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Negotiation Styles: Southeast Asians vs. Westerners

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We have attempted to point out, that in any inter-personal communication in general, and at the negotiating table in particular, we have to be aware of the people involved, their personal styles, and the various forms of communication.

If trying to figure out: "does he mean what he says, or does he say what he means", is not hard enough, than when we add diversity of cultures and differences of character, it may seem like an insurmountable peak to climb.

Please read the following article:

Van, D. T. T. (2009). A Comparative Study of Vietnamese and American Customers' Behavior in Negotiation Style and Implications for Global Pricing Strategy Journal of Global Business Issues. Burbank:Summer 2009. Vol. 3, Iss. 2, p. 25-32 (8 pp.)

Please pay special attention to the personal styles and preferences between the two target groups.

Discuss the following questions:

-How would you describe the personal style and preferences of the negotiators in the Far-East vs. the Westerners?
-What practical lessons have you learned from this module regarding a possible negotiation session with the Far Easteners? Point out at least three and explain in depth.

Human behaviors are diverse and much more so when we have cultural differences between the two sides - point them out.

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Solution Preview

There are different personal style and preferences between the Far-East (shouldn't this be Southeast?) vs. Westerners.

The Vietnamese believe there are winners and losers in each negotiation. This is different from Americans who claim to want a win-win outcome. Also has to do with the finding that Vietnamese prefer to negotiate only when they foresee a winning outcome. The entire negotiation should be set up to appear to be in favor of the Vietnamese, and it would be important for an American to give the Vietnamese negotiator the idea that the Vietnamese are winners in the negotiation. As well, it is important to Vietnamese to "save face" by negotiating the best deal possible, with the lowest risk. Again, the negotiation should be set up to make the Vietnamese feel important and secure.

It would be wise for an American company to send a women as their negotiator, since that is the preference of the Vietnamese. This is most likely since men are thought to be more competitive (going back to likelihood of winning for Vietnamese). However, it would be key to send a woman of considerable status to placate their desire for status. An older woman would be more respected than a younger person since age is ...

Solution Summary

This solution outlines the differences and similarities of negotiation based upon one's culture and heritage. It relates to an article that is attached and gives specific details as to the differences in negotiation styles and expected outcomes of westerners compared to vietnamese.