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Successful business negotiation is tough enough when the person sitting across the table is another American But when you are trying to hammer out a deal with someone from another culture-from Japan or Latin America from Australia or the middle East the process becomes infinitely more complex In Chapter four of International Business Law and its Environment Richard Schaffer discusses several methods of resolution including mediation and arbitration In this critical analysis I shall discuss different negotiating styles that can help avoid some of the difficulty and uncertainty when dealing with individuals from different countries Recent research into the processes of negotiation has revealed key aspects of negotiation in which cultures tend to differ Among others Geert Hofstede has done much research into cultures effects on business attitudes for example which has important implications for negotiations while Stephen Weiss has done significant studies on cultures effects on the negotiation process proper Mr Hofstede discusses four areas of critical importance when negotiating with people from different cultures Power distance individualism verses Collectivism Uncertainty avoidance and masculine verses Feminine Power distance as a dimension measures the way individuals relate to authorities at work in different cultures What the Author discovered was that in some cultures those who hold power and those who are affected by power at work are significantly far apart high Power distance In other cultures the power holders and those affected by the power holders are significantly closer low power-distance High power distance for example usually mandates respect for age and seniority The style of management by the powerholder can be paternalistic Status is often ascribed and outward forms of status such as protocol formality and rigid hierarchy are regarded as important I addition decisions regarding appraisal reward and redress of grievances are usually based on personal judgments made powerholders or those connected to powerholders Relative to many other cultures in the world the United States has a fairly low power distance rating
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