The Alpha-Beta Case

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The case “Alpha – Beta” is a very interesting case, which could be considered as one of my most favorable cases so far. What interested me was the fact that we had to act totally different from our conventional style. In fact, we were asked to behave collectively, formally, indirectly, patiently, unemotionally and passively. Although we could not make the deal, we all found this outcome understandable and predictable. What we learned from the exercise was to be aware of the existence of cross-cultural differences as well as how these differences affect our negotiation outcomes, then find out what should we do in the similar negotiation in our future. In the “Alpha – Beta” exercise, we played the role of Beta – the leading electrical manufacturer …show more content…

Royalty rate 5.5% From our perspective, there are two reasons that made us unable to come up with the mutual agreement. The first reason was quite similar to other cases, that is, the big gap between two parties’ expectation and reservation point, which led to the negative bargaining zone (negative ZOPA). The second one, which was the main reason in this case, was cultural differences between Alpha and Beta team. My following analysis and learning points will focus more on the latter. Not until the negotiation ended, did I realized that both parties somehow had misinterpreted the counterparty behaviours. Specifically, the aggressiveness of Alpha team did not mean that they were rude and superficial. They just wanted to show their true desire in Alphan – Beta collaboration and that they were business – focused negotiators. In addition, our indirect negotiation style did not mean that we did not respect the counterparty or we did not appreciate this relationship. In fact, we just intended to make a friendly business atmosphere and negotiated step by step. Besides, the different education background and social values in Alphan and Betan nations constituted the different characteristics between people in each team. For these reasons, I think if we had been provided more information about the counterparty’s cultural characteristics, we could have prepared a better negotiation plan and applied different negotiation style which might have improved the negotiation outcomes or at …show more content…

The adjustment in negotiation style could be in time orientation, focal point selections (substance or relationship), team setting (individual or group) and communication patterns (the way to start negotiation, make offer or refuse offer, etc.). Good preparation and better understanding the cultural differences is believed to create chance to reveal both sides’ interests and expand the bargaining zone. As a result, it will be more possible that the deal could be made in win – win

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