Cultural Differences in International Business Negotiations

The 21st century global marketplace offers many opportunities for international business expansion. The global market means that many companies now have officers, affiliates, supplies, staff and customers in a wide range of countries and cultures, thus it is unavoidable for business people to communicate with people from different cultures. However, the differences in language, food, dress, attitude toward time, work habit, social behavior from different culture can cause many of our business to be frustrating or even unsuccessful.

Culture is the deposit of knowledge, experience, beliefs, rules, actions, attitudes, meetings, hierarchies, religion, nations of time, roles spatial relation, concepts of the universe, and artifacts acquired by a group of people in the course of generations through individual and group striving. Culture and communications are linked: communication makes culture a continuous process, for once cultural habits, principles, valves attitudes and the like and formulated.

People always believe that their culture is the only true culture. They will discriminate people whose cultural norms are different from their own values and behaviors. When we communicate with members of our own culture, we have internalized the cultural rules that govern the behavior and we are able to communicate without giving much thought to these rules. If we communicate with people from different cultural backgrounds according to our own cultural rules, we always encounter a variety of misunderstandings. This is a phenomenon caused by cultural conflict which is becoming universal and unavoidable. Actually, cultural conflict is very common in multinational companies.

Company H is a large company and its products are among the best of the same line in China. They have already extended their business into several regions overseas; however, the Middle East remains blank, as they have no experience in doing business with Arabs.

So the problems come as they do not pay enough attention and also misunderstanding comes also. This also cause the big lose for their business and also set some difficulties for the international business development for them. This example told us we should pay attention to promote the cross-cultural business communication and get enough preparation before take international business negotiation to solve the cultural and continental differences of different people with different nations.

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