Research article
Issue: № 8 (50), 2016

Пригожина К.Б.

ORCID 0000-0001-6376-5615, Кандидат педагогический наук, Российский экономический университет им. Г.В. Плеханова



В статье рассматриваются международные переговоры как ситуация межкультурного и межличностного общения, анализируется влияние культуры и ее основных структурных признаков на поведение участников межкультурного взаимодействия. Автор приводит сравнение этапов переговорного процесса как ситуации общения с уровнями межличностного взаимодействия, что позволяет выявить возможные ситуации культурного диссонанса и оптимизировать процесс переговоров. В статье также приводятся критерии оценки эффективности участника переговорного процесса, в основу которых положена степень сформированности межкультурной компетенции.

Ключевые слова: международные переговоры, культура, межкультурное общение, концепт, культурный диссонанс, ценностные ориентации.

Prigozhina K.B.

ORCID 0000-0001-6376-5615, PhD in Pedagogy, Associate professor, Department of foreign languages, Plekhanov Russian University of Economics



The article deals with international negotiations as a situation of intercultural and interpersonal communication as well as the influence that culture and its main structural features have on the behavior of participants in intercultural interaction. The author provides a comparative analysis of the stages in negotiation process matching them to the levels of interpersonal interaction, identifying possible situations of cultural misunderstanding in order to improve the process of negotiations. The article also outlines criteria for assessing effectiveness of a negotiator in situations of intercultural communication.

Keywords: intercultural negotiations; culture; intercultural communication; concept; cultural misunderstanding; cultural values.

Axiology of negotiations lies in the understanding of the phenomenon of "culture" that includes values as its structural feature and performs regulatory functions influencing behavior of participants in negotiations. No wonder that "... an Englishman wants to see the world as a factory, a Frenchman – as a salon, a German – as a barracks, and the Russian – as a church. Englishmen crave for profit, the French seek for fame, the Germans want power, and the Russians – sacrifice. The Englishman expects benefits, the Frenchman wants to impress, the Germans need dominating, and the Russian does not want anything ... [14, p. 387].

Culture "permeates all events ... life and consciousness of people ..." [4, p. 45] and is defined as a "conceptual monster» [15, p. 109]. There is a comprehensive definition of culture, such as "once assimilated, culture becomes the means by which a person sees, but rarely becomes what he actually sees» [16, p. 14]. That is why participants in intercultural negotiations even with high level of language command, discursive and social competences often experience cultural misunderstanding and face difficulties when interacting with partners of other cultures.

Culture consists of explicit (rituals, folk art, symbols, etc.) and implicit (norms, values, beliefs and assumptions) components. Preparing for international negotiations we must bear in mind implicit constituents that play the most significant role in communication. Intercultural communication is a dialogue of cultures, during which implicit components of different cultures come into interaction and start modeling and shaping cultural identity as well as communicative and cognitive behavior of participants. Cultural values come into interaction at conceptual level [3, pp. 325 – 328], when perception and understanding of a foreign and your own cultures and concepts prevail. Situational and contextual features of intercultural negotiations are influenced and modified by implicit components of culture, which sets the appropriate combination of intercultural negotiation parameters that define their context specificity. Situational and contextual features of negotiation processes are interrelated and constitute axiology of negotiations.

The above leads us to the idea of studying and comparing cultures in preparation for negotiations based on the cognitive approach. This approach allows us to consider culture in a broader sense as a "learning process inside and outside of human mind" [13, pp. 55 – 56]. In this sense culture determines concept as a mental reflection of the elements of culture [12, p. 24]. Values are the core element of concept [8]. Concept is a unit of cultural analysis, while system of values is the main parameter of comparative cultural analysis and the impact of cultural values on cross-cultural business communication. The process of studying culture "... is not purely cognitive but cognitive-affective-value induced, and defines human mentality at all levels – motivation, ideas, behavioral " [13, p 54]. Following this logic, it might be stated that concept appears as a "basic perceptual-cognitive-affective item of a dynamic nature, spontaneously functioning in cognitive and communicative activity of an individual" [6, p. 39].

