International Negotiation

International negotiation requires the ability to meet special challenges and deal with the unknown. Even those experienced in cross-cultural communication can sometimes work against their own best interests during international negotiations. Skilled business negotiators know how to analyze each situation, set up negotiations in ways that are advantageous for their side, cope with cultural differences, deal with foreign bureaucracies, and manage the international negotiation process to reach a deal.

The Program on Negotiation notes that in any international negotiation, several critical tactics should be considered:

  • Research your counterpart’s background and experience.
  • Enlist an adviser from your counterpart’s culture.
  • Pay close attention to unfolding negotiation dynamics.

Researchers have confirmed a relationship between national culture and negotiation style and success. An ongoing project sponsored by Northwestern University’s Dispute Resolution Research Center is exploring the link between process and outcomes—specifically, how cultural tendencies lead to certain process choices, which, in turn, can lead to better or worse negotiation results.

For example, while conventional wisdom tends to hold that there’s strength in numbers, some cultures may dislike being faced with a sizeable negotiating team, poisoning the negotiations right from the start.

At the same time, diplomatic negotiations, such as those between the U.S. and Iran over nuclear capabilities, can be quite different from business negotiations. For example, it’s critical to maintain a reputation for impartiality, and to be aware how your international goals potentially interact and contradict, so you can establish a consistent stance in your relations with groups you are trying to woo.

Finally, due to the enormous influence of China in today’s world markets, PON offers numerous insights into Chinese negotiation styles, which include a strong emphasis on relationships, a lack of interest in ironclad contracts, a slow dealmaking process and widespread opportunism.

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Cross Cultural Communication: Translation and Negotiation

PON Staff   •  07/20/2021   •  Filed in International Negotiation

cross cultural

In previous international negotiation articles from cross cultural negotiation case studies, we have focused on how international negotiators can avoid cognitive biases and overcome cultural barriers. But how do negotiators dealing with counterparts that speak another language modify their negotiation techniques to accommodate for the lack of a common language? … Read More 

International Negotiations and Cognitive Biases in Negotiation

PON Staff   •  07/13/2021   •  Filed in International Negotiation

international negotiations

In discussing international negotiations and cognitive biases in negotiation, professor Cheryl Rivers of Queensland University of Technology in Brisbane, Australia, highlights in a negotiation research literature review, seasoned negotiators often hear stories about the unethical behaviors of people of other nationalities. Perhaps the toughest problems arise surrounding what Rivers calls “ethically ambiguous” negotiation tactics and … Read More 

Diplomatic Negotiations: The Surprising Benefits of Conflict and Teamwork at the Negotiation Table

PON Staff   •  07/05/2021   •  Filed in International Negotiation

diplomatic negotiations

As the US presidential primary season heats up for both parties, it helps to take a look back at the 2008 US presidential election and the win-win coalition forged between Barack Obama and his then-rival, Hillary Clinton. As this example demonstrates, if carefully managed, disagreements can lead to better results than you might expect. … Read More 

Dispute Resolution for India and Bangladesh

Katie Shonk   •  05/31/2021   •  Filed in International Negotiation

dispute resolution

Sometimes in international negotiation, disputes are left to fester for years, even decades, until parties decide there is something to be gained from reaching agreement. In an example of a cross cultural negotiation case study, the nations of Bangladesh and India seized on an opportunity to push the “restart” button on their bumpy relationship by … Read More 

India’s Direct Approach to Conflict Resolution

PON Staff   •  05/27/2021   •  Filed in International Negotiation

conflict resolution

In our global economy, organizations have unprecedented opportunities to grow by forming partnerships worldwide. Yet when we are negotiating abroad, cultural, language, and other differences can lead to misunderstandings that may eventually spiral into conflicts ranging from labor strikes to lawsuits to broken partnerships that require conflict resolution. At the same time, we want to … Read More 

International Negotiations and Agenda Setting: Controlling the Flow of the Negotiation Process

Katie Shonk   •  05/11/2021   •  Filed in International Negotiation

agenda

When two groups are embroiled in a conflict, it is common for the party with less power to have difficulty convincing the more powerful party to sit down at the negotiating table in international negotiations. In such cases, the more powerful player is likely to resist the notion of shaking up the status quo—and thus … Read More 

Negotiation Team Dynamics: The Divide-and-Conquer Strategy

PON Staff   •  05/10/2021   •  Filed in International Negotiation

negotiation team dynamics

In an interesting example of negotiation team dynamics, during a 2018 New Year’s Day address, North Korean leader Kim Jong-un proposed opening talks with South Korea to discuss the North’s possible participation in the Winter Olympics, to be held in Pyeongchang, South Korea, the following month. Hoping to avoid disruption by the North, South Korean … Read More 

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