Academic journal article Journal of International Business Research

A Comparative Study of Negotiation Styles: Afghanistan, Iran and Syria

Academic journal article Journal of International Business Research

A Comparative Study of Negotiation Styles: Afghanistan, Iran and Syria

Article excerpt

ABSTRACT

This paper examines the cultural influence on negotiation styles. The study employs comparative and corroletional empirical methods to test Casse and Deols' model on relation of negotiation styles and culture. The data used in this study was collected from three groups of Muslim university students with different cultural backgrounds. The findings of the study includes that the negotiation styles of Muslim university students from Afghanistan, Iran and Syria are not significantly different. The study concludes that the impact of national culture on negotiation styles of the Muslim students is not significant. The results of this study reinforce the findings of previous studies that the religious culture is the factor in shaping the negotiation styles of Muslim students.

INTRODUCTION

Culture and it's role in international negotiations have been the focus of many studies. The absence of cultural awareness can slow down or stop communication between a group of negotiators from different cultures and could result in failing to reach agreements. Culture includes many elements, among them nationality and religion. Previous studies have shown that people with different religious affiliations employ different negotiation styles. The purpose of this study is to examine the impact of national culture on negotiation styles of people with the same religious affiliation. The negotiation styles of three groups of Muslim university students from Afghanistan, Iran and Syria have been compared. Exploratory comparative and explanatory correlational designs have been employed.

LITERATUE REVIEW

Global economic integration in the 21st century has necessitated dialogue among public officials and private citizens of the world. However, objectives, attitudes, approaches, beliefs, values, norms and customs of negotiators vary around the negotiation table at the global level. Differences in a set of values and beliefs that characterize the behavior of negotiators from different nationality and ethnicity reflect their cultural differences (Faure & Sjostedt, 1993; Craig & Douglas, 2006; Adapa, 2008). Culture has been defined as a pattern of shared basic assumptions that a group learns as it successfully resolves its problem of external adaptation and internal integration, and is therefore taught to new members as the appropriate means to perceive, think, feel and behave in relation to those problems (Schein, 1997; Simintiras & Thomas, 1998). Barbash and Taylor (1997) indicate that culture includes religion, gender, language, class, ethnicity, and sexual orientation.

Lack of cross cultural knowledge and understanding could be obstacle to successful inter country negotiations. Negotiation is the iterative process of communication among two or more parties that have different objectives or interests in order to reach an agreement that is satisfactory to all the parties involved (Gulbro & Herbig, 1994; Foroughi, 1998; Fraser & Zarkada-Fraser, 2002; Manning & Robertson, 2003; Wheeler, 2004a). However, the cultural background influences the way of thinking and communication of each party, as well as their values, norms, behaviors and negotiation styles (Simintiras & Thomas, 1998; Hung, 1998; Woo & Pru'homme, 1999; Chang, 2003).

Gulbro and Herbig (1994) stated that different cultures are associated with different styles of negotiation. These differences in style are the product of differences in means of communication, protocols, strategies of persuasion, and personal characteristics including accommodation, determination, flexibility and adaptation (Hung, 1998). Those who specialize in negotiation must learn to understand the styles of negotiation of foreigners by studying their cultural beliefs and norms (Chang, 2003). In order to succeed in any process of negotiation, it is therefore necessary to fully comprehend the cultural values and assumptions of all the parties involved. …

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