According to Pickle and Van (2009), differences and similarities exist among negotiator styles and preferences between Far-Easterners in Vietnam and Westerners in the United States. Customers in the United States value convenience and time over the brand. American culture places importance on independence and responsibility for self. Americans support competitiveness and the acquisition of money and material goods. Westerners accept financial risks more than Far-Easterners. They also adjust to and tolerate unstructured situations more readily than Vietnamese negotiators. Qualities United States negotiators seek in others are openness, objectivity, fairness, and mutual trust. They also view negotiation as an opportunity for all parties to win. They are comfortable conducting negotiations with both men and women.
On the other hand, Vietnamese customers and culture place emphasis on the establishment and maintenance of long-term relationships. They express loyalty to a single brand that has consistently met their needs. They come from a collectivist society and accept responsibility for the care of one another. In order to protect the interests of all, they are price conscious and take time to investigate their options. Quality of life and empathy are meaningful to them. The symbolic meaning of the good being negotiated is more important than price. Vietnamese negotiators are more conservative in their decision making and spending than their American counterparts. Vietnamese negotiators value structure, dependability, and consistency. Far-Easterners believe that negotiations result in a defined winner and loser. In hopes of avoiding embarrassment, they tend to only enter into negotiations they believe they can win. Vietnamese negotiators are more comfortable negotiating with women. They believe the outcome of negotiations with women are more successful than those conducted with men.
Similarities in negotiation styles and behaviors between Westerners and Far-Easterners also exist. They both agree that the consideration of cultural factors that influence the negotiation process is necessary. Both Westerners and Far-Easterners also enter negotiations with a predetermined bottom line.
It is important to note that cultural diversity is complex. Cultures are not static but ever changing. Many variables, such as changes in demographics, politics, religion, supply, and demand, contribute to shifts in culture. Therefore, caution should be utilized when making assumptions about cultures and negotiator styles. Continued education and training for negotiators is vital to working effectively with evolving cultures and changing global economy.
I have learned practical lessons from this module that I can apply to possible negotiation sessions. For instances, I have learned that much of the success achieved in a negotiation is based on the preparation phase that precedes the interactive process with negotiators (Langovic-Milicevic, Cvetkovski, & Langovic, 2011). Effective negotiators will always consider cultural differences when selecting negotiation strategies and techniques (Luomala, Kumar, Singh, & Jaakkola, 2015). Considering cultural influences during the planning and preparation phase of negotiation will aid me in anticipating the preferences and expectations of negotiators. For example, I will be mindful of time and convenience when working with Westerners. When interacting with Far-Easterners, I will adjust my schedule to allow time for relationship enhancing activities and evaluation of alternatives.
During the preparation phase of negotiation, I must also take into account the challenges associated with pricing goods for a global market such as the exchange rate and the behavior of local customers. This will help me to set realistic prices and avoid unanticipated expenses. This will also demonstrate my commitment to the business relationship. It will show other negotiators that I am invested in their comfort and satisfaction. Far-Easter negotiators will expect and appreciate the effort to increase structure.
Cultural diversity competence will also help me know what kind of options negotiators will find most attractive. For example, if they are primarily concerned with price, I will know to introduce lower cost options first. During negotiations, I would stress monetary savings versus quality. However, when negotiating with Far-Easterners, I will prepare options similar to those they have selected in the past. I will do this based on the information that they prefer to consistency. In addition, I will utilize techniques to bring attention to the meaning of the good and the positive impact the good may have on many people. I will prepare negotiations based on the fact that the majority of buyers seek both quality and value and are willing to explore alternatives.
This module has taught me to consider the social needs of negotiators. When interacting with Far-Easterners, I will recall that they are more comfortable negotiating with women. They prefer to have one consistent person of contact. I will also remember the importance of maintaining those relationships by expressing empathy, reminiscing about past successes, and planning a future of continued negotiations.
Self-awareness is also critical to predicting how others view me based on my culture. Self-awareness will also help me to be aware of my own limitations and vulnerabilities. As a result of this assignment, I have realized that not everyone defines negotiation in the same way that I do. For me, negotiation is about finding a balance where all parties feel as though they won. Previously, I had not considered that others believe that there are winners and losers in negotiation. This new insight, prompts me to consider the need to take advantage of negotiating techniques that will encourage Far-Easterners to feel like winners. Positive emotions will increase their confidence and comfort in negotiating with me in the future.
I believe that I have gained significant knowledge through the completion of this assignment. I used to believe that negotiation was all about knowing how to persuade others. Now, I understand that there is a great deal more involved. Successful negotiations rely on the respect of humanistic aspects surrounding the culture, values, motivations, and experiences of all negotiation participants. Successful negotiations are about having everyone feel good about the terms of the negotiation.
- Langovic-Milicevic, A., Cvetkovski, T., & Langovic, Z. (2011). Negotiation and globalization.
Annals of the Faculty of Engineering Hunedoara – International Journal of Engineering,
- Luomala, H., Kumar, R., Singh, J., & Jaakkola, M. (2015). When an intercultural business
negotiation fails: Comparing the emotions and behavioural tendencies of
individualistic and collectivistic negotiators. Group Decision & Negotiation, 24(3), 537-561. doi:10.1007/s10726-014-9420-8
- Pickle, L., & Van, D. T. (2009, July 31). A comparative study of Vietnamese and American
customers’ behavior in negotiation style and implications. Asia Pacific Journal of Finance and Banking Research, 3(3), 53-65. Retrieved August 19, 2016, from http://search.proquest.com/docview/1143348387?accountid=28844