International negotiations

From CEOpedia | Management online

Negotiations are a process in which at least two parties obtain the most favorable solution to a dispute (conflict of interest). International negotiations differ in that their participants come from two, and very often from more countries. For a long time, international negotiations were the domain of authorities and governments. Along with economic development, intensification of trade links, as well as in connection with globalization processes, international negotiations have become a widespread phenomenon in economic and even social life.

Internationalization of negotiations raises many additional problems. It should be remembered that negotiation is a process embedded in an extremely broad social context, and the complexity of the context increases when it involves more than one culture, and negotiations become very complicated if the process takes place across borders. Emerging problems significantly affect the negotiation effect, as Adler and Graham confirmed in their research. In their simulation experiment, they proved that intercultural negotiations generally lead to worse results than conducted within one, their own cultural circle.

Aspects of international negotiations

Additional aspects that need to be considered during international negotiations can be divided into two contexts: environments (independent of either party's negotiators) and direct (factors dependent on those involved in the negotiations).

Environmental context aspects:

  • political and legal pluralism. Organizations during international negotiations are somehow forced to come into contact with a foreign, sometimes little-known and incomprehensible political system and legal system.
  • international finance. Particular attention is paid here to the exchange rate.
  • foreign governments and bureaucracy. In many countries, governments and enterprises, especially from strategic sectors, have a lot in common. Therefore, political considerations can have a big impact on the course of negotiations.
  • lack of stabilization
  • ideology. Often one of the basic problems in negotiations, especially international ones. Differences due to ideology are among the most difficult to overcome.
  • Culture. Considered by experts as a key factor in international negotiations. It causes people to negotiate in a completely different way. Culture differences can affect the negotiation process in at least eight areas: definition of negotiation, selection of negotiators, protocol, communication, time, risk appetite, group-to-individual attitude, and form of agreement.
  • external shareholders, defined as various people and organizations with a specific interest or participation in the results of the negotiations. These include trade unions, chambers of commerce, embassies, business confederations, concerns etc. They can help but also significantly hinder the negotiation process.

Direct context aspects:

  • relative negotiation potential. It is a function of many factors, including: capital strength, special access to markets, distribution system, economic relations management, etc.
  • level of conflict. National, ethnic and geographical conflicts are considered to be special challenges.

relations between negotiators.

  • desired results. The wide context of international negotiations means that in addition to the main negotiation problems, the parties also have their own additional priorities. Sometimes they are independent of negotiating partners who may not even know about their existence. Despite this, these side priorities can significantly affect the negotiating effect.
  • direct shareholders.

Preparing for negotiations

Relationships between negotiators tend to be completely different, just like their goals they would like to achieve. The experience of both sides will also not be equal in most cases. Personal factors have a significant impact on the final result. It often happens that negotiations evoke emotions that sometimes turn into aggression. Before starting the meeting, you should know what goal we would like to achieve and try to pursue it. It is also important to answer the following questions:

  • What compromise am I able to make and where are its limits?
  • What is our limit when it comes to the result we want to achieve?

Victory in negotiations largely depends on the degree of trust and credibility of both parties, preparation for negotiations and negotiator's vulnerability. Victory in negotiations largely depends on the degree of trust and credibility of both parties, preparation for negotiations and the negotiator's vulnerability.

A different culture in international negotiations Each culture has different traditions, customs and behaviors in given circumstances. This also has an effect in international negotiations. One could even say that this is the main barrier in reaching international agreement. All these cultural goods have been passed down for generations. It is obvious that even people from the same country may also not agree, while the risk where negotiations are conducted by people from a different culture is definitely higher. Language alone is often not enough to positively understand each other. You also need to know the code used by the negotiators. This means that we must properly interpret words, concepts, gestures, i.e. verbal and non-verbal communication. For some, eating a meal during business negotiations is natural, without the slightest controversy, but for others it may be a very inappropriate situation.

Examples of International negotiations

  • International Trade Agreements: Examples of international trade agreements include the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) between the United States, Canada, and Mexico; the European Union (EU); and the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) between the United States and 11 other Pacific Rim countries. These agreements typically involve negotiations between representatives of participating countries over issues such as tariffs, quotas, and other trade regulations.
  • Investment Negotiations: Investment negotiations involve countries agreeing to terms under which foreign investors can invest in their economies. This could include setting up special economic zones, providing tax incentives, or allowing foreign companies to own shares in local companies.
  • Arms Control Negotiations: Arms control negotiations between countries seek to limit the development and use of weapons of mass destruction, such as nuclear weapons. Examples of successful arms control negotiations include the Strategic Arms Limitation Talks (SALT) between the United States and the Soviet Union, and the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty between the United States and Russia.
  • Environmental Negotiations: Environmental negotiations involve countries coming together to agree on how to reduce the impact of human activities on the natural environment. Examples of successful international environmental negotiations include the Montreal Protocol, which successfully phased out the use of ozone-depleting substances, and the Paris Agreement, which set targets to reduce global greenhouse gas emissions.

Advantages of International negotiations

International negotiations bring a range of advantages to the parties involved. These include:

  • The ability to resolve conflicts and disputes in a peaceful manner. This can reduce the tensions between countries, as well as the risk of physical violence or war.
  • International negotiations can result in mutually beneficial agreements. Parties can cooperate to achieve common goals, such as economic development, environmental protection, and disarmament.
  • Through mutual understanding, international negotiations can help to break down cultural barriers. This can help to build trust and understanding between different countries, as well as foster global cooperation.
  • International negotiations can also open up new markets and opportunities for trade, leading to economic growth and social progress.
  • Finally, international negotiations can provide a platform for countries to share their experiences and expertise, allowing them to learn from each other and develop their capabilities.

Limitations of International negotiations

  • One of the limitations of international negotiations is the lack of a unified legal framework. Negotiations between states and other actors of the international arena are often based on international law, but this framework is often not enough to guarantee the successful completion of negotiations.
  • International negotiations are constrained by cultural differences. Negotiators from different countries may not understand each other's cultures, values, and beliefs, leading to misunderstandings, mistrust, and delays in reaching an agreement.
  • Another limitation of international negotiations is the lack of trust between the parties. Negotiations require trust in order for both parties to feel comfortable opening up about their concerns and opinions. However, trust is difficult to build between countries with different agendas, interests, and values.
  • International negotiations are also limited by the language barrier. Negotiations require strong communication skills, and it can be difficult for participants from different countries to understand each other if they do not speak the same language.
  • A final limitation of international negotiations is the lack of resources and time. Negotiations require time and effort to be successful, and if resources are limited, it can be difficult to reach a favorable outcome.

Other approaches related to International negotiations

  • Negotiation theory - Negotiation theory is a set of strategies and tactics used by two or more parties to reach an agreement when each has different interests and goals. Negotiation theory also includes the study of the dynamics of negotiations, how to create a negotiation process, and how to use different tactics and strategies to reach a successful outcome.
  • Negotiation process - The negotiation process is the step-by-step process of two or more countries coming to an agreement. The process includes researching the interests of each party, exchanging offers and counter-offers, and resolving differences in order to come to a mutually beneficial agreement.
  • Negotiation techniques - Negotiation techniques are the skills and methods used by negotiators to reach an agreement. These techniques include communication techniques, problem-solving techniques, and influencing techniques.

In conclusion, international negotiations involve a range of approaches, theories, processes and techniques. Negotiation theory provides a framework for understanding the dynamics of negotiations, while the negotiation process outlines the steps necessary to reach an agreement. Negotiation techniques provide the skills and methods used to reach a successful outcome.

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