Cross-cultural Negotiations.

Essay by lvpiUniversity, Master'sB, November 2005

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In the modern era of globalisation, cross-cultural negotiations are inevitable. Essentially, cross-cultural negotiations are still governed by all the rules of mono-cultural negotiations. In other words, to successfully reach a mutually satisfactory agreement, a negotiator is required to understand the behaviour of their bargaining partner, and the goals and motivations governing their behaviour. The element that makes cross-cultural negotiations more complex, however, is the influence of cultural values and traits on such goals and motivations. The significance of this cultural influence on negotiation practices becomes even greater when the two parties involved have considerably different cultural backgrounds, as is the case when Asian and Western partners negotiate. This report, therefore, examines the differing negotiation behaviours of the Chinese and the German business person.

Business ties between the Chinese and the German have steadily grown in recent years. Since the open door policy was initiated in 1979, the Chinese market has become the most important market for many foreign enterprises.

German enterprises are no exceptions, with Volkswagen's success in China a prime example of the growing business ties between the two cultures. Given the importance of these business ties, it is important that negotiators from both cultures understand the differing negotiation behaviours of their counterparts. Generally, the Chinese tend to be more people-orientated, patient, indirect, and tactical. The Germans, on the other hand, value objectivity, precision, and efficiency. It is then through understanding and more importantly accommodation of such differing traits that negotiators from both cultures can successfully reach a mutually satisfactory agreement.


Before entering into any negotiations, one must be familiar with the various elements of the negotiation process. Whilst researchers differ slightly in their agreement on a universal model of the process of negotiation, a widely accepted approach is to categorise the negotiation...