The Negotiator Magazine

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"A deal is a prediction. A negotiation is always about the future," Professor Salacuse states (p.62). It is a true statement about all deals whether local or global, but particularly significant in the cross-cultural environment.

The wise negotiator recognizes that negotiators are "inherently incapable of predicting all of the events and conditions that may affect their transactions in the future" (p.65). Additionally, due to resource constraints and cultural differences, the understandings and expectations of the parties are rarely capable of being fully captured in the written contract. Given these factors, Salacuse concludes, may be "more realistic to think of the transaction as a continuing negotiation" rather than a deal fixed in time. (pp.185-186).

"Various studies," Professor Salacuse writes, " have found that between 33 percent and 70 percent of international alliances surveyed eventually broke up" (p.194). Given this record, the author approaches international negotiations and agreements as encompassing three distinct, but closely related essential areas: making the deal, managing the deal and mending the deal. His approach is cross-cultural, practical and insightful.

The global negotiator will find a lengthy and thorough guide to preparing and negotiating international agreements. The author takes the reader through such matters as selecting the place for the negotiations to recognizing and managing the many cultural differences that will be encountered and need to be overcome in an international deal. We find advice on handling cultural barriers ranging from concepts of time and differences in styles to the structure of the deal itself.

Additionally, the author examines such critical matters as who’s law will apply, dealing with foreign government officials at the table, and the complexities as moving money and sharing risk among the parties. It is a wide-ranging and complete exploration of the field.

Importantly, Professor Salacuse moves from negotiating the deal to examinations of managing and mending international agreements. Treated for clarity as separate sections, these topics are intended as elements to be explored and included in the negotiation of the basic agreement itself. How will the parties manage the relationship is a critical question. There is valuable advice on planning for this process in the second section of his work.

In the last section of his work, the author turns to the third vital area of global negotiations: deal mending and dispute resolution. If we know that disputes and changed circumstances are probable, then prudent negotiators need to include methods of handling these matters in their original agreement.

Professor Salacuse explores three types of renegotiations that are expectable in the life cycle of the deal: post deal, intra deal, extra deal (p.229). He then turns his attention to the need for the parties to plan and incorporate into the deal method for resolving disputes. Here, the author again provides a thorough discussion of the operation, benefits and disadvantages of the international dispute resolution options along a continuum ranging from negotiation through mediation to arbitration and finally to adjudication. It is a valuable review.

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