Culture can be defined as knowledge is that people use to interpret experiences and actions around them. This knowledge is acquired, and it influences the value people place on or attitudes and behaviors towards people or things (Ahlstrom & Bruton, 2009).
Effects of intercultural perceptions and behaviors
Negotiation is a process that has stages. In the end, there are decisions to be made, an agreement to be reached, and finally, an exchange process. The exchange can either be of tangible things such as land or money, on or intangible like a confession, trust, or a withdrawal of a statement made. When a negotiation process involves parties from different cultures, there will be big differences over what constitutes an agreement and how it is reached. Also, parties will differ on the extent of detail and closure involved, the expectation on implementation procedures, and how to value the items to be exchanged in an attempt to define equity and fairness (Moore & Woodrow).
Importance of culture in contributing to negotiation outcomes.
Differences in national, organizational, or individual cultures may be significant factors determining the success or failure of intercultural negotiation. Diversity can create barriers to reaching an agreement or can be a means of finding a mutually acceptable settlement, particularly because each party has different interests, priorities, and values things differently. This enables them to identify and agree quickly on their elegant negotiables (Moore & Woodrow, 2010).
Skills and attributes for intercultural negotiation
There are various skills and strategies that a manager needs to use when dealing with a cross-cultural negotiation. Firstly, the ability to identify the problem whereby the people involved are separated from the problem. Secondly, the ability to identify the interests of the parties instead of focusing on positions. For instance, each party might have a strong belief that they hold about some issue. Therefore, the negotiator must focus on basic interests that bring mutual solutions rather than forcing the parties to cede their positions (Mead, 2005).
Thirdly, an attitude shift creates changed expectations, ways of communication, and relationship norms. As a result, the other party to the negotiation is viewed no longer viewed as an adversary. But rather, the problem at hand becomes the enemy. There should also be an attitude shift concerning the stakes of a negotiation, whereby parties re-evaluate their interests resources they have in a manner that permits trade-offs (Spangle & Isenhar, 2003). Fourthly, the manager must seek to establish how the cultural differences of the two parties affect the process of negotiation. Some of the issues to consider including timing, values of the parties, perceptions on relationships, and lastly, communication (Moore & Woodrow, 2010).
Lastly, it is trust. The manager must win the trust of the disputing parties because he will be working to make them climb down from their positions, and therefore, they must believe that he is sincere and does not have other selfish interests.
Importance of cultural differences in determining dispute tolerance
The level of tolerance of disputes differs across cultures, particularly because disagreement that might be considered normal or small in a given society might as well be considered as a severe conflict in another society. This depends on values that each place on the issues at stake as defined by their culture. Therefore, if one culture regards a given issue highly, it will cause a serious conflict when situations around it change (Mead, 2005). For example, in masculine societies, money and things are regarded highly, while in feminine societies, people and environment are important (Gooderham & Nordhaug, 2003).
Ahlstrom, D and Bruton, G, D (2009). International Management: Strategy and Culture in the Emerging World. Mason, OH: Cengage Learning.
Gooderham, P, N and Nordhaug, O (2003). International management: cross-boundary challenges. Boston MA: Wiley-Blackwell.
Mead, R (2005). International management: cross-cultural dimensions. Boston, MA: Wiley-Blackwell.
Moore, C, W and Woodrow, P, J (.2010). Handbook of Global and Multicultural Negotiation. San Francisco, CA: John Wiley and sons.
Spangle, M and Isenhar, M, W (2003). Negotiation: communication for diverse settings. Thousand Oaks, CA: SAGE.