Cross-Cultural Training --- A key factor for International Business Negotiation

Topics: Culture, Negotiation, Cross-cultural communication Pages: 5 (1550 words) Published: October 22, 2013
Cross-Cultural Training --- A key factor for International Business Negotiation


As the process of globalization keeps advancing and the era of information has already brought significant influences to our life, the world is becoming, although not from a geographical perspective, smaller and international communication happens more frequent. Such cross-cultural contact becomes stronger both in depth and width and leads to the desire and demands for communication of individuals from different regions, societies and cultures. Owning to globalization, cross-cultural business negotiation is highlighted an unprecedented level as one of the most important types of intercultural communication. Communication between different cultures is undoubtedly crucial, while there are still many problems and conflicts exist in business negotiation because of cultural differences. In order to solve these cultural problems and reach a successful business negotiation, the concept of Cross-Cultural Training is raised as one of the key solutions. The Cross-Cultural Training is defined as a series of efforts to equip individuals with more effective cooperation and adjustment when they interact frequently with individuals from other culture (Brislin and Yoshida, 1993). The essay will give a brief definition of cross-culture communication and the cultural factors influencing the business negotiation first. Secondly, example of cultural conflicts will be shown to illustrate culture influences business negotiation. Thirdly, Cross-Cultural Training will be discussed in four aspects which are definition, effects, methodology and implication.

A bottom-up sequence of the elements in business negotiation is made by Vincent Guy and John Mattock (1995) in which cultural background stays at the bottom of all the other elements which are the characteristics of the company, personal character, skills, occasion and negotiation strategy. The important position of the cultural factors in a business negotiation leads to a number of influences that they will bring to the business negotiation. Salacause (2004) states ten areas that cultural can make influence on business negotiation. They are Negotiation Goal, Negotiation Attitude, Personal Style, Communication, Sensitivity to Time, Emotionalism, Form of Agreement, Building an Agreement, Team Organization and Risk Taking. Any of the elements above may affect the negotiation and even cause a cultural conflict. Taking the Enron as an example, it lost a contract during a business negotiation in India because the local company felt that Enron pushed the negotiation too fast. In fact, different sensitivity to time must be contributed to the loss of the contract since for Enron’s negotiator, time equals to profit, while for the businesspeople of India, slower negotiation leads to better trust in the other side (Salacause, 2004). The great diversity of the cultures worldwide makes it difficult for negotiators, even an experienced one, to adapt well to all the cultures that may confront them.

3. CROSS-CULTURAL TRAINING IS A KEY FACTOR FOR A SUCCESSFUL BUSINESS NEGOTIATION As shown in the example above, cultural conflicts may result in an unsuccessful business negotiation and Black and Mendenhall (1989) claimed that the business negotiation between different cultures often fail due to problems related to cultural differences. Such conflicts are probably led by cultural shock which is to describe the problems encountered by individuals who go from one culture to another (Bhawuk & Brislin, 2000). Serious obstacles to cross-cultural offered relevant practitioners with a legitimate reason to provide cross-cultural training since it would result in the relief, if not being totally removed, of culture shock (Bhawuk & Brislin, 2000) and therefore improve the performance of expatriates in business activity and...
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