Cross-Culture Business Negotiations in West and East

The development of the society and the improvement of the civilization of human beings have enclosed the relationship of the whole world. Cross-culture business negotiation which targets people from different countries or areas with different social cultural background and different political economic policies has become an important part of international business communicating activity. People from different countries or areas have widely different values, thoughts, behaviors, languages and customs, thus, their negotiation styles are very different from each other. Especially during the last three decades, China has changed its political policies to open itself to foreign investment. Cross-cultural negotiation has never been an easy task. A cross-cultural negotiation requires mutual understanding of culture differences and the practice of applied negotiation styles. “Cultural differences, in contrast, increase the complexity of the relationship and the negotiation encounter, potentially jeopardizing the business relationship’s future.” Thus, it is important to explore the cultural differences between west and east, and to study different communication styles.

In view of the emergence of global economy, the increase of foreign investment in China and the promise of China’s admission into the WTO, at no time in history has there been so great a need for international negotiating skills. In business negotiations, there might be many misunderstandings which may lead to the failure of the negotiation if people don’t understand these differences between them and those whom they are come into contact with. Knowing how to deal with the differences in business negotiations has very profound impact on the success or failure of the negotiations, even on the association pattern and association relationship, so it is very important to improve negotiating efficiency in international business negotiations in accordance with business partners with different cultural background and to enhance negotiating management based on cultural differences.

Negotiation rules and practices may differ greatly across cultures. People tend to interpret and judge their negotiating opponents on the basis of their own cultural assumption, and very often the opponent “who thinks differently” will be considered as someone “who thinks wrongly”. The potential for misperception and misunderstanding is immense. The greater the cultural differences, the greater the barriers to communication, and the more likely failure of the negotiation.