International Negotiation and Diplomacy
CASE: Canada Timber. Negotiation with the Japanese.
Teacher: Mr. Valon Murtezaj
During a negotiation process, lots of components have to be taken into account by both parts to seal a good deal. Culture is one of the most important of them because it stays the first purpose of war between humans and the one that is used as the symbol of ethnicdifferentiation. When a country as Canada meet another with so much values and beliefs as Japan, negotiation will surely be harder in terms of understanding and finding common point between both teams than with a Canadian one. In the case Canada Timber: Negotiation with the Japanese we can find lots of these misunderstanding points and cultural troubles than can be created by an extra culturalnegotiation.
It’s this case, the choice of the negotiation team is very important. Here we can clearly see that when Tim (CEO of Canada Timber) chose his team, he didn’t take into account all elements that could be useful for him to compose his team. Firstly, he took his brother in law Johnny that is not employee of Canada Timber. We can assume that in front of the Japanese, a simple attorneywill not get lot of influence on it. Besides he’s not involved directly into the Hardwood business. And as we saw on this case, he was useless for the entire trip, not taking importance in all the negotiation process. Then it was a good choice to get Bill, the person that knows the most about the business they are in. And the last one Kevin, is not qualified enough to go to this negotiation as thepart of the team but I think his presence can be useful as he know a lot about Japanese culture. The only problem is he should have been the one who talk and who take the head of the negotiation team. He looks more patient, more thoughtful than Tim and should have avoided been anger or stressed. At the end, the global team was not homogenous with someone out of the company and another oneunqualified. It’s seems logical to Tim to be present, as CEO of the company and as the one who has been in contact with the Japanese company. They also should have invited a translator in their own team to understand all what Japanese said during the negotiation.
In the following case, we can observe lots of difference between the Canadian culture and the Japanese one. The difference that appears in thecase is the importance of the business card. In Asiatic country, business card is more valuable than in Europe or America. In fact, during my last summer internship, I went to Cambodia, and there I observed and learned how to introduce yourself. First of all, to forget your business card is an unforgettable error and much more when you are planning a trip as important as the one Tim’s team wasplanning to do. And then, when you introduce yourself in Asia, you have to receive the card with your two hands and to do a head sign as a thank you and analyze it. It’s also very common to keep it in front of you during the meeting to know who you are talking to. Japanese use it as a presentation process of themselves, and Tim doesn’t even presented his team to the Japanese. In the case, the Canadianteam just switched it on his pocket that can be taken as an irrespective sign from them by the Japanese. And Tim did the same thing with the gift from the other CEO without knowing what to do with it.
The main huge difference is that Japanese people are very calm, very peaceful. They will not succumb to anger or stress under pressure. Canadian is in another way much more subject to develop someaggressive behavior if he cannot reach his target. We see that at the start of the negotiation, Tim became quickly nervous. The Japanese team listened quietly at what Tim said and when they were speaking between them, Tim interrupted them, without knowing what was going on. And that’s how he offer unconsciously 10% reduction on the global bill. On the second day, he felt again on the same trap...
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