Negotiation and Culture: Case Study Essay

Words: 24172
Pages: 97

Culture and Negotiations
Why do Japanese negotiators behave in the manner they do? How does culture affect negotiating behavior and outcomes?

MASTER THESIS Author’s name: Patrycja J. Krause Student’s number: 258891 Academic advisor: Søren O. Hilligsøe Faculty of English Aarhus School of Business May 2006

I would like to thank my Mom, Barbara, for her understanding, encouragement and eternal support, as well as my advisor, Søren O. Hilligsøe, for his academic help, advice and faith in me keeping my deadline!

Patrycja J. Krause Aarhus, May 2006

In loving memory of my Dad, Władysław, for showing me the world – this one is for you.


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Next, the paper discusses and analyzes Japanese negotiating styles and techniques 1 , and how they are influenced by the Japanese culture and cultural values. For this purpose, different aspects of verbal and non-verbal communication are to be discussed as well, and the paper is to analyze the meaning of these aspects in the context of negotiations. Finally, the paper is to take a look at two real life cases involving Japanese negotiators in order to illustrate behavior patterns and negotiation styles and techniques of Japanese negotiators. The author of this paper would argue that in an increasingly interdependent world, the ability to negotiate successfully is an important skill, and understanding the mindset and the behavior of the Japanese negotiator is essential and fundamental for successful negotiations.

1 Mainly focusing on the male negotiator, being the dominant player during negotiations in Japan.


Being aware of the reasons why the Japanese negotiator behaves and communicates they way he does, one may be less surprised or shocked by Japanese behavior, and may be better at focusing on, and handling, the negotiation itself. Knowledge of culture and cultural values of the other party works as an uncertainty avoidance in negotiations, and helps building trust in stead of tarnishing it with prejudices, which ultimately leads to a dead lock or even break