These quotes reinforce the assumption of the necessity of complex training of future participants in international negotiations based on cognitive-affective-value induced approach which helps shape ideas about the basic beliefs and values of other cultures within their comparative analysis. This enables us to develop a cognitive image of the situation of intercultural communication under the influence of the system of values and beliefs, which are the basic parameter of cultural comparative analysis. Modeling cognitive image of negotiations context is possible when comparing cultures through conceptual analysis, based on axiological and cognitive-communicative approaches to the study and comparison of cultures that allows you to apply the semantic concept of culture. Such approach considers negotiation process beyond commonly accepted linguopragmatic approach and refers to the study of communicative reality located beyond linguistic structures. Complexity and diversity of the concept of culture largely complicates the process of studying cultural differences. Based on the semantic concept of culture, we attach to this process awareness, and therefore greater efficiency.

Considering negotiation process in context of communication, we analysed Russian and foreign scientific works in the field of structure of communication process. The analysis revealed that negotiation process is related to the following stages of communication:

  1. interaction and behaviour:
    • structure of communication (perception, communication, and interaction) [1];
    • structure of rapport [10];
    • structure of behaviour (cognitive, affective, practical) [11];
  2. communication:
    • intercultural communication model (perception, communication, interaction) [2, pp. 93 – 107];
    • structure of interpersonal interaction (cognitive, affective, and behavioural) [5];
    • structure of action and performance (causative-motivational, estimated research, the executive phases) [9, p. 11];
    • speech (causative-motivation, analytic-synthetic, performing levels of meaningful perception) [7].

The main cognitive skills are commonly involved in the process of intercultural business negotiations, which makes this type of communication a meaningful process of perception consisting of three levels – the causative-motivation, analytic-synthetic, and performing. Meaningful process of perception can be noticed at all stages of intercultural communication (Fig. 1):

  • the first two stages of negotiations correspond with perceptive communication level – mutual cognition stage;
  • the third stage of negotiations means interaction, building rapport, setting and maintaining relationship based on information derived from the previous two levels of interaction;
  • the forth negotiation stage refers to the level of communication leading to possibility of mutual understanding and consideration.

Fig. 1 - Negotiations process structure related to structure of communication, interpersonal interaction, and intercultural communication model

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Having outlined the stages of international negotiation process, we may assume that developed intercultural competence in future negotiators is likely to guarantee effectiveness and efficiency of negotiations. Alongside with negotiations stages preparation process includes four levels, which may serve to assess a negotiator:

  • Level A – cultural identity and intercultural awareness (the awareness and recognition of my own and other cultures, recognition of their influence on mentality and behaviour of partners) – corresponds to affective component;
  • Level A+ – tolerance and intercultural sensitivity (perception and understanding of cultural differences and values, background information about the situational and contextual features of negotiations, as reflected in cultural scenarios; ability to use cognitive skills, including observation, identification, comparison, analysis, classification, modelling situational and contextual negotiation parameters) – perceptual component;
  • Level B – cross-cultural orientation and cognitive modelling (identification and mapping, analysis and interpretation of the situational and contextual parameters of negotiations; decoding of frames of images by cluster modelling of cultural portraits of participants in the negotiations; identifying areas of cognitive misinterpretation; recognising and changing cultural scenario of negotiations) – cognitive component;
  • Level C – ability to successfully apply the knowledge and skills appropriate to the situation of intercultural negotiations; willingness and ability to effectively participate in cross-cultural communication with partners in different countries; ability to exercise flexibility, show willingness to recognize the differences in cultures, partially neutralize the dominant values of your own culture in order to achieve mutual understanding with partners – behavioral component

Cultural differences appear to be the variables that are the most important and, at the same time, difficult to understand. Participation in intercultural negotiations means possessing background knowledge and skills that enable to understand and interpret information and behaviour accurately based on cognitive activity of awareness, identification, comparison and interpretation of national and cultural concepts specific to a certain native or other cultures.



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