ation for the negotiator in his or her deliberations.In other words, human behaviour is an importantaspect of any negotiation process. It is even moreimportant when the other negotiator’s behaviourmay be driven by another culture or religiousbelief.
Win - Win
Americans, as well as other cultures, are taughtthe art of bargaining. In other words, duringnegotiation,
I attempt to maximise
positionat your expense
. This is the common approachof the merchant-buyer relationship in a bazaar.The implication is that this is a one-time deal andthat the buyer and seller will not have a long-termrelationship as a result of the transaction.Unfortunately, this is the approach thatmost businessmen take in the negotiation of long-term contracts. Generally, there is a feelingthat if the other party wins something in thenegotiation, then I must be giving something up.Unfortunately, this is the attitude that negotiatorshave during the negotiation of internationalstrategic alliances.For example, Americans often develop abehavioural sequence that sets an objective,develops a plan to reach that objective, andattempts to change the environment toaccommodate that plan. In the negotiation of an international strategic alliance, this approachmay be at odds with the Japanese negotiationstyle where the relationship is the importantingredient in the deal.In order for a strategic alliance to have valueto each party, it is necessary that each partybelieve that the relationship is meeting his or herneeds
This suggests that the Americanapproach of attempting to set the agenda andnegotiate accordingly may be counterproductiveto the goals of an international strategic alliancewith a Japanese ﬁrm.
The different social behaviour patternsinternational negotiators encounter have beenbroadly and loosely deﬁned as cultural differences.Furthermore, there is limited research on therelationship of culture to negotiation, mostprobably because of the inherent difﬁculties inthe methodology of studying these problems.There are, however, four approaches taken bynegotiation literature implying a connectionbetween culture and behaviour :
culture as alearned behaviour, culture as shared value, cultureas dialectic, and culture-in-context
. Each approachis conceptually different, and this implies that it isimportant to understand these differences duringthe conduct of negotiation of internationalpartnerships.Learned behaviours focuses on negotiatingetiquette, that is the use of proper socialcustoms, such as whether or not negotiationsare conducted over dinner or not. Most books on“how to negotiate abroad” are written based onthis approach to international negotiations.Culture as a shared value focuses on thenegotiation process. That is, one’s thinkingprecedes action, and that these thinking patternsare derived from one’s cultural context. The sharedvalue approach typically assumes homogeneity inthe culture’s dominant or commonly-held clusterof values. This approach can potentially lead tofailed negotiations if the negotiators themselvesdo not follow the rules of perception in the eyesof their counterparts on the other side of thebargaining table.A different model of the make-up of cultureis derived from the work of Erik H. Eriksonin
Childhood and Society
explaining childdevelopment. Using Erikson’s work, MichaelKammen asserted that a set of “dyads” or values indialectic tension is common throughout America’snational experience. That is to say, homogeneityrequired by shared values is non-existent, andthat tension, not consistency, is the componentparts of any given culture.The culture-in-context model is a complexquintessential integration of the currentunderstanding of human behaviour by “systemstheorists”, such as Max Weber and TalcottParsons, that human behaviour is not dictated bysingle cause explanations. Therefore, according tothis model, the international negotiator needs tounderstand that even within such homogeneouscultures as the Japanese, complex humanbehaviour should be expected.
Ury, William, Getting Past No, 1991.