1. The State-Of-The-Art Of Negotiating Globally
2. Beyond Harvard?
3. The Transcultural Profiler and the Quest for Transcultural Management and Negotiation Intelligence
4. 360° Transcultural Synergy: Enhancing Negotiation Strategy and Synergy
5. A Method for the Management of the Diverse Cultural Profiles of Negotiation Partners and Parties
Interkulturelles- u. Transkulturelles Management (German)
Intercultural &Transcultural Management (English)
Gestion Interculturelle et Gestion Transculturelle (French)
Gerencia Intercultural y Gerencia Transcultural (Spanish)
Gerência Intercultural e Gerência Transcultural (Portuguese)
跨文化的智慧精髓 - kua wen hua de zhi hui jing sui (Chinese)
транскультурнаякомпетенция - transkulturnaja
toransukaruchā ・ manējimento (Japanese)
トランスカルチャー ・ マネジメント
Vishua Chaytana (Sanskrit)
1. The State-Of-The-Art Of Negotiating Globally
This is not a course on negotiation that covers the totality of the complexity of international negotiation. There is special literature on it. But, as I understood from J. Brett’s research into intercultural negotiation, there is no comprehensive and conclusive in-depth research in the field of intercultural negotiation. As the reader familiar with my concept of transculturalismmight assume, I would like to integrate any intercultural negotiation theory which is largely connected to the mental section of the overall psychological architecture of the transnational manager (see transcultural profiler in section 3), into the wider transcultural horizon that encompasses the various negotiation partners so as to create a unified field in which the diverse positions and interests appear in a light of mutual interdependence within an interconnected field. In this way negotiations may be facilitated beyond sophisticated techniques. In other words the transcultural approach can also enhance negotiations, because it can resolve intercultural dialectics in the transcultural mindset and associated skill set, as we shall see. The following lines simply provide an overview of various aspects of the matter. Due to its importance in a globalizing world it should not be omitted in a discussion of global matters.
With the access to the White House by a President of the United States who was characterized as having a global DNA by the American ambassador to the UN, a new era in managing international relations has possibly been ushered in. Whereas formerly the US has not talked to its supposed enemies, now the same US under a different leadership seems to offer negotiations without preconditions. Former Secretary of State Henry Kissinger, an outstanding international diplomat, multicultural by virtue of his German-Jewish-American cultural background (he emigrated as a youth from the city of Fürth in Lower Franconia, Germany to the United States) emphasized the imperative need by negotiation partners to be mutually fully aware of their respective worldviews. When he helped to usher in the opening up of China to the West in the early 70ies even Chairman Mao complimented him on his skill. Chairman Mao himself has been the receptacle, fervent student and practitioner of two and a half thousand years of Chinese strategic thinking based on Sun Tzu. Then, two shrewd negotiators where facing each other at a historical moment. In these days, the Chinese decided and announced that they would catch up with the West by the end of the century. The opening policy together with the economic strategy has resulted in the multipolarization of the world. China now seems to have surpassed Germany as an economic powerhouse, at least statistically. Much of it is certainly due to shrewd Chinese negotiation and dealing with the economically and technologically far more advancedWest. In their Confucian and strategic tradition there are numerous devices, cryptic to the non-initiate, that inform on how to deal with powerful opponents. They may be considered champions of negotiation with a millennia old tradition due to the absence of what Hofstede has called the intellectual tradition of government by law and the prevalence of its own intellectual tradition of government by man, where not so much specific and codified rules govern human interactions and decision making, but rather broad Confucian principles. This gives a lot of discretion to the authorities and importance to negotiation and relationship skills in general.
