Perception of Negotiation Partner:
Cultural Differences from Perspective of Estonians

Vol:10 No.1 / 2009

Maaja Vadi
University of Tartu, Estonia

Triin Kask
University of Tartu, Estonia

Kadri Karma
University of Tartu, Estonia
Phone: +372 7376 232
Fax: +372 7376 312

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      Negotiations are a means for entrepreneurial communication and the manner how participants in negotiations treat each other is very much influenced by their cultural background. Cultural background pro¬vides individuals an understanding of their partner’s role from various perspectives. Several cultural orientations have been proposed by different authors to measure cultures. Cultural orientation is considered a relative phenomenon and thus the way other cultures are perceived depends largely on the perceiver.

      Estonia is a small country which was ruled by various powers but Russian and German impact is mentioned the most often. Both of these countries also play an important role in Estonia’s economy and hence it is interesting and valuable to gain better understanding of how Estonians perceive them in the framework of entrepreneurial communication. The aim of the study is to draw some implications for entrepreneurs by way of studying Estonians’ views on Germans’ and Russians’ negotiation behavior. The study was based on the framework of Hofstede’s cultural dimensions using qualitative research method. The findings, along with other issues, bring up three aspects for entrepreneurs to consider when dealing with international negotiations. Limited experience and the perception of differences may lead to generation of stereotypes among entrepreneurs. Therefore, education and thorough investigation would be beneficial for acquiring efficient negotiation behavior.

      Keywords: negotiations, entrepreneurship, national culture, Hofstede’s dimensions, perception of partner

Pages: 163 - 175