considered that the multicultural contexts are concentrated on the particular phenomena and confer the dissimilarities and similarities between different nations. To understand how business negotiation is against the multicultural context, a few countries have been selected to comprehend business negotiations because the paper confers the different attitudes, decision-making patterns, and values of people from different nations. Therefore, understanding different cultures and business negotiations will help in understanding the objective of the paper.

Business negotiations and cultural differences

The approaches of business negotiation vary with culture. For example, some individuals may adopt simple or direct approach of communication while other groups of individuals choose to adopt an approach that is complex or indirect. Each culture has its standards, and a single behavior that has a particular indication in a particular culture can be interpreted in a different way. For instance, calling other people by their family names in Australia, or U.S. is a welcoming gesture. However, calling people by their family names in other countries such as Egypt, or Japan is an indication of disrespect (Bradley, 1991). When we consider the example, it is right to assert that negotiating with individuals from foreign regions or countries of great cultural disparities, their culture traditions should at first be observed. Because the pattern and the style of negotiating are influenced by the cultural traits, the result and process of negotiating will as well differ due to the negotiators cognitive differences in understanding each others authority and interdependence. Different tactics or strategies can be adopted, developing a possibly win-win situation due to the decline of the mutual trust.

Also, different cultures have different core attitudes and values that identify the chief courses of action. It is hard for many people of different cultural backgrounds to communicate with one another because cultural differences frequently lead to the behavioral differences. Business negotiation difficulties are influenced by attitude, social structure, cognitive pattern, roles and role interpretations, language, verbal and non-verbal communication and expressions, understanding of time, and spatial usage and organization (Bond, 1993). The subsistence of the cultural differences is the undisputed fact. The influence of cultural differences on the business negotiations can be seen in the following aspects:

i. Definition of business negotiation

Different cultures define business negotiation in different ways. For instance, Americas observe ay business negotiation as the competitive process between the counterproposals and proposals. On the other hand, the Japanese people observe business negotiation as the opportunity for sharing information.

ii. Selection of business negotiators

There are various standards used in the selection of the business negotiators. The standards for the selection of the business negotiators include relationship, age, gender, credential, social status, and experience. Different cultures in the world place different levels of understanding on these standards (Chang, 2001). Thus, different expectations survive for the business negotiators who take part in different levels of business negotiations.

iii. Rituals of negotiation

Cultural differences among business negotiators lead to importantly different rituals. For instance, Americans have the repute for not placing the strong emphasis on the adversarys job title or gender. On the other hand, Europeans are formal in placing the strong emphasis on the adversarys job title or gender. A mismatching of the job titles or gender of two business negotiators is observed as the sign of disrespect. Also, in the Southeast Asian nations such as Japan and China, business cards are officially used when two negotiating parties introduce themselves to one another (Chang, 2001). The business negotiator who overlooks to bring his/her business cards or sometimes writes on the ones business card is observed as being intentionally ignoring the other business negotiator party.

iv. Communication

There are various types of communication that can be used in the business negotiation. Verbal and non-verbal type of communication can be used in the business negotiation. To evade offending the other party in the business negotiation, the business negotiator are required to be are of the other partys unique communicative habits or behaviors.

v. Time

Different cultures understand the meaning of time in different ways. For example, nations that value traditions and values, especially the nations located in the warmer climates, apt to have the reduced pace of life. This shows that people in different nations do not concentrate on time, and even if the nations focus on time, it would only for the short period. Americans are frequently perceived as the slaves of time because they value period and perceive period as the intangible asset (Graham, 1981). On the other hand, individuals in the Latin America and Asia do not share the same values and attitudes. Such countries consider that the focus of the negotiation is the negotiation itself, in spite of how much period it needs. Graham (1981) considers that because of the cultural factors. The insight of period can be divided into different categories. The different categories include procedural-traditional time, circular-traditional time, and linear-separable time. Most of the North American and European countries belong to the category of the linear-separable time. In such nations, time is in sighted as the straight line that is involved of the present, past, and future. Time is essential and the time consumed in the past is helpful towards the future period. When we consider the category of circle-traditional time, we will understand that time is considered as circular, and the future period cannot be altered. The future period is a respond of the precedent, thus time has no value in some parts of the nations and planning is not required. When we consider the category of procedural-traditional time, the category asserts that time spent on the activities and other processes are essential for any organization. Money and time are considered to be two separate aspects, and the results are identified how we plan ourselves with time. The cultures definition of time affects how its individuals negotiate. The misunderstanding that frequently takes place in the international business negotiations are normally caused by the different perception of time in different cultures across the world (Foster, 1992).

