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Chinese and US Negotiation Styles - Essay Example

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This stems from the fact that cultures, objectives and situations may influence people's behaviour. There have been certain characteristics that are distinctly common among certain negotiators. This means that one can identify particular countries with particular negotiating styles.
This particular essay will focus on the characteristics prevalent among the American negotiations and the Chinese. This is because the latter parties are quite different. There have bee major conflicts that have arise from those differences. However, one must not under estimate the fact that there are in deed some similarities between these two groups. (Bazerman & Carroll, 1987)
Sun Tze is undoubtedly one of the most influential war strategists and authors in the Chinese traditional culture. His teachings shaped the cultural beliefs held by the natives of his homeland. In his book, the Art of War, the author stresses the fact that real prowess is depicted when an opponent uses wit to subdue his enemy rather than direct confrontation. The main message behind his teachings was psychological manipulation. This is something that has been adopted by Chinese negotiators and businessmen. They usually engage in psychological warfare of wits where they attempt to change their adversary's state of mind through the use of intellect. Sun Tze' came up with thirty six proverbs that brought about one hundred Chinese characters. These are still features eminent when conducting negotiations with them. (Sun Bin Tze, 2001)

Agrarianism versus urbanism
In present day, most of the Chinese inhabitants live in the country side. This is deduced from the fact that close to sixty seven percent of the population is largely a labouring one. This implies that those inhabitants are largely influenced by their agrarian values. There are certain features that are necessary in order to survive in that system. First of all, there is a strong sense of loyally among them. On top of this, the whole system is holistic rather than individualistic. There is a need for a lot of harmony and cooperation for the agricultural community to achieve success. These farmers remain true to their family hierarchies. Consequently, these values and beliefs trickle down to most members of the population. It should be noted that even those people residing in the City, were brought up in the country side and most of them still hold true to agrarian values. (Zhang and Yang, 1998)

Agrarian values take up greater precedence than business values as highlighted by some Chinese philosophers like Fung Yu-Lan. He believed that agriculture symbolised the roots while commerce symbolised the branches. Even economic and social theories were more biased towards the roots than the branch. This is the reason why merchants who mainly dealt with 'branch' issues were not held in high regard as compared to others.

In contrast, most of the US population is largely urban. Consequently, their values will depict the
urban culture and beliefs. However, when one traces American culture, there is a large influence from the cowboy culture. In this sort of culture, there was a tendency to jump into issues head on. For example, cowboys were notorious for shooting suspicious characters on sight even before finding out where they were coming ...Show more


Wall (1985) defines negotiations as the process of exchanging ideas between two parties. They are normally conducted so as to articulate and possibly achieve either party's objectives. Kipnis and Schmidt (1983) assert that negotiations are things that take part in our day to day lives…
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Chinese and US Negotiation Styles
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