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Article Analysis Paper

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Negotiation, whether on the interpersonal, small group, or large group level, is a conceptually difficult process to achieve success in and equally as hard to define. "Business requires undertaking a variety of transactions. These transactions involve negotiations with one or more parties on their mutual roles and obligations. Thus, negotiation is defined as a process by which two or more parties reach agreement on matters of common interest. All negotiations involve parties (i.e., persons with a common interest to deal with one another), issues (i.e., one or more matters to be resolved), alternatives (i.e., choices available to negotiators for each issue to be resolved), positions (i.e., defined response of the negotiator on a particular issue), and interest (i.e., underlying needs a negotiator has). In this definition the process of negotiation is broken down into parts, identifying the components used to create a situation in which negotiation is possible. The following definition looks at defining negotiation, which includes global implication. According to Cellich and Jain, writers of Global Business Negotiations, "The basic concept of negotiation is interpreted differently from one culture to another. In the United States, negotiation is a mechanical exercise of offers and counteroffers that leads to a deal. It is a cut-and-dry method of arriving at an agreement. In Japan, negotiation is sharing information and developing a relationship that may lead to a deal" (p.25).

Today's business world has taken on a new face by the globalization of business. Businesses all around the globe are looking to expand the scope of their business across international borders, in hopes of increasing profits, creating relationships, forming mergers or partnerships, etc. The globalization of the business world has not only re-defined the meaning of negotiation, it has also altered the way that businesses look to execute the negotiation process. Negotiating across borders comes with obstacles that do not present themselves with domestic negotiating." "While negotiations are difficult in any business setting, they are especially so in global business because of (a) cultural differences between parties involved and (b) business environments in which parties operate differently. "Global business negotiations can be problematic and sometimes require an extraordinary effort" (Global Business Negotiation, p.1). Furthermore, "Today's globalization requires professionals to deal with their counterparts in countries with different economic, cultural, legal, and political environments.... Thus, in a globalization market, few subjects are as critical as negotiating across cultural boundaries. When negotiators are from diverse cultures, they often rely on quite different assumptions about social interactions, economic interests, and political realities. Consequently, culturally sensitive negotiating skills are necessary for managing in an international setting" (Global Business Negotiation, p. v.).

As previously indicated, global business negotiations require a special level of sensitivity. This is why most businesses employ special negotiators who deal with their cross border negotiations. These negotiators are skilled in dealing with cultural differences, government, economic and social issues. "Although the term culture has many possible definitions, we will use it to refer to the shared values and beliefs of a group of people. Countries can have more than one culture, and cultures can span national borders....This context increases in complexity when more than one culture or country is involved, making international negotiation a highly complicated process" (Sebenius, 2002a) (Negotiation, p. 405). The environment of culture is developed across generations.

"It is commonly agreed that a culture must have these characteristics:

1. It is learned; that is, people over time transmit the culture of their group from generation to generation.

2. It is interrelated; that is, one part of the culture is deeply connected with another part, such as religion with marriage or business with social status.

3. It is shared; that is, the tenets of the culture are accepted by most members of the group" (Global Business, p. 24).

Identifying and learning how to cope with cultural differences is key to achieving success in negotiation situations. The ultimate goal of negotiating is to create a win-win for both parties involved in the negotiation process. Lack of sensitivity to cultural differences can make or break any attempt at successful negotiation.

"Doing business across national boundaries requires interaction with people nurtured in different cultural environments. Values that are important to one group of people may mean little to another. Some typical attitudes are perceptions of one nation may be strikingly different from those of other countries. These cultural differences deeply affect negotiation behavior. International negotiators therefore need to be familiar with the cultural traits of the country with which they want to negotiate. International business literature is full of instances where stereotyped notions of countries' cultures have led to insurmountable problems.

The effect of culture on international business ventures is multifaceted. The factoring of cultural differences into the negotiating process to enhance the likelihood of success has long been a critical issue in overseas operations. With the globalization of worldwide commerce, cultural forces have taken on additional importance. Naiveté and blundering in regard to culture can lead to expensive mistakes. And although some culture differences are instantly obvious, others are subtle and can surface in surprising ways" (Global Business, p. 10-11).

In today's world, negotiation situations that have occurred in a global context (e.g., international organization or corporation, international acquisition, government-to-government negotiation, etc.) are becoming commonplace. This has led to an increase in ways to manage international negotiation process and ensure success in the negotiation process. The United States government recently pulled its negotiation



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