vi. Risk tendency

Also, cultural differences habitually establish the business negotiators willingness to take any risk. The bureaucratic system of the particular culture chooses to make decisions when adequate information is in place. For example, the Japanese standard in business negotiating is to lessen a risk as much as possible and evade face-to-face conflicts, and a single reason behind this is to evade being held individually responsible for the results of the choice. Therefore, the Japanese employees rarely make decisions so as to evade being blamed for contributing in the wrong decision-making. Cultures that are entrepreneurial such as the United States, efficiency and practicality are valued (Foster, 1992). People in cultures such as in the U.S. are willing to make decisions although they have not completely acquired adequate information.

vii. Group individuals

A cultural difference affects how much weight is considered on the collectivism or individualism. When we emphasize on the individuality, peoples such as Americans value boldness, uniqueness, and independence. In the individualistic nation, an individual is frequently responsible of the last decision to me made, whereas the individuals in the collectivistic nation consider that the team comes before a person, and a person requirement is secondary. The final decision in the business negotiation is frequently attained through team discussions, and the roles are shared since the teams of people all take part in the decision-making and discussions.  

viii. Natural Agreement

Different cultures have deep effects on the formation of the agreements and business negotiations. In business, agreement does not necessarily indicate the same aspect in different cultures. Foster (1992) pointed out that the memorandum in the agreement is frequently used by the Chinese to embody the formalness of the relationship, whereas people from America consider that the agreement is attained through the logical framework. Business agreement is considered official and based on a legal system. In some parts of the world, a contract is not considered a sanction, and the individuals in such nations consider that it is unreasonable to suppose the other business party to accomplish their compulsions when two business parties trust one another. Also, in a particular culture, attaining an agreement is based on who the business negotiators are, instead of their ability to do a business.

Multinational Negotiation and multicultural context

Chinese values can be observed as the cultural factors that affect business negotiation in different cultural context. It is exigent to comprehend the multicultural context and business negotiations since they have many complicated factors. For example, Salacuse (1988) claimed that apart from the cultural factors, there are other factors that include international economy, administrative and governmental system, politics, and individual ideas. Comprehending the local languages is essential for the international negotiation and business marketing. English is an international language, but in nations such as France and Germany, people do not enjoy communicating through English, even though such people from the above nations can communicate fluently in English. Other nations value business negotiators technical capability. In the United States, citizens would communicate to you only if they did not consider you were a professional negotiator. Also, other countries highlight the negotiators education background or social status. For instance, the Mexican and French citizens care about whether the negotiators have special relations in a political or business environment. The Japanese citizens care about if an individual is heavy-weight in the organization (Bradley, 1991). By the use of the same problem-solving strategy, Americans consider that both business negotiators in the process of business negotiating are required to observe the results. The Spanish, people consider that the good problem-solving should not be expected at the end of the negotiation. The Japanese considers that business negotiation depends on the responsibilities of the sellers and the buyers. Brazilians consider the good result in the business negotiation depends on the interpersonal relationships.


Business negotiation can be observed as the process in which the involved parties wish to change and convince the behaviors and thoughts of another. In case both business partners wish to do so, they are required to look for the mutual benefits that are essential in addressing their perspectives and needs before the parties can attain their decision. Different individuals have different views due to their culture differences, and it is even hard for such individuals to attain an agreement in the international business negotiation that involves multicultural backgrounds. The domains s tactics or strategies, personal qualities, and situational factors are very different between different cultures across the world. For instance, Americans focus on the facts, and convince others by using logic languages. For the Chinese culture, the mutual association between the parties involved in the business negotiation is essential for the success of an organization (Chang, 2001). The kind of relationship in different countries is different from the Western sense of relationship. Therefore, the successful multicultural business negotiation starts with comprehending the partys cognitive and cultural patterns.


Bond, M. (1993). Emotions and Their Expression in the Chinese Culture, A Journal of Nonverbal Behavior, 17, pg. 245-262

Bradley, F. (1991). The International Marketing Strategy, Prentice Hall.

Chang, L. (2001). How to Negotiate with the Chinese. Hawaii Conference on Business. University of Hawaii, USA.

Foster, D. (1992). Bargaining Across the Borders: How to Negotiate in Business Successfully Anywhere in the World. NY: McGraw-Hill.

Graham, R. (1981). The Role of Perception of the Time in Consumer Research. The Journal of Consumer Research, 7, pg.335-342.

Salacuse, J. W. (1988). Making Deals in the Strange Places: The Beginners Guide to the International Business Negotiations, The Negotiation Journal, 4, pp. 5-13