With the advent of globalization, business enterprises have realized that they can no longer rely on domestic markets. In order survive, it is imperative for businesses to formulate strategies that enable them to sell their goods and services to customers across borders. Without a doubt, effective negotiation skills are critical for ensuring smooth operations in a multi-cultural environment.
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As the person in charge of a team that is negotiating a new employment contract with members of a multinational company, I am expected to design a negotiation strategy top deal with the negotiation issues involved with being a multinational company. The employees of the multi-cultural company are located in different countries including China and Indonesia. In addition, the members of my team are located in various countries.
Issues that Influence a Negotiation within a Diverse Cultural Environment
According to Chang (2006), the approach to negotiation varies from one culture to another. While some people may use a simple communication method, others use an indirect and more complex approach. Ordinarily, every culture is unique and how an individual acts in one culture may convey a totally different meaning in a different culture. As a consequence, it is very important for negotiators to take into account cultural traditions. To a large extent, the outcome of a negotiation process also differs based on the cultural background of the negotiator. Ordinarily, a negotiator thinks about an appropriate strategy after making the necessary preparations. While formulating a negotiation strategy, it is necessary for the negotiator to be aware of the challenges presented by a multicultural environment. The following negotiation strategy is thus recommended.
According to Steers, Sanchez-Runde and Nardon (2010), the first thing that a negotiator must do is to ensure that a clear plan for meeting short and long term goals of the contract is in place. Generally, having a good plan eliminates any form of confusion. Secondly, it is important for the negotiator to be knowledgeable about the different cultures involved and how they work. In this case, the negotiator must take time to understand the culture of the Chinese and Indonesian people as well as that of the team members who happen to be from different countries. The negotiator must make every effort to understand the distinctiveness of each culture involved in the negotiation and what should be done to ensure success.
Although the differences in culture can be of great benefit during the negotiation process, only a skilled negotiator can notice and take advantage of the possible benefits. Third, the negotiator must have a good plan for working with members of the multinational company who may be from other cultures.
Generally, managers from other cultures may have an approach to issues that is completely different from what the negotiating company is familiar with. As a result, a plan must exist to reconcile any existing differences. The ability to comprehend the differences that exist with regard to managerial roles is very critical in enlightening the negotiator on the important issues to focus on. With such knowledge, for example, it will be possible for negotiator to know what to do or avoid n any given situation. As pointed out by Steers, Sanchez-Runde and Nardon (2010), it is also very important for the negotiator to have a clear understanding of the demands of all the stakeholders involved in negotiating the contract. In a typical multicultural environment, it is common to come by stakeholders with varying views that lead to serious conflicts.
For this reason, the negotiator must devise a strategy that takes cares of the different interests of stakeholders. Although it is a very challenging task, it must be done. Fifth, it is imperative for the negotiator to have an understanding of the operation of businesses in a multicultural setup. In addition, it may be helpful for the negotiator to understand the implications of the differences in management styles. In general, most managers tend to be only familiar with how businesses operate in their local setup. As a result, they will experience difficulties when they are eventually exposed to a multicultural environment. The negotiator must thus take some time to understand the ability of members from the different cultural background to deal with a multicultural setup. Sixth, the negotiator must build communication skills that can work across cultures.
Beyond any reasonable doubt, effective communication skills are necessary to ensure that business operations are run smoothly. In the given scenario, effective communication will make it possible for members of the different cultures to communicate well and deliver as expected.
In addition, the negotiator must have a good understanding of how leadership takes place across the cultures involved and how differences in culture can affect the ability of employees to deliver. The negotiator should also build strong negotiation skills that can guarantee success in a multicultural environment. Allegedly, it is essential for the negotiator to be fully aware of ethical and legal conflicts that are related the negotiation of contracts in a multicultural environment (Steers, Sanchez-Runde & Nardon, 2010).
Dynamics of Multiparty Negotiations and their Role in the Strategy
Multiparty negotiations are generally complicated. This is further worsened by the inability to adequately explain the diverse nature of interactions that are common in these negotiations (Crump, 2006). Ostensibly, the final outcome of any negotiation process is affected by many interacting variables including the possibility of parties taking sides during a negotiation process. Generally, a multiparty negotiation includes relations among the main parties, cooperative relationships formed among some parties in a negotiation, support for the main relations, existence of third party relations, and non-cooperative relationships.
Certainly, the dynamics of multiparty negotiations outlined play a very important role in determining the outcome of a negotiation process. While healthy relationships among the parties to a negotiation process can lead to better outcomes, unhealthy relationships will negatively affect the outcome of a negotiation. The formation of cooperative relations may also affect the outcome of a negotiation process in a negative way since a party to the negotiation may end up feeling sidelined.
The level of support given to the negotiating parties also has an effect on the eventual outcome of the negotiation process. While dedicated support will lead to an encouraging outcome, lack of support may create problems to the negotiators in the end. The existence of third party relationships can also have an effect the outcome of a negotiation process. To a large extent, third parties do not take any responsibility for problems that are encountered. Arguably, third parties may be biased during the negotiation process. Finally, non-cooperative relationships may present serious challenges to the negotiators that may affect the outcome of a negotiation negatively.
Predict Potential Conflicts while Negotiations in a Diverse Cultural Workplace
As has already been explained, negotiating in a diverse environment presents serious challenges to those involved in the negotiation process. Generally, conflicts are reencountered because of the varying cultural values and beliefs. One challenge that must be addressed by the negotiators is the difference in perception among members of a diverse work environment. Because of the different viewpoints among members, there is a possibility a high level of misunderstanding. In the event that this problem is not addressed effectively, serious problems may ensue.
To address the problem, it is imperative for business enterprises to educate members on the benefits of a diverse workplace. Certainly, there are various benefits that are associated with a diverse workplace. Besides nurturing creativity, a diverse workplace creates an environment where members can learn from one another. As long as members understand the importance of a diverse culture at the workplace, they will make every effort to ensure that it works as expected.
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Benefits of cultural conflict to a multinational company
Although cultural conflicts may be viewed negatively by different people, they may benefit a multinational company in a number of ways. First, cultural conflicts expose a company’s level of ignorance in dealing with members of a diverse background. As a result, the company may embark on building skills that are necessary for interacting in a multicultural environment. Cultural conflicts also enable individuals to appreciate the culture of other countries. This is especially important in the event that a company has to carry out business in a different country. A good knowledge about other cultures is very critical if a multinational company has to succeed in its endeavors.
Because of advancements in technology, companies are today compelled to think beyond their domestic markets. For this reason, it is imperative for companies to understand how to succeed in a multicultural environment and companies should build skills that are critical for effective performance in a multicultural setup.
Chang, L. (2006). Differences in Business Negotiations between Different Cultures. Web.
Crump, L. (2006). Multiparty Negotiation: What is it? ADR Bulletin, 8(7), 1 – 10. Web
Steers, R. M., Sanchez-Runde, C. J. & Nardon, L. (2010). Management across Cultures: Challenges and Strategies. Web.