Nothing but negotiation

The Gap Partnership

Cultural awareness is 'crucial' when negotiating a contract

Embracing other cultures can smooth the negotiation process

18 August 2010

Firms should be aware of the customs of other cultures when negotiating a contract, it has been claimed.

Many large companies have expanded their operations overseas and hold talks with foreign officials during business negotiations.

Fiona Keneth, an expert author for, expressed her belief that companies should embrace other cultures to ensure no offence is caused during talks.

She said: "It is essential that we know not only our own cultural rules but also the cultural rules of others.

"If we know the rules, the other person's behaviour will make more sense to us and we will be able to modify our behaviour to conform to his expectations."

Ms Keneth added that negotiators could attempt to find a common ground with their adversary by appreciating the differences between their respective cultures.

A smooth negotiation process can also save businesses money as less time is taken to conduct talks. 

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