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Communicating and Negotiating Across Cultures. Presenter: Richard R. Gesteland Global Management LLC. Business Culture: A set of expectations and assumptions about how to do business. . Two Iron Rules of International Business: .

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communicating and negotiating across cultures

Communicating and Negotiating Across Cultures

Presenter:

Richard R. Gesteland

Global Management LLC

two iron rules of international business
Two Iron Rules of International Business:
  • The business visitor is expected to understand the local culture.
  • The seller is expected to understand and adapt to the buyer’s culture.
first how to avoid stereotyping when we compare business cultures
First: How to avoid stereotyping when we compare business cultures?
  • Stereotypes are lazy ways of describing people.
  • So we will refer to culturaltendencies when we compare international business behavior.
cross cultural communication and negotiating behavior 5 key variables
Cross-Cultural Communication and Negotiating Behavior: 5 Key Variables
  • Deal-Focus vs Relationship-Focus
  • Direct vs Indirect Communication
  • Informal vs Formal Business Behavior
  • MonochronicvsPolychronic Time
  • Reserved vs Expressive Communication
deal focused business cultures
Deal-Focused Business Cultures:
  • United States
  • Nordic countries, Netherlands, Germany, Britain, Canada
  • Australia/New Zealand
moderately deal focused cultures
Moderately Deal-Focused Cultures:
  • France, Belgium, Southern Europe
  • Central Europe, Eastern Europe, Russia
  • Hong Kong and Singapore
relationship focused cultures
Relationship-Focused Cultures:
  • Asia (except Hong Kong and Singapore)
  • Middle-East, Africa
  • Latin America
  • (= most of the world!)
d f behavior r f behavior
Making direct initial contact often works.

Face-to-face meetings less frequent.

Usually use direct language.

Indirect initial contact is expected.

More face-to-face meetings expected.

Often use indirect language.

D-F Behavior:R-F Behavior:
communication and context
Communication and Context:
  • Relationship-oriented people often use indirect (high-context) language.
  • Deal-oriented people tend to use direct (low-context) language.
direct and indirect language
Direct and Indirect Language:
  • RF people tend to use indirect language to avoid giving offence or loss of face.
  • RF people tend to avoid saying ‘no’ to bosses or customers.
  • DF people tend to use direct language, are often confused by indirect language.
egalitarian more hierarchical
Nordic countries

North America

Australia, New Zealand

Great Britain

Most of Continental Europe

Asia, Africa, Latin America, Middle East

Egalitarian: More Hierarchical:
egalitarian hierarchical
Informal behavior.

Status differences tend to be small.

Protocol rituals are simpler.

Formal behavior.

Status differences tend to be larger.

Protocol rituals are more elaborate.

Egalitarian: Hierarchical:
monochronic business cultures
Monochronic Business Cultures:
  • Germans and German-Swiss (very monochronic)
  • Northern Europeans, North Americans
  • Czech Republic, Hungary
  • Japan
moderately polychronic cultures
Moderately Polychronic Cultures
  • Most of Central Europe
  • China, Singapore
  • Chile, Southern Brazil
polychronic business cultures
Polychronic Business Cultures:
  • Southern and Eastern Europe
  • Most of Latin America
  • South and Southeast Asia, Middle East, most of Africa (very polychronic)
monochronic polychronic
Punctuality is expected.

Meetings usually follow an agenda.

It is rude to interrupt meetings.

People are less punctual.

Meetings may not follow an agenda.

Meetings are often interrupted.

Monochronic:Polychronic:
emotionally reserved cultures
Emotionally Reserved Cultures:
  • Northern Europe, Britain
  • East and Southeast Asia (very reserved)
moderately variably expressive
Moderately/Variably Expressive:
  • North America, Australia, New Zealand
  • Central and Eastern Europe
  • South Asia, parts of Africa
very expressive cultures
Very Expressive Cultures:
  • Southern Europe
  • Middle East, Mediterranean region
  • Latin America
reserved and expressive nonverbal communication four key elements
Reserved and Expressive Nonverbal Communication – Four Key Elements:
  • Interpersonal distance
  • Eye contact
  • Touch behavior
  • Gestures
interpersonal distance
Interpersonal Distance:
  • Close: Middle East, Latin America, Southern Europe.
  • Variable: North America, East and Central Europe, South Asia, Australia/NZ
  • Distant: Northern Europe, East Asia
eye contact
Eye Contact:
  • Intense: Middle East, Southern Europe, Latin America
  • Moderate: Northern Europe, North America, East-Central Europe.
  • Indirect: East and Southeast Asia
touch behavior
Touch Behavior:
  • High Contact: Middle East, France, Southern Europe, Latin America.
  • Moderate: Central/Eastern Europe, North America.
  • Low Contact: Northern Europe.
  • Very Low: East and Southeast Asia.
ambiguous gestures
Ambiguous Gestures:
  • Use of left hand
  • Showing sole of shoe
  • ‘Thumbs up’ sign
  • ‘Peace’ sign
  • ‘A-OK’ sign
  • Pointing/beckoning with index finger.
communicating and negotiating across cultures1

Communicating and NegotiatingAcross Cultures

Richard R. Gesteland

Global Management LLC