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1617-1 FPTLI01 Negotiation Prof.

Jos Paiva
20141110722 Susana Arenas
What type of negotiators are Venezuelans?

When we try to understand how nations negotiate, we have to see not


only the tactics that are inherent to each type of negotiation -whether it be
distributive or integrative negotiation. We also have to analyze the cultural
background that underlies each individual involved in the process and how his
or her mutual interaction changes the course of a diplomatic procedure.
The most general way in which we can differentiate the type of society
that we deal with is thru the determining of their ethos: in diplomatic relations,
there are either individualistic or interdependent negotiators. Individualistic
negotiators tend to protect individual freedoms, self-expression, they defend
equality in society and politics, they acquire their status, as well as they
criticize authority when necessary; whereas the interdependent societies are
accustomed to defend their Status, the clan/family they belong to and resolute
conflict by way of communal conciliation. According to Cohen, societies in
Western nations show an individualistic type of ethos, whereas the non-Western
ones tend to act under an interdependent ethos.
Thus, Venezuelans fall into the individualistic category: being located in
the Western Hemisphere, they tend to adopt a stance that defends their
personal interests (be it their concerns, personal rights, opinions or moral
standards); unlike, for example, the Japanese, which tend to consider
diplomatic aspects of a negotiation in a collective manner than in an individual
one. In this sense, Glaser (2005) argues: in collectivist cultures,
communication tends to be very context-sensitive. Communication forms
emphasize
politeness,
relationship-building,
tact,
and
even
indirectness. However, being a country that has many economic ties with
Asian powerhouses like China, Venezuelans should also consider how their
ethos influences the diplomatic relations and thus take a global perspective
that helps them comprehend the way the other party acts in the process, so as
to keep a stable relationship. In short, they have to understand that the cultural
differences between the parties in order to take the negotiation into a mutually
beneficial outcome.
Another aspect of diplomatic negotiation is the use of language
according to High- and Low-context Cultures. Under this category, Venezuelans
are classified as a Low-context culture. In terms of social behavior, Venezuelans
tend to adopt a guilt-oriented and verbally explicit use of language when
interacting among each other as well as with foreigners. Venezuelans take a
strong position when it comes to talking about important issues like politics
(left or right?) and economics (socialist or capitalist?). One possible theory
regarding this aspect could be related to Venezuelans sense of idiosyncrasy
the need they have to defend their ideas/concerns/interests against others. In
this way, it is recommendable that they seek for ways in which they can
manage their attitude regarding certain topics and understand that there may
be differing viewpoints when dealing with issues of diplomatic concern.

Finally, there is the issue of determining whether Venezuelans behave as


a monochromic or a polychronic society. In this aspect, Venezuelans are a
monochronic type of negotiators. According to Cohen (1991), monochronic
negotiators believe that time is a key factor in determining when concessions
are to be made or when is it time to walk away from the negotiation, as well as
they believe that getting things done is a prevailing motto under this
category. Regarding this classification, Glaser states: monochronic cultures
tend to regiment time [so much that] schedules and timetables are given great
weight. (2005) Thus, Venezuelans are accustomed to dealing with each issue
in an individual manner, and therefore tend to manage individual deadlines to
each issue at hand.
Meanwhile, the polychronic type of negotiators (usually present in nonWestern cultures) are accustomed to deal with different issues jointly and plan
their deadlines on a daily or weekly basis. Unlike monochromic societies, the
polychronic ones are multitasking and can manage interruptions in the
negotiating process in an effective way. Therefore, they are conscious that that
they will achieve an outcome eventually, without giving too much importance
to the time haste that is very common within their monochromic counterparts.
In conclusion, Venezuelans are classified as an individualistic and
monochronic diplomatic type of negotiator, who use a low-context type of
language use. As a society living in a globalized world, it is important that they
seek for counseling in understanding how non-Western societies behave and
what are their perceptions on society and use of time, if they want to maintain
strong economic ties with the East. Finally, it is imperative that Venezuelans
comprehend that they must diversify their negotiating tactics depending on the
party they address: only in this way they will be able to preserve and even
strengthen their foreign economic and political ties with their allies, and even
possibly broaden their diplomatic relations with other countries.

Reference:

Glaser, T. (2005) Conflict Research Consortium BOOK SUMMARY Negotiating Across Cultures: Communication Obstacles in International
Diplomacy. Retrieved from the Online Training Program on Intractable
Conflict: http://www.colorado.edu/conflict/peace/example/cohe7517.htm.