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Intercultural Management Unit 4

Intercultural Management Unit 4

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Intercultural Management Unit 4

  1. Describe the five stages of the negotiation process. explain how the negotiation can be unsuccessful if you leave out one of the steps

The course of mediation involves different stages. The first phase is preparing and planning by both parties, which enable them to know more about their position and that of the other party. The stage involves much research aimed at identifying facts and understanding each other’s interests and the risks involved. The phase is vital in providing information, and a person should familiarize himself with different aspects such as culture, language, and practices of the other party. The research will be critical in avoiding misinterpretation and misunderstanding, which might result from different cultural backgrounds. The negotiations will not be successful if the parties fail to plan and prepare as it means they will not have sufficient information. The parties will not know what to negotiate for or how to conduct the bargaining process if the preparation and planning fail. The stage enables the managers to identify their negotiation styles as well as the strategy of the other party. The approach is an essential strength in the negotiation process, primarily if one of the parties can determine the weaknesses of the other.

The second stage involves relationship building, which includes getting to know the parties involved in the process, is vital in the cultivation of trust. The development of reliance will be necessary before any negotiations and transactions begin. A failure to build trust will hinder the negotiation process, as the parties will doubt each other’s intentions (Deresky, 2014). The third stage involves the exchange of information that focuses on different tasks. Each of the parties will make the other aware of its position. The parties will then have the chance to ask questions and receive responses. After determining the situation, it will be possible to establish the necessity of other alternatives to the proposed solutions. This step is critical, and its failure will limit the information available. Such a failure will end up restricting the settlements in the negotiation process.

The fourth stage is persuasion, whereby the parties try to influence each other. There is much bargaining as one party tries to convince the other to accept its position. The parties have to be aware of the different negotiation strategies to use so that they can be convincing. If one of the parties fails to do this, then it will be at a disadvantage, and the other party will end up gaining more. The final stage is concession and agreement. The parties realize that they each have to make concessions as they try to come to a position where both of them can agree (Deresky, 2014). If one of the parties fails to have a good strategy, it will not be able to negotiate well, and it might end up losing. The process comes after the parties have already tried to persuade each other. This stage is crucial as it ensures finality to the process. If the step fails, then the negotiations will have failed as well. This situation would occur even if the initial phases were successful. Therefore, it can be possible for the parties to conduct research, develop relationships with each other, exchange information and come up with alternatives, and persuade each other but still fail to agree in the end. Therefore, every step is vital to the negotiation process.

  • In the decision-making process, you must take into account several cultural variables. Describe one of the variables associated with risk tolerance and one of the variables associated with internal/external locus of control. Why are these important factors to consider?

In cultures where uncertainty avoidance is high, risk tolerance tends to be low. This setting is also present in harmonious and egalitarian cultures. Therefore, risk tolerance will tend to be high in countries where uncertainty avoidance is low. The level of trust in a country determines risk tolerance as well. Risk tolerance tends to be high when the level of confidence is elevated. People will have a propensity to take more risk when they have protection against that risk. Cultures that are more individualistic will be less risk-tolerant compared to group cultures. If people in a specific culture have a high need to avoid uncertainties in their dealings and negotiations, then they will have less tolerance for risk. Additionally, individual aspirations matter in determining risk tolerance. People who are more ambitious and who aspire to do more tend to take more risks. It is also essential to understand the variation between cultures in the understanding of risks since what is one culture considers as risk might be the norm in another culture.

The locus of control is a person’s belief over the authority that he or she has concerning different events and experiences. This locus of control tends to vary between different cultures. People within many western cultures, characterized by high levels of individualism tend to lean more toward an internal locus of control (Deresky, 2014). They tend to believe that they have greater control over their situation. Many eastern cultures, which are group oriented or collective, tend to have more characteristics of external locus of control. Understanding the locus of control is essential in negotiations as it might help a person to determine what direction one of the parties will take during the negotiation process. The strategy may cause some people to compromise when faced with a situation. It helps in understanding the negotiation style. External locus of control involves the conformity to authority and lower emotional stability. A negotiating party that leans towards the external locus of control is more likely to concede in the negotiation process.

People with an external locus of control tend to demonstrate more need for external motivation before taking action and making decisions. However, this is not the case with an internal locus of control. Such people tend to be intrinsically motivated. Before making a decision, a person with an external locus of control will seek to consult and request the opinion of others, especially those who are above them before making their decision. The approach will affect the negotiation process since it might take longer. On the other hand, someone who has an internal locus of control will have more self-confidence, and this will make the decision-making process faster. Cultures that are more individualistic tend to demonstrate internal locus of control, and there is greater personal responsibility in the decisions made. Additionally, people with an external locus of control are more afraid to take risks. The hesitation will affect the decision-making process as well.

The locus of control is the power that controls peoples decisions concerning the actions that they choose to do on their own as well as the things that other people do for them. It is people’s perceptions concerning their belief on who is responsible for the events and experiences that happen in their lives and for their actions and behaviors. The conviction in self-control, which involves believing that an individual has more control, as well as the faith in external control determines whether a person has an internal or external locus of control

  • You are a businessperson noted for your ability to complete negotiations in the U.S. within 24 hours. You are in Mexico to negotiate a lucrative joint venture. Discuss the decisions you will have to make and the strategies you will have to use in order to ensure a positive outcome.

