Cross Cultural Sales Negotiation

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International Marketing Review 15,1 10
Received April 1996 Revised May 1997 Accepted September 1997

Cross-cultural sales negotiations
A literature review and research propositions
Antonis C. Simintiras
The Open University Business School, Milton Keynes, UK, and

Andrew H. Thomas
European Business Management School, University of Wales, Swansea, UK
Introduction International business comprises a large and increasing portion of the world’s total trade (Johnson et al., 1994; Czinkota et al., 1995). The growth of international business has gained momentum faster than previously recorded, outstripping domestic business (Daniels and Radebaugh, 1995). The impact of such growth on many companies is that they are now “rushing to become
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French (Dupont, 1982); Mexicans (Fisher, 1980); Brazilians (Graham, 1983, 1985a); Middle Eastern Arabs (Muna, 1973; Wright, 1983); Chinese (Graham and Lin, 1987; Pye, 1982; Shenkar and Ronen, 1987; Tung 1984) and Japanese (Graham, 1984; Tung, 1984; Van Zandt, 1970)). Despite the rather rich literature pertaining to intra-cultural negotiation behaviours, there is little attention paid to inter-cultural or cross-cultural negotiation behaviour (Adler and Graham, 1989; Mintu and Calantone, 1991). International sales negotiations that occur across national boundaries are crosscultural (Adler, 1986), and a negotiation is cross-cultural “when the parties involved belong to different cultures and therefore do not share the same ways of thinking, feeling and behaving” (Casse, 1981, p. 152). Such cultural differences prevalent in cross-cultural negotiations can affect the process and its outcome (Hamner, 1980; Tse et al., 1988). Studies attempting a comparison of the various negotiation behaviours in different countries (Adler, 1986; Adler et al., 1987; Burt, 1989; Cambell et al., 1988; Copeland and Griggs, 1985; Foster, 1992; Graham et al., 1988; Harnett and Cummings, 1980; Hellweg et al., 1991; Herbig and Kramer, 1992; Weiss and Stripp, 1985) have mainly adopted an intra-cultural perspective and demonstrated that negotiation behaviours differ between cultures. Furthermore, a study by Druckman et
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