This quote was taken from a paper written for the Journal of International Business Studies entitled Cross-Cultural Interaction: The International Comparison Fallacy?
“Few Americans take pride in changing their minds, even in difficult circumstances. Certainly John Wayne’s character and behavior were constant and predictable. He treated everyone and every situation with his action-oriented, forthright style. He could never be accused of being a chameleon. Many American bargainers take the same attitude with them to the negotiation table, but during international business negotiations, inflexibility can be a fatal flaw.”
Rather unfair on Americans; personally I’m not a huge fan of such sweeping generalisations, but then this whole post will be dealing in generalisations.
Styles of negotiation vary markedly across cultures. Although cultural stereotypes are simplistic, many of them contain elements of truth. For example, Asians generally prefer to use a consensus based team style in negotiations, Americans are likely to give one negotiator complete control, Mediterranean cultures can become “confrontational”, and negotiations with Middle Eastern cultures can be drawn out and contain many subtleties.
Effective negotiators recognise and manage the impact of each different situation on the bargaining process from both their own and their opponent’s cultural perspective.
Rather than listing every country and their cultural differences, I found this incredibly helpful website, should you wish to investigate further World Business Culture.