It is essential to understand that even though America and Mexico are on the same continent, they vary widely in their cultures and business practices. They conduct businesses differently, and they will have a different approach to negotiations as well. American negotiators tend to respect their opponents, and they are often willing to operate in good faith. They state their positions clearly in the beginning, but they do not concede readily. Their stand is firm from the beginning of the process, and although they are willing to compromise, they will only do so when the negotiations are at an impasse. Additionally, they tend to compel the other party to reveal their position, but they can conceal their own opinions. The strategy is a significant strength in the negotiation process as it enables them to get the best deal (Deresky, 2014). They are factual, and they tend to do a lot of research, which allows them to get the information they need. They also tend to have full briefings on all issues they need to cover in the negotiation process.

Understanding other cultures and knowing how they negotiate is imperative. Cultural differences can hinder the negotiation process. Mexicans tend to be group-oriented, and there is usually less assertion to individual preference. Therefore, there will be more preference towards conforming to group norms and maintaining harmony among the members. Mexicans value building of relationships and strong bonds, which they consider essential to forming close deals. Additionally, people tend to prefer doing business with those they know. Therefore, there will be more focus on the second stage of the negotiation process, which centers on the building of trust. Demonstration of goodwill is crucial as it ensures greater trust and cooperation. It would be short-sighted to assume that the negotiation process will be in the short-run. One will have to be committed to ascertaining that they invest in the long term, and the process will require much time. Therefore, even if an American mediator will state his position from the start of the negotiation process, this will not make the process easier or faster. Maintaining respect of others and their traditions is imperative. Mexicans are proud of their culture, and a person who demonstrates this respect will have an additional strength in the negotiation process.

Though people know me well for completing negotiations within 24 hours within America, I have to be aware of the different cultural approaches in Mexico. I have to understand that I have to build trust with the people I meet and this might take time. Therefore, in addition to conducting much research about the company, I have to be willing to commit more time and other resources towards building relationships. I also have to ensure that I know people on a personal level. Mexicans conduct business on a personal level, and many of the companies tend to be family owned. The negotiation process might include getting to know the negotiating parties on a personal level. Mexicans tend to distrust those whose intentions are not clear. This scenario will not occur since American negotiators tend to make their decisions known from the beginning. Although Americans tend to have full briefings on negotiation issues, they have to be aware of the possibility of a change of situations and events when negotiating with Mexicans.

  • List four nonverbal characteristics of culture that you must understand when engaging in negotiations overseas. Explain how an understanding of each characteristic will help you negotiate successfully.

Eye contact is often preferred, especially when conducting business in western cultures. During the negotiation process, it is a sign of assertiveness and confidence. However, this might not be the case in some of the eastern cultures, and other cultures around the world. In some cultures, people perceive eye contact as intimidating. This knowledge will be valuable when conducting businesses and when negotiating overseas. It will be essential to know when to have eye contact and when to avoid it based on the cultures of the other negotiating parties. Using the approach when dealing with people from western culture will communicate honesty, but the same tactic might convey a different message when dealing with business people from overseas. In some of the societies avoiding eye contact is a sign of respect. In other cultures, the length of time of eye contact matters and a more extended stare might be considered intimidating.

The use of gestures varies widely across cultures. The same gestures can communicate different messages to different cultures. Understanding the meaning of different gestures is imperative, as it will ensure that one does not offend people from other cultures. In the United States, people know and accept the okay sign to mean that something is acceptable, but the same sign may have a negative meaning in other cultures. The zero sign might be an offense in some of the cultures in Eastern Europe. It is essential to understand that gestures using hand communication can hinder the negotiation process. Therefore, it might be more advisable to avoid them altogether when negotiating overseas. People also conduct and interpret touching and the manner of greeting differently. In some cultures, firm handshakes are a welcome gesture as they demonstrate confidence and they are widely accepted. In other communities such as those in Europe and the Middle East, it is common to kiss each other on the cheeks. Such level of closeness might not be welcome in cultures that need their personal space.

The physical space between people when communicating and interacting communicates different messages to different people. Some people prefer closeness while others are uncomfortable with confined areas. People in countries that place much emphasis on individualism will be nervous when a person comes too close to them. In some cultures, even an accidental touch might have a negative connotation, and it may elicit strong reactions. People engaging in one-on-one conversations need less personal space especially in Latin American countries and countries in the Middle East.

Body postures are critical as well. Not only do they communicate different messages between cultures but they can also enable individuals to know more about each other. For instance, while sitting, some of the body postures such as slouching can betray a lack of confidence. Looking away from people can imply that someone is shy or nervous. The timidity can affect the negotiation process. The other party can take advantage of the situation based on the other person’s body posture. The body movement might derail the negotiation process if the other party misinterprets it. Different aspects of a person’s stance might communicate something offensive in some cultures. The first impressions that people make are important. Therefore, it is essential to be knowledgeable of how one’s posture and body movement can be interpreted by others in different countries.

Reference

Deresky, H. (2014). International management: Managing across borders and cultures (8th ed.). Boston, MA: Pearson

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