Cross-Cultural Negotiation Management Research Proposal

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Crosscultural Negotiation

Crosscultural Organizational Conflict: A Case Study

The improvement of communication technologies, the proliferation of high-speed internet transaction and the inception of free trade priorities into the economic orientation of all industrialized nations has created a condition within which cultures and nations intermingle freely. As this is a relatively new condition, however, many generational and ethnic conditions are coming up against the cultural aspects of this shrinking global village as a great challenge. The offshoot of this reality is that, in an increasingly globalizing economy, we are left with little choice but to embrace a global plurality of cultures and societies. In the commonality of economic interests represented by the integration of cultures, there must also be found a shared ground for cultural exchange. The case study here, entitled 'Sick Leave,' concerns the organizational conflict between Canadian exchange worker Kelly and her Japanese senior, Mr. Higashi. In a larger regard that will be explored here, however, we can see that their conflict is grounded in the more problematic and revealing issue of crosscultural organizational interchange. A lack of preparedness for acculturation on the part of both parties will emerge as a seedling to this broader conflict.

The Bargaining Mix:

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At issue is Kelly's contract, which denotes her entitlement both to sick days and to paid vacation days. Due to the perception on the part of Mr. Higashi that a dedicated employee will first sacrifice paid vacation days rather than use sick days, he has elected to penalize Kelly and fellow employees Mark and Suzanne their vacation days. Thus, the classification of these missed work days is the bargaining chip which Kelly desires.

For Mr. Higashi, an assertion of authority, a distinct style of management and the interest of 'saving face' all impact his approach to bargaining.

A loss in any of these regards is that which is at stake by administrator.

Main Issues:

TOPIC: Research Proposal on Cross-Cultural Negotiation Management Assignment

The main issue in this negotiation is that which is most immediately at stake, namely the election of Mr. Higashi to bypass the terms of the contracts signed by his foreign employees.

A second issue is the issue of cultural sensitivity which travels both ways. First, we assess that Mr. Higashi is not adequately trained or prepared for the demands of his foreign employees. Second, we assess that the domestic employees at the Soto facility are not adequately trained or prepared for the cultural implications of hosting the foreign employees. Third, we assess that there is a certain degree of unwillingness on the part of the foreign employees to adapt to or respect the cultural conditions of their host country and its people.

Justification:

These conditions are ranked in the above sequence for the nature of their primacy in this in effecting the desired outcome in the circumstances described. The issue of Kelly's contract is first and foremost, primarily because this is her key bargaining chip. This is not to suggest that issues of cultural preoccupation are in any way secondary. Instead, it is to argue that the demand to rectify her immediate situation will center on justifying her staunch position and the actions which eventually accompany this position. And as noted, she should be said to possess the starkest evidence of her own entitlement by way of the contract.

The cultural concerns are of importance indeed, if we are to address at the root the conditions which have stimulated the current conflict. Thus, these are ranked next, but with a specifically denoted sequence of responsibilities. Mr. Higashi tops this list for his role as the leader of the host organization. It is incumbent upon the host organization to recognize that exchange employees are in an unfamiliar context and are attempting to function far away from their comforts and experiences. Thus, where cultural differences are apparent, effective leadership will neither isolate the foreign employee nor alienate the employee by the imposing a disbandment of cultural preferences. That Mr. Higashi generally fails to properly accommodate the cultural needs of his foreign employees is primary in our list of issues.

Naturally, it is his responsibility to prepare the rest of the organization for these realities as well. The resentment and judgment which descends from regular domestic employees of the organization is indicative of the failure in this area and is suggestive of another core issue at hand.

Finally, we can also see in some of the decisions made by Kelly, and in the disposition of her fellow foreign employees such as Mark and Suzanne, that the collective of them has failed to prepare for an endurance of an enveloping culture. This will have prevented them for properly accounting for such issues as the paternalism and patriarchy which are displayed by Mr. Higashi but which would certainly be seen as most unwelcome and inappropriate in most western organizational contexts.

There is a clear connection between all of the cited issues. Naturally, with respect to the different levels at which a failure to assume cultural sensitivity and cognizance can be seen to have occurred, the issue has clearly be inclined by some organizational failure which it would not be fair to foist fully upon Mr. Higashi. In all respects, though there has developed some animus between he and his foreign charges, his intentions are never malfeasant or morally objectionable. In the Japanese business culture, which is where from his training derives and wherein with he hopes to advance, his methods and style may be seen as wholly appropriate. Thus, we can see that there is a clear connection between the various cultural responses exhibited by the respective players and the programs overall failure to put in place the training and preparation which might have prevented the inconsistency between managerial policy and contractual obligation.

Theoretical Interests:

There is a theoretical core interest which is not be realized by the management style displayed by Mr. Higashi. Particularly, the program itself has been based on a certain degree of understanding that Japan must take rapid steps to more intimately involve itself in global exchanges. Indeed, the speed with which the program in question was executed may help to point to an explanation for the relative failure to prepare its participants adequately for the impending cultural interchange. But in consideration of underlying theoretical interests impacting Mr. Higashi, we determine that these should be concordant with the interests of the organization as a whole. Here, we gain some useful insights from the case study which denotes that "the realization that Japan must open itself more fully to contact with international society began to foster an awareness of the importance of promoting internationalization and international exchange at a local level." (Turek, 682) for Higashi, a failure of management which occurs on the basis of cultural obstacles will be indicative of a failure to meet this chief ambition.

There is sufficient theoretical grounding for the claim that it is not simply enough to expect that foreign employees will comfortably adopt the culture into which they are immersed. Indeed, this expectation is one of Higashi's key failures. Employing an foreign exchange employee as a member of an otherwise nationally homogenous organization will tend to require a conscientious acknowledgement of cultural differences which are likely to enter into engagements -- both in terms of the awareness of personnel and the individual in question. This will be intended to invoke dual sensitivities to inherent differences that might impact interpersonal relations, communication and managerial philosophy. Therefore, leadership must be prepared to bridge any gaps which might occur in this scenario by choosing the appropriate managerial candidate, devising goals which assume close parallels between differing national faces of the operation and by ensuring proper cultural training is in place within the existing organization.

It is here that we can begin to see an inevitable benefit to the interests of both the foreign employees and the program itself in Kelly's establishing contact with the larger CLAIR program. Particularly, as we have already established, Mr. Higashi and his organization seem ill-prepared and improperly trained for the implications of the exchange program. The absence of cultural sensitivity and the clear failure to prepare the organization for the cultural differences which would soon become apparent in the JET participants are both indications that the program must create a more effective mode of preparation for the organizations with which it interacts. As much of the control over implementation of the program as is left to the host institution, it must be considered a theoretical priority amongst its interests for said institution to be properly acquitted of the cultural challenges relevant to the program.

Theoretical Limits:

Difficulties to this strategy of international management are demonstrably present in the case of Kelly and Mr. Higashi. This conforms with theoretical expectations where proper preparations are not present, promoting a clear limitation in the organization's structure with respect to the accommodation of its exchange employees.

Specifically, it often difficult for personnel to adapt to a management style which is derived from an unfamiliar culture and, concordantly, for management to adjust to… [END OF PREVIEW] . . . READ MORE

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