A Comparative Study of Sino-U.S. Business Negotiation Strategy From the Perspective of Cultural Dimensions Theory

Shuo CAO, Ying LIU, Jingyang GAO


Business negotiation serves as an important activity in Sino-U.S. trade where Chinese companies pay much attention to the relations with their American counterparts. Due to the salient differences in cultures and ways of doing business, negotiating conflicts occur frequently, which impedes the smooth advance of business activities. This comparative research aims to analyze differences in Sino-U.S. business negotiation from an intercultural perspective, providing advice for Chinese negotiators in an attempt to reduce misunderstandings and disputes.
The author has collected information about the definition of international negotiation as well as the current state of intercultural research and summarized previous related studies. This study employs Hofstede’s cultural dimensions theory and conducts case analysis in ways that apply the theory into practical negotiation situation.
The findings show that Chinese negotiators value long-term business partnership; in addition, they often consult their superiors when the expected conditions change; in terms of communication model, Chinese negotiators prefer indirect speech and constantly use euphemism; a general framework on the contract is more important than specific details for them. American negotiators give priority to the realization of business goals; negotiators represent the company to make decisions and are responsible for the negotiation results; Americans often point out issues face to face and specify concrete solutions to problems; compared with Chinese negotiators, they prefer to reach a consensus on detailed matters and stress less on general tenets.
This study illustrates features of Sino-U.S. negotiation in an attempt to provide guidance for future related studies. The author also tries to summarize some pragmatic strategies for Chinese negotiators so as to facilitate the negotiation.


Comparative research; Sino-U.S. business negotiation; Cultural dimensions theory

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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.3968/10689


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