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Negotiations Between Germany and Japan

Autor:   •  February 27, 2011  •  Essay  •  1,147 Words (5 Pages)  •  2,613 Views

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March 11 2010

Cross-Cultural Management

Assignment 4

Negotiations between Germany and Japan

The aspects, on which cross-cultural negotiations depend, vary quite significantly between different cultures, however they can generally be divided up into three categories. The -Individual Characteristics- of different cultures, such as different values, beliefs and norms, are of great importance when it comes to creating a harmonizing negotiation, ultimately resulting in a win-win situation for both parties. Furthermore, -Situational Contingencies- such as status differences and time orientations can also affect the outcome of a negotiation. Lastly, the -Strategic And Tactical- process of the negotiation is the most important factor in influencing the negotiation outcome, as this is where both parties decide between a competitive and a collaborative approach to finding a solution.

A negotiation between Germany and Japan could potentially result in grave conflicts if the negotiation is not carefully examined beforehand, according to the three categories explained above. The Individual Characteristics as well as the Situational Contingencies of the two cultures can be explained by analyzing their national cultures according to Hofstede's, Kluckhohn and Strodtbeck's and Trompenaar's Dimensions, as well as the communication styles of the two countries. Some of the major differences between Germany and Japan's national culture can so be identified.

Hofstede's dimensions show that Germany has a quite low Power Distance meaning that their hierarchy is more horizontally structured where people are less comfortable with inequalities in power and status among members of society. Germans are however very individualistic and short term oriented. In Japan people have a higher power distance so they are more comfortable with inequalities in status and power, however they are much more collectivistic and long term oriented. Japan also has even higher uncertainty avoidance than Germany, showing that Japanese people would spend much more time negotiating in order to result in a solid outcome than Germans. There are several possible negotiation issues that could be caused by differences in Hofstede's dimensions, the most significant one I believe to be the differences in time orientation. If Japanese and Germans were to negotiate, there would be very different interests on both sides, Germans want to benefit now, while the Japanese will want to benefit now and in the future, for which reason their style of negotiation may be much more relationship based, while Germans will focus only on the facts.

According to Kluckhohn and Strodtbeck's dimensions, Japan has a very traditional national culture, strengthening


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