Business negotiations are an extremely challenging and serious process that usually has a great influence on companies’ future. International negotiations, though, are even more difficult since not only politeness, sincerity, and ability to express one’s thoughts and adapt to the situation but also awareness of the other party’s cultural features and values are necessary. It may seem that the negotiations are going well, but if differences in cultures are not taken into account, there may be no progress and success in the bargain. The purpose of this paper is to discuss the particular business case and suggest what went wrong and how it was possible to change these negotiations.
To begin with, several mistakes could have been the cause of the adverse reaction of Company B. First, before entering cross-cultural negotiations, it is of vital importance to study the values, features, business practices, and etiquette of the other party’s country. In this particular case, the problem may lie in the inability of the young employee and his boss to understand the much broader context of Chinese values and culture. Chinese consider American negotiators too excitable, and showing Company B too much enthusiasm may have confused them. Finally, respect and social hierarchy are incredibly essential for Chinese managers. That is why it would be better for the boss to go to Shanghai himself or send a qualified and middle-aged specialist. Sending a young and inexperienced employee has probably offended Chinese negotiators, and they may have seen it as a disrespectful and frivolous attitude towards the meeting and business in general.
To draw a conclusion, one may say that cross-cultural negotiations are not an easy process. It requires all parties to prepare themselves for the differences in communication and business practices, as well as to be able to adjust to them. In addition, showing unquestioning appreciation and consideration is crucial, and in order not to seem disrespectful, arrogant, or aggressive, all parties need to explain each step and negotiate equally.