International and Cross-Cultural Negotiation

Coursera International and Cross-Cultural Negotiation

ESSEC Business School
About 1 hour/ week except for week 4, about 3 hours
4 weeks
Paid Certificate Available
Part of
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All of us are aware that cultural differences are significant and that they affect how we interact with others in business and in leisure activities. But what is culture exactly, and how does it impact on negotiation, in particular?

This course will help you to be more precise about different dimensions of culture, from one region or country to another, while helping you to avoid simplifications, clichés and stereotypes. It will also lead you to a better overall awareness of your own culture.

In addition the course modules will guide you to a better understanding of when and how cultural differences are likely to influence the different dimensions of a negotiation - the people, problems and processes. Armed with that understanding, your awareness, preparation and strategy will be enhanced when you are faced with negotiators from cultures and regions different from your own. Your ability to anticipate and react, your negotiation flexibility, will be improved and refined.

The course also gives you a concrete look at quite different national and regional negotiation styles (we look at the French, Chinese, North American and Middle Eastern). In addition, an examination of negotiation in two multicultural settings (European Union institutions, on the one hand, and the recent COP 21 climate conference in Paris, on the other) highlights the importance of well-designed negotiation processes for getting both efficiency and fairness.

Culture & Negotiation

Here we will guide you to a deeper understanding of cultures by looking at the way they differ along a small number of common dimensions - approaches to risk, to authority, to the individual, to time, etc. We will help you to avoid simplifications - clichés, stereotypes and labels - that are unhelpful and can even be harmful.

The impact of culture on the process dimension of negotiation
In this module we focus your attention on different aspects of communication, both verbal and non-verbal, and show you how cultural differences are important to them. We show you how constructive dialogue in cross-cultural negotiation depends on understanding many differences in behaviour - from variations in etiquette and politeness to the way emotions are expressed, or are hidden.

The impact of culture on the people dimension of negotiation
This module is concerned with maintaining an equilibrium in how much importance we give to culture, to context and to personality during cross-cultural negotiation. It provides you practical advice on how to keep a sensible balance between those elements and also examines different adaptation strategies that you can follow, depending on your familiarity with the other negotiator’s culture.

Specific examples
In the final module particular national and regional negotiating styles are examined - French, Chinese, US and Middle Eastern - so as to highlight some of the most pertinent contrasts for international negotiators. In addition multilateral and multicultural negotiation settings are examined - by focusing on European Union institutions, and on the recent COP 21 climate negotiations in Paris, we look at the importance of processes in cross-cultural negotiation success. All of this will help you analyze and explore your own negotiation culture.

Taught by
Aurélien Colson and Alan Jenkins

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