Research Report

Topics: Cross-cultural communication, Geert Hofstede, Communication Pages: 15 (3178 words) Published: September 8, 2014

An Analysis of Intercultural Negotiations between the East and West

Cohen South
Jan Gruenhagen
1632 words

Executive Summary:
This report provides an analysis and evaluation of an intercultural negotiation between USA’s Brown Casual Shoes and China’s Chung Sun Manufacturing, provides a literature review of a prominent theory from the field and suggests recommendation to improve the process of intercultural communication between these two countries and companies.

As the Case Study was identified as subpar negotiation, all issues from the Case Study were allocated into Intercultural, Verbal and Nonverbal.

Following this, Hofstede’s Cultural Model was introduced in the literature review and critically analysed. This model included five dimensions:

1. Uncertainty Avoidance
2. Power Distance
3. Masculinity vs. Femininity
4. Individualism vs. Collectivism
5. Short Term vs. Long Term

Some strengths of the model included a large sample size, indexes for all nations and easily formulated hypotheses. Alternatively, some limitations were an alleged sample misrepresentation, not adequately analysing people on an individual level and a time lapse since dimension formulation.

Major issues from the negotiations were then further investigated and included:

Rushing the negotiations and failing to form an adequate relationship Causing offence by giving a gift to the Chinese representative Not respecting the hierarchy of the Chinse culture
Failing to hire an interpreter for the negotiations
Touching the Chinese associates inappropriately

Recommendations suggested preventing further intercultural issues and fixing current issues as noted above included:

Hiring an interpreter and cultural adviser
Translating all written materials into Chinese
Creating transparency within the negotiations process by asking for a joint strategy

1 Introduction
Intercultural communication is becoming increasingly important within a global context for businesses. In one study within China – the country being analyzed, all respondents to a survey agreed that it is critical to the success of the organization (73.9 strongly & 26.1 moderately) (Goodman & Wang, 2007). In the following report, the success of an intercultural negotiation between China and USA will be assessed to ascertain all issues occurring across intercultural, verbal and nonverbal and how they can be fixed. This will be done by providing recommendations based on current literature in the field. Additionally, The issues of the case will be identified and analysed and a literature view will be undertaken of a relevant prominent theory in the field. 2 Identification of Problems/Issues

Within the negotiations between Brown Casual Shoes and Chung Sun Manufacturing, there were several intercultural communication issues that offended the Chinese through what appeared to be a blatant disregard for their cultural barriers. These issues have been partitioned into three sections general, verbal and nonverbal. 1 Intercultural Issues

The first error in their intercultural interaction was the letter given by Mr Brown to Mr Deng. In addition to gift giving in the Chinese business culture being unacceptable due to it being seen as bribery (UONI, 2011), it is especially offensive for a gift to be wrapped in white paper – as red is the norm (Kwintessential, 2013). The fact that Mr. Deng refused the gift three times before opening it aligns with the fact that Chinese may refuse a gift three times before opening it – but not a fourth (Kwintessential, 2013). Another contributing factor is the point that Chinese don’t like to say no, and will often say yes just to save face (World Business Culture, 2013). The following mistake made by Mr. Brown was offering the first toast of the evening. In Chinese cultulre, it should always be the host who makes the first toast of the evening (Kwintessential,...

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