In business, without the unconditional will and skill to negotiate synergistic deals and emergent organisational cultures, global M&As and IJVs (international joint ventures) are doomed to fail or lack sustainability. This applies to the set-up of the intercultural strategic ventures as well as to the negotiation of an emergent culture in a henceforth more complex social system, where different national, corporate and contextual conditions have to be aligned. As I am writing in the city where the headquarters of the Daimler Corporation are located, I also have in mind the German-American international strategic alliance with its former US partner Chrysler. How much of the failed alliance is due to negotiation and communication mismanagement is not the topic of this overview, though it seems to have played a role from its very inception. The purpose of this chapter rather is to give an overview of cross-border negotiation research based on authoritative literature and to show, how existing negotiation practice can be enhanced by what I have called the noetic approach. While there are numerous schools of thought that deal with the study of negotiation, authors like Jeanne Brett keep underlining the lack of intercultural negotiation research data. Nevertheless, there are some interesting culture general approaches to the topic, for example, the research reported by the authors of „Metaphor and the Cultural Construction of negotiation in the Encyclopaedia of Cross-Cultural Management“. Various global management training corporations and consultancies, for example Princeton-based TMC have produced practical culture general training tools for students of intercultural business negotiation. Two professors from IE, Instituto de Empresa in the Spanish capital Madrid, one of the top international business school, have recently published a guide to negotiation entitled „Como negociar en 65 países“ (How to negotiate in 64 countries)... A lot of culture specific work has been done on Chinese Negotiation, whose complexity, due to characteristics like concomitant win-win and win-lose strategies, still remains puzzling to those who are not China or Asia experts. In this „haggling society“ as Australian Chinese negotiation scholar Katrin Blackman calls China, negotiation occupies a central role in its cultural and intellectual tradition as pointed out in the diplomatic negotiation section. Others have translated the famous Chinese stratagems to the domain of business negotiation. Fang's „Chinese Commercial Negotiation Style“, for example, has donethis. (See Chapter 12)
Although people must have been negotiating since the beginning of time and at the individual level beginning with childhood, there is no royal path to negotiation, no unified, general theory. The will and the determination to negotiate is already a cultural acquis (achievement), conducting negotiation in the face of adversity and across cultural barriers another important step and successfully concluding and implementing agreements, abiding by them, constitutes the fulfillment of the negotiation rationale. Humans are possibly the freest entities in the world, enjoying the widest margin of freedom of anything that lives. Their behaviours can therefore also cover a wide range of options that escape predictability. Cultural diversity magnifies the challenge. J. Brett's concept of cultural prototypes (negotiation behaviour is a distribution around a mean, represented by a bell curve), is a better approximation to the challenge than cultural stereotypes.
Further below I have summarized Glen Fishers booklet „International Negotiation“.It is a fairly literal summary of the former Director of the FSI’s (Foreign Service Institute) thoughts on negotiation. He was a scholar and practitioner of the art and science of negotiation.
However, it must be added that his conceptualization of negotiation seems to result from the emergent prevailing IT paradigm of the day: in other words, the mind is viewed as a fairly deterministic information processor, whose conditioned recordings, stored as images, values, beliefs, assumptions... need alignment so that interaction between the minds of diverse partners can effectively take place. The more diverse and abstract the contents the more challenging is the interfacing process. My own analysis of the situation is that there are three generations of scientific paradigms, which are also espoused by intercultural research. A paradigm shift in one domain seems to affect all other domains of cognition
The interdependent evolution of scientific and intercultural paradigms or generations:
1. Determinism 1. Newton 1.Hofstede: aggregate models
2. Indeterminism 2. Quantum paradigm 2.Trompenaars: corybantic culture
3. Probabilism 3. Modern physics 3. Brannan/Salk:interpretivist paradigm
4. Noetics (my own theory) 4. Noetic/Transcultural paradigm
(This text has been written prior to other chapters. There, Trompenaars and Hampden-Turner have been classed as transitional between determinism and indeterminism, Brannen and Salk as indeterminist and the transcultural approach as probabilistic. There are no absolute categories but it can be seen as a continuum, where the subsequent tends to differentiate the previous)
The specificity of my approach is that it is a higher level of awareness of culture. It builds upon, enhances and puts the previous paradigms in a new perspective. The machine coding, the biological and the human mind coding and programming analogies used by intercultural pioneers, are milestones on the way, half way, necessary to reach the destination step by step. Each makes a contribution to the better insight into the processes determining the relationship between the knower and the known, the manager and the managed or between negotiators. Noetics or transcultural intelligence as derived from the noetic function of an enhanced biological architecture of man (which has hitherto escaped our western cultural awareness) constitutes another milestone on the way to the true insight into what we paraphrase as mental software of information processors. As pointed out above, I let the author who represents a previous paradigm speak in his own words in order to build on it.
