Theme 1: Cross-Cultural Negotiating Styles, Ours and Theirs
Exercise 7A: Increasing Cultural Self-Awareness
When negotiators from another culture hear that a team of negotiators from your country is coming to negotiate with them, what do they expect? What is the stereotype (most commonly expected behavior) of negotiators from your country?
After listing the stereotype that others have of negotiators from your country, assess the ways is which the stereotype is an advantage to you. How might you use their stereotype of you to gain greater advantage?
In which ways is the stereotype of negotiators from your culture a disadvantage? In which ways could you overcome the disadvantages associated with the stereotype of negotiators from your culture?
Participate in the Forum discussion for this exercise. In your Global Insight and Wisdom Journal, reflect on what you have learned about your own culture.
Theme 2: Preparing for Negotiation
Exercise 7B: Preparing for a Negotiation
Select a target culture, such as Bombay, Paris, Stockholm, or Rio de Janeiro. You should have access to a person in the course who has lived or worked in the target culture you select. How would you prepare for a first business negotiation with people from this culture? What would you plan to do, and to avoid doing, at the first negotiating session?
Check with the person with experience in this culture to see if your strategy is likely to be effective. Learn what you could do to be more effective in preparing for the negotiation.
Participate in the Forum discussion for this exercise. In your Global Insight and Wisdom Journal, note the steps that you personally should follow in preparing for a negotiation in a new culture.
Theme 3: Negotiating Ethically Worldwide
Exercise 7C: Negotiating Ethically
Read the following real situation that was faced by a major North American-based transnational company.
Off the Books Payments
Prestige, a North American-based global firm, sent American Frank Quick to a certain country to scout out possibilities for increasing the market for a particular Prestige product. Two other global firms compete directly with Prestige for this market, Companies Y and Z.
Frank has spent a year in the country and has made considerable progress. He has made it quite clear to prospective buyers that Prestige offers a much better product than the competition's. Frank has been working especially hard to obtain a large order from the top officials of a large local company, Ajax, rather than having Ajax place the order with either Company Y or Z.
Ajax presently buys some products from Prestige and some from Companies Y and Z. While admitting that it regards Prestige's products as uniformly superior, Ajax claims it chooses to spread its business among the three suppliers as a hedge against possible failure of supply. Nonetheless, Frank is persisting in his dogged efforts to make Prestige Ajax's sole supplier.
Recently, Ajax's vice president of purchasing invited Frank to his office and informed him that Ajax would be willing to gradually taper off business with Companies Y and Z, primarily because Prestige offers a better product. He adds, however, that under-the-table payments are rather common in his country, and proceeds to hint broadly that he accepts substantial payments from both of the other two companies. Subtly, he indicates that if Prestige pays him an amount equal to the combined payments of Companies Y and Z, Prestige will become his exclusive supplier. If Prestige refuses, however, he will keep Prestige's present contract at its existing level, while expanding Ajax's business with Companies Y and Z, who, he claims, are prepared to make even greater payments than in the past.
Analyze the situation from both the perspective of Frank Quick, the North American expatriate manager and from the perspective of the vice president of purchasing from the Southeast Asian company, Prestige. Why do their respective behaviors make sense from each of their cultural perspectives? Post your analysis on course Forum.
Acting as a management consultant for Prestige, resolve the following policy questions:
1.Under these circumstances, can Prestige continue to conduct any business with Ajax?
2.Does Prestige have an obligation to make public the described under-the-table payments of Companies Y and Z?
How much loyalty does Prestige owe to other global firms operating in the host country's business community? Should Prestige notify the global firms of Ajax's requested under-the-table payments and Companies Y and Z's behavior?
3.What is your assessment of the reaction in the local community? Will making the information public force Companies Y and Z to lose their contracts with Ajax? Will making the behavior public work to Prestige's advantage or disadvantage?
After having analyzed the broad, policy issues, address the specific situation that Frank Quick is facing by answering the following questions:
1.What should Prestige advise Frank to do?
2.What should Prestige's overall policy on such payments be? Should Prestige walk away from companies or individuals who accept under-the-table payments?
After assessing Frank Quick's immediate situation, set overall ethical guidelines for the company by answering the following questions:
1.Should Prestige expose the other companies? Why? Why not? What moral grounds does a company have to try to change the behavior of other companies?
2.Should Prestige try to change business practices in the country? What moral grounds does a company have to try to change the behavior of a country?
Decide what you would do if you were in Frank's position.
Participate in the Forum discussion for this exercise, and reflect on your personal learning in your Global Insight and Wisdom Journal.
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