Cross-Cultural Business Negotiations

By Donald W. Hendon; Rebecca Angeles Hendon et al. | Go to book overview

1
What: The Art of Negotiations

The word "negotiations" stems from the Roman word negotiari meaning "to carry on business" and is derived from the Latin root words neg (not) and otium (ease or leisure). Obviously it was as true for the ancient Romans as it is for most businesspersons of today that negotiations and business involves hard work. A modern definition of negotiation is two or more parties with common (and conflicting) interests who enter into a process of interaction with the goal of reaching an agreement (preferably of mutual benefit). John Kenneth Galbraith said "Sex apart, negotiation is the most common and problematic involvement of one person with another, and the two activities are not unrelated." Negotiations is a decision-making process that provides opportunities for the parties to exchange commitments or promises through which they will resolve their disagreements and reach a settlement. A negotiation is two or more parties striving to agree when their objectives do not coincide.

Negotiation consists of two distinct processes: creating value and claiming value. Creating value is a cooperative process whereby the parties in the negotiation seek to realize the full potential benefit of the relationship. Claiming value is essentially a competitive process. The key to creating value is finding interests that the parties have in common or that complement each other, then reconciling and expanding upon these interests to create a win-win situation. Parties at the negotiating table are interdependent. Their goals are locked together. A seller cannot exist without a buyer. The purpose of a negotiation is a joint decision-making process through which the parties create a mutually acceptable settlement. The objective is to pursue a win-win situation for both parties.

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