„1. The Social Psychology of International Negotiation: A Psycho-cultural Approach:
Human minds are information processors and how they process information depends on how they are programmed. The mind organizes itself to provide a system that enables it to give meaning to new stimuli and fragmentary perception without a continuous groping process. This system contains mental constructs of the external world, i.e. beliefs, images, implicit assumptions and habits of reasoning. There are four consequences:
1. Communication depends on there being a similarity of such programming between communicators. As culture provides the master programming such similarity cannot be relied on when cultures differ. The more abstract the subject, the more likely it will be that the basics differ by culture.
2. Perception habits become locked in: In physical and social perception it may be almost impossible to see something that conflicts with the way we expect to see it. We are subject to optical illusions or stereotypes flaw our judgement. - In the course of development and in order to be minimally efficient a certain internal consistency among our beliefs, images, information constructs, etc., develops and as the mind resists having this consistency disturbed, we attempt to perceive in a way that makes new stimuli or information fit into our existing organization of ideas and beliefs, or we tend to reject or seek consistent explanations for new information that does not mesh in congenially. Negotiating internationally means having to cope with new and inconsistent information, accompanied by new behaviour, social environment and even sights and smells. One can override some of these unconscious habits of mind, but that is not automatic, even when the signals indicate that there is a problem. An intellectual effort of a different order is required, which depends on a conscious analysis of alternative explanations and even on an attempt to capture some notion of the pattern of internal consistency supplied by a counterpart's culture.
3. In cross-cultural situations the mind not only places its own stamp of meaning on an incoming message, but also projects the same meaning to the other party. For example, analysis of Central Intelligence Agency estimates on Vietnam provides evidence of the tendency to project much more of an American frame of reference onto events than they were aware. This led to serious distortion of meaning and of implication, when they tried to explain the „foreign“ happenings in Vietnamese society and culture.
4. Fourth, one form of unconscious projection that wreaks particular havoc on negotiation is attribution of motive. According to attribution theory in social psychology people normally and constantly, consciously or unconsciously, attribute motives to others with whom they interact. While chances of being correct in assuming motives are relatively high in one's own culture, they diminish when cross-cultural situations are encountered and decline even further when the subject at issue is abstract and complex. The combined psychological mechanism of others constantly, naively or perversely, misattributing our motives as well as ourselves misattributing others' motives ethnocentrically, constitutes a major impediment in cross-border negotiations.“
Glen Fisher, International Negotiation, 1970
2. The Contribution of Harvard - PON - to Negotiation Research in General and to Cross-cultural Negotiation in Particular. The so-called Harvard Model based on the Harvard International Project on Negotiation (Getting to Yes by Fisher and Ury, 1981) is a principled negotiation strategy which comprises the following four steps:
1. Separating the people from the problem
2. Focusing on interests, not on positions
3. Insisting on objective criteria (and never yielding to pressure)
4. Inventing options for mutual gain.
Brief analysis of the principled approach from a cross-cultural perspective by N. Adler:
Nancy Adler argues that „cultural differences make communication more difficult. Therefore steps 1, 2 and 3 become more difficult, because understanding opponents, their interests and their assessment criteria becomes more complex. However, step 4 can become easier, because inventing options for mutual gain requires recognizing and using differences. If teams recognize, clearly communicate and understand cross-cultural differences, they can become the basis for win-win solutions.“ Indeed, the synergistic approach uses differences as a resource.
Nancy Adler, International Dimensions of Organizational Behaviour, 2000
The leading-edge approach to negotiation, also based on the Harvard PON is 3-D Negotiation (Playing the Whole Game by Lax, Sibenius and HBR November 2003). It upgrades the Harvard Strategy from 1D to 3D to cover:
D1: Tactics (people and processes)
D2: Deal design (value and substance)
D3: Setup (scope and sequence)
Brief review of this state-of-the-art approach:
First of all the authors consider the aforementioned Harvard Model as a one-dimensional approach to negotiation, while they enhance the approach by including, in addition to the face-to-face negotiation „at the table“ so-called moves away from the table, i.e. „going back to the drawing board“ to design deals that unlock value that lasts and making moves „away from the table“ to create a more favourable scope and sequence.
