Understanding the nature and importance of competency in global workplaces, multinational corporations and other diverse settings is a key goal for cross cultural communication. Communication practices in various kinds of negotiations can be categorized as tactics since they are utilized in enabling a goal. Cross cultural communication aids in understanding the behavior of individuals in organizations around the world which illustrates how people interact with others from different cultures (Hofstede, Jonker and Verwaart, 2012). Culture is something people learn, and as a result, learning requires communication which is used to decode the elements of a particular culture.
Challenges of Cross-Cultural and International Negotiations
Cultural differences can impact negotiations in significant and unforeseen ways. Some of the challenges include the degree to which socially agreed roles operate for men and women. Some cultures tend to have more unyielding gender roles and ‘live to work’ alignments. It is important to remember that associations with gender are highly varied across cultures. Therefore, negotiators may deem it useful to consider the manner in which gender roles operate in the cultural context of their negotiating partners (Hofstede, Jonker &Verwaart, 2012). Additionally, negotiators vary in terms of styles of persuasion. Some cultures are more inclined to have a more logic setting relying on objective facts and have low emotional sensitivity. In others, emotional sensitivity is vital and they express themselves avidly regarding their points of view. Developing cross cultural competence requires people to undergo a continuous learning process of other cultures (Chin, Gu and Tubbs, 2001). Negotiators have the task of familiarizing themselves with the domestic and regional cultures that they aspire to set projects in and, given that these patterns change, they also ought to be adaptive (Bengtsson and Nielsen, 2015). Nevertheless, there is the aspect of social literacy which is concerned with a leader’s proficiency when it comes to collective intelligence. When a business venture is international, cultural constructs always come into play and the leader has to adhere to this so as to facilitate maximum output by motivating the team and a setting that is accommodative of other cultures (Rosen and Digh, 2001). Lack thereof hinders negotiation as there is limited opinion and one side may feel dominated by the other which is detrimental to a partnership. Lastly, the space orientations are another challenge impacting negotiations. This has to do with territory, decisions between public and private and contact expectations. Some cultures are more perceptible and allow more contact than others. Seating arrangements for negotiations should take space norms into consideration which varies across cultures. There are great distinctions in spatial preferences according to age, gender, context, social class and generation. While these differences vary by group, they should be considered in any assessment of space as a factor in negotiations.
Impact of Communication on Negotiations and Their Outcomes
International business agents from various countries when preparing for a pact often analyze traditions and differences of other countries. Cultural differences may impact the negotiation process of different cultures. Therefore, prior to international negotiations it is imperative to get conversant with other people’s cultural aspects (Singh and Singh, 2014). The conflicts mostly arise because of differences in inclinations, objectives, views and behavioral styles. When it comes to the power distance dimension, if the people are from a culture that exhibits high power distance index, they are accustomed to abide by their seniors rather than adhering to a democratic technique. Therefore, an agent who comes from a culture that has low power distance such that executives and subordinates worked on equal terms would affect the negotiation. The ordinary people would be hesitant to negotiate and express their concerns as they are dependent on the managers to make all decisions, hence, the outcome will not be comprehensive.
In addition, the institutional collectivism dimension deals with the cohesive capacity of people in a community. Some communities are more collective while others are individualistic (Hofstede, Jonker and Verwaart, 2012). Therefore, if a community is highly collective, it will most likely prefer group opinion rather that individual views. In such a culture, group objectives seem to have higher precedence, hence, negotiations that will be favorable are those targeting the needs that the majority of the people require. Therefore, people will be more involved in group activities that are beneficial to many and will be willing to offer their opinions to boost collective action.
Nevertheless, when it comes to uncertainty and avoidance the level of which people from a particular culture place regard on norms and rules is a key determinant of the outcome of a negotiation (Hofstede, Jonker and Verwaart, 2012). In cultures that record high levels for uncertainty and avoidance, individuals attempt to make life as manageable as possible. Therefore, if a new endeavor is to be launched by a global entity and they lack the comprehensive details of the benefits and challenges it may pose, the people may be tempted to decline any negotiation efforts. Lastly, long term vs short term orientation is more so about a culture placing importance on short term gains and quick results (Peleckos, 2013). It can also be seen by a country’s strong sense of social ideals and nationalism.
Global Leadership Competency (GLC) Model and Cross-Cultural and International Negotiations
Understanding international interaction is vital for multinational organizations to function effectively in the current global environment. The scope of such an understanding is related to the possession of international competencies within an organization. Global leadership competencies denote the attributes that enable a person to perform their job outside the domestic and organizational culture. Competencies are comprehensive concepts, job specific and more person centric. The GLC offers a map to theorize the phases of cultural intelligence development from the deficiency stage to a model level of competence and adaptability. In the awareness level, individuals are starting to realize the differences that exist though the impressions are still unclear. The understanding level is whereby people begin to develop an interest and learn the differences that people exhibit (Chin and Gaynier, 2006). As for the appreciation phase, people start assimilating the diverse perspectives by understanding the existing differences. The acceptance level is characterized by people’s appreciation of the interaction of cultures while in the internalization stage individuals deliberate comprehensively on other cultures so that they act appropriately. Lastly, in adaptation, people are then adapted to cultural competence.
The GLC model relates to cross cultural and international negotiations, in that, today few executives question that their organizations have a culture. Recognizing the importance of the role that culture plays in their organizations productivity and performance, leaders in all industries are placing more attention on highlighting and outlining the shared ideal for their firms. Furthermore, culture is developed, conveyed and transformed through the activities of all members in an organization. Yet the leaders driving power and competence to facilitate preferred mindsets boost the success of international negotiations. This means the leader should make effort to understand new cultural phenomena and through this, they exhibit genuine gratitude and preference for new cultures. Besides, the model focusses on cross-cultural relations rather than multi-country assessment or single culture depiction (Kim, 2012). As a result, the cultural and strategic views emphasized incorporate efforts that connect global communication skills and managerial mindset needed to illustrate the highly multifaceted nature of interrelatedness between people and relationships for negotiations to be successful.
In summation, as businesses continue to experience both prospects and challenges of international relations, the need for cross-cultural competency and leaders who possess this competence is becoming increasingly significant. When preparing for international negotiations, it is imperative that the team understands the culture of their prospective partners and possess knowledge of the negotiation context. Making efforts to understand other cultures will go a long way in acquiring mutually beneficial agreements.
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