Evaluation of HARVARD RESEARCH on negotiation:
There, a handful of professors have been conducting research on negotiation for decades. While their contribution, particularly the Harvard Method/Model discussed above as a 4-step principled strategy and the 3-D model of this decade, have been positively received by the social science/business community across the world, the contribution to cross-cultural negotiation is, as their own website states, in the envisaged research project phase.
However, the aforementioned author, James K. Sibenius, has published an article in HBR, March 2002 on „The Hidden Challenge of Cross-Border Negotiations“, where he explores the surface and in-depth culture as determinants of cross-border negotiation management. This history of negotiation highlights an ever increasing range of variablesaccounted for, to make processes and outcomes more predictable. They may, however, become more probabilistic and emergent. The noetic approach seeks to go beyond deal making and implementation orientation to cover the totality of the players' interdependent concerns.
The application of game theory to global negotiations seems to fall short of its expected benefit. Evidence of this is that countries like the United States and Israel which have their schools and Nobel Prize laureates in the field of research on game theory both provide insufficient evidence of the ability to solve conflicts by way of negotiation. It seems to assume culture-free interchangeability of players, while a complete mutual understanding of the players' world views is required. To put it differently, the scholarly prowess in academic research on game theory might need cultural enhancing.
3. International Politics, Economics and Negotiation:
As Hofstede notes, in diplomacy negotiators usually are professionals, yet with decreasing discretion due to global ICT, while corporate negotiators frequently are negotiation amateurs and their negotiation projects are prepared by specialists. Transnational governmental organisations like UN agencies, NATO, EU... have developed their own organisational cultures, which impact their internal negotiation styles. Contrary to NGOs (international nongovernmental organisations) like AI, Greenpeace, The Red Cross, these organisational cultures reside at the level of practices, shared symbols and rituals, while the latter's organisational cultures reside more at the level of values.
As Geert Hofstede and Jeanne M. Brett point out, the behaviour of international negotiators is influenced by culture at three levels:
a. National culture (societal culture)
b. Occupational cultures (the diplomats' occupational/professional culture)
c. Organisational cultures (IO, NGO, MNC organisational cultures)
Negotiations share some universal characteristics:
a. Two or more parties with conflicting interests
b. Common need of agreement because of an expected gain from such agreement
c. An initially undefined outcome
d. A control and decision-making structure on either side by which negotiators are linked to their superiors or to their constituency
Negotiation strategy broadly falls in two categories
a. Distributive bargaining (concerned with sharing value)
b. Integrative bargaining (concerned with creating and sharing value)
The Negotiation Planning Document combines the parties' positions, interests, priorities, BATNAs (best alternative to a negotiated agreement). It supports the planning and conducting of negotiations. Please, consult publications by Jeanne Brett or some publications by leading business schools for details on this type of instrument.
In international politics the need for a psycho-cultural approach is evidenced historically: As the Dean of the FSI and researcher of Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy points out, „misperceptions have been pervasive in the positions taken by the US, Russia and China in relations with each other (examples: American assumptions about Chiang Kai-shek's qualities of leadership and pro-Americanism and Russian assumptions about American docility in the Cuban missile crisis). They seem to show how collective unexamined assumptions of policy-makers get reinforced in group processes that go with decision-making. So, experts should be more qualified in using basic psychological approaches and tools. The Cyprus conflict and Arab-Israeli confrontation have produced diverse psycho-cultural studies. In „Presidential Decision-making in Foreign Policy: The effective Use of Information and Advice“, A. George from the University of Stanford - as reported by G. Fisher - „ sees the course of international relations as partly a function of how leaders use the information available to them in the light of their existing beliefs and images, and partly as a result of their ability as problem-solvers to objectively program their mental processes to establish the context and meaning of new events or to try to understand an opponent's perspective“.
While psychology is too important to be left to the psychologists in the domain of international affairs, in strategic business negotiations the institutional environment plays a critical role as we can see in the agreement on natural gas supply negotiated presently between the Russian leader and European heads of state. Although GAZROM is a joint stock company quoted on the RTI Moscow, Russian political chief executives played a decisive role in the corporate monopoly's global strategy. Similarly, China's SOE's CNOOC intended acquisition of US's Unocal was vetoed by the US Congress, and Lafarge's IJV with China's HMC and subsequent ventures were closely monitored by the Chinese political establishment. The Chinese government, although encouraging foreign investment nevertheless had strong institutional interests that included maintaining some local ownership, acquiring state-of-the-art technology, maintaining employment, and availability of construction materials. Arcelor's CEO Guy Dollé negotiated indirectly through the press and public opinion, making a point of values incompatibility of the unsolicited bidder. All these cases provide evidence that in strategic business negotiations, in addition to face-to-face negotiation, a lot goes on away from the table and that major stakeholders may not be present at the negotiation table.
What I have been proposing throughout from multiple angles is the application of the Noetic Principle of the Transcultural Profiler (see section 3 for its representation) and/or 360° Synergy (see section 4) referred to which alone leads to the highest synergies possible. This „fourth generation intercultural approach can greatly enhance global transcultural negotiation procedures. It is a lighthouse for the achievement of excellence in transcultural operations, be they in the sphere of global politics or economics or other international diversity challenges ahead.
2. Beyond Harvard?
…But where to? Well, as insinuated in the previous section already I would like to take you on a journey towards “quantum negotiations”, which is not another management fad but the awareness of a wider negotiation horizonwith its creative axiomatic. In the political domain above all the US as well as ROW (the rest of the world) keep solving international problems through military might instead of negotiation-based problem solving. The human and the monetary price of it are too high. This relativizes state-of-the art negotiation skills quite a bit and legitimizes the pioneering of new global negotiation horizons that can be appliedacross the diversity of negotiation imperatives and environments.
This title is not due to presumptuousness, for most people would agree that this famous place of scholarliness epitomizes the intellectual non plus ultra. Nonetheless, in the field of intercultural negotiation, they have, inspite of a major project with eminent scholars – I am referring to PON or project on negotiation – produced comparatively little. I wonder why that is so? Can there be any breakthrough insight in intercultural negotiation as long as the concept of culture is not fundamentally reviewed and contextualized in a wider space of the mind? This is the purpose of the present contribution. Therefore I would like to use three models that help to illustrate such a presumably enhanced approach to negotiation.
1. The Transcultural Profiler that encompasses the entire mental infrastructure of the international manager (here the focus is on global business)
2. The 360° Synergy Modelthat shows how one can access, beyond dilemma resolution-based notions of synergy by Trompenaars and Hampden-Turner, unlimited forms of synergy based on the extended model of man – more specifically the psychological architecture of the international manager - referred to in item one.
3. Geometrization and Numerization of Cultural Profiling; a systematic method ofassessment of oneself and ofnegotiation partners, individually, organizationally, nationally and internationally.
Additionally, I shall use a synopsis of the history of intercultural research in tabular form as well as a holistic human intelligence model among other systematizations that serve the purposes of pioneering a hidden global negotiation and management resource hitherto largely ignored.
Once the negotiation project is embedded in this wider horizon of mind and consciousness it will become far more manageable depending on the developmental status and the creativity of the negotiator. This roadmap highlights routes that cannot be found in conventional methodologies of negotiation. If one can move along on the royal paths shown there, one can reach a pinnacle of insight that brings a new dynamic with it that may be called, metaphorically of course a quantic negotiation capability in the sense that the negotiatorcan truly cocreate the negotiation environment in line with his mode and state of consciousness. Once the player understands his empowerment with regard to intercultural creativity he will also approach negotiations with a greater sense of accountability. What is needed is an awareness of the entire field of mind and consciousness and of the axiomatic active within it. Any negotiation impasses can be bridged by following the royal path to the top dimensions D1 and D2, via the transitional dimensions D4 and D5, 1-12 of The Transcultural Profiler and their operationalization in D3. The 12-D transcultural profiler model referred to is represented on page 28ff.
Based on that master model, there are three major milestones on the Transcultural Profiler roadmap that show the way to extended horizons of global negotiations:
1. Understanding one’s intercultural conditioning D6 – D12
2. Moving beyond it via D4 and D5
3. Accessing the ultimate management resource of D1 and D2