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It can be argued that cases of successful negotiators in businesses have always kept their vision of success straight. These people are
This briefing paper has highlighted the challenges in terms of varying negotiating styles that can be faced by The Body Shop. These include cultural barriers, communication barriers from the perspective of Hofstede model or time orientation, space orientation, nonverbal communication, power distance and uncertainty avoidance. The next section has briefed about the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats that the company can face by setting their operations in Nigeria. Finally, the conclusions have focused on the precautionary measures that need to be taken by the manger of The Body Shop Company while carrying successful operations in Nigeria.
2 Terms of Reference
This report is written as a part of management consultancy report for The Body Shop company. This report is a short briefing paper that will inform The Body Shop with the ways that can be adopted by the company to set up business operations in Nigeria. This report will provide a brief on the ways and styles of negotiation that can be adopted by The Body Shop. The Body Shop is the world's second largest cosmetic franchise in the world. The company runs about 2400 shops in a total of 61 countries. The headquarters of The Body Shop is based in West Sussex England. The company has now decided to open their operations in Nigeria.
This report is being compiled by ABC consultants, who
3 Overview of the Situation
In considering the cultural differences in both the Nigeria and Europe, it is important to expand on the cultural dimensions presented by
The literature suggests that managers and officials in Nigeria have very limited exposure to other cultures and hence like to perform their activities the way they want to perform (Katz, 2008).
Nigerians normally believe in sharing information as a means to develop trust but on the other hand side the other party must beware of the frauds that are a common practice (Graham et al., 1994). Normally the pact with which these negotiations take place is quite slow (Katz, 2008). The act of building relationships with Nigerians, bargaining and decision making takes much longer than expected (Katz, 2008). It is advisable for The Body Shop to be patient and control emotions about this delay because it is a part of their culture (Katz, 2008). It is worthwhile for the Body shop to keep in mind that the Nigerians prefer a polychromic work style (LeBaron, 2008). They normally take up on a number of things at the same time (LeBaron, 2008). At the time of negotiation, the Nigerians keep jumping back and forth on different topics rather than addressing one at a time (LeBaron, 2008). Whereas, the Europeans follow a monochromic style and consider one thing at a time (LeBaron, 2008). This may confuse the personnel of Body Shop. When it comes to bargaining, the Nigerians love haggling and feel offended if not welcomed (LeBaron, 2008). The Body Shop have to keep in mind that they facts can be revisited to their advantage, provided if Nigerians reciprocate on agreed areas (LeBaron, 2008).
3.2 Time Orientations
There are two different orientations to time that exist in the world. These are the monochromic and polychromic cultures (Kirkman et al., 2006)
3.2.1 Negotiators from Polychronic culture
It should be kept in mind that Nigerians have no fixed timings for meetings (Reisinger and Crotts, 2010)
They take more breaks in work (Soares et al., 2007)
Are normally comfortable with high level of information
Normally overlap talks
Consider the start time of anything as flexible and not take lateness
3.2.2 Negotiators from Monochronic cultures
The culture in Europe follow specific timings for beginning and ending the task (Taras et al., 2010a)
They prefer scheduled breaks (Taras et al., 2010b)
Consider one thing at a time (Williams and Zinkin, 2008)
They rely on specific and detailed authentic communication
Like talking in sequence
Consider lateness as devaluing
3.3 Space Orientations
These space orientations also vary across different cultures (LeBaron, 2008). This refers to the physical distance that is considered comfortable according to a specific culture (Arrindell, 2003, Baskerville, 2003). The personal space that is preferred in Europe is much more than that in developing countries like Nigeria. This space will also consider the aspect of eye contact. In Europe the eye contact is taken for its reliability whereas in Nigeria it may be seen considered as disrespectful (Eckhardt, 2003, Ford et al., 2003, Peterson, 2003). There are many differences in spatial preferences based on age, gender, generation and class which needs to be taken into account (Lederach, 1995). Therefore, space needs to be considered as a variable in negotiation (Lederach, 1995).
3.4 Nonverbal Communication
It can be one of the problems that The Body Shop needs to take into consideration. It can be argued that in intercultural studies, some cultures uses silence as one of the ways to negotiate, whereas some use none at all (Nancy, 1997). Nigerians may consider hugging as a trusting relationship whereas Europeans find it too intimate (Sharma, 2003).
3.5 Power distance
Hofstede uses power distance to explain the degree of acceptance of unequal power among people (Tavakoli et al., 2003) Generally, in Nigeria the power distance among people is quite much, where some are considered superior to others due to factors such as social status, age, race, gender and education. Whereas, in Europe the power distance is less and advocates equality among individuals (Williamson, 2002). Generally, Nigerians have hierarchical structures, clear authority figures and consider their right to use their power (Yoo and Donthu, 2002) Whereas, in Europe there are flat organizational structures, shared authority and consider their right to use power only in some circumstances (Yoo and Donthu, 2002)
3.6 Uncertainty Avoidance
It related to the national culture that relates to uncertainty and the degree of adapting to change (Ford et al., 2003) It can be argued that Nigeria does not welcome uncertainty and ambiguity. Nigerians normally place high value to risk avoidance and depend on following formal rules and procedures (Ford et al., 2003) It is normally not a common thing to trust a
It refers to the extent to which a culture values boldness (Cronje, 2011) It also refers to the role of men and women in organizations (Cronje, 2011) The Europeans are more assertive and task-oriented as opposed to Nigerians. There are rigid gender roles in Nigerian culture as opposed to that in Europe (Cronje, 2011)
Nigerian follows direct and straight forward communication when it comes to friends and business (Migliore, 2011). They can easily say "no" in case they do not like something in particular. In early stages of business they may seem non-committed and communicate indirectly. In situations of silence shows anger or displeasure. Nigerians also value eye contact (Migliore, 2011).
4 Analysis of Situation
4.1SWOTof Body Shop
The Body Shop has a team of management that has specific expertise
One of its weaknesses is that the image it tries to portray does not parallel reality. The company claims for having natural products but they are seldom fresh. Other negative for them is that there will be hostility by the locals because the people generally don't want outsiders to operate in their country. The company will have to bear the cultural barriers; including language and gestures etc. the Nigerians welcome bribes in many cases, hence making it confusing and difficult for The Body shop to understand what is required by the other party (Hartman and Beck-Dudley, 1999).
The major threats that will be posed to The Body Shop will be the local cosmetic providers that already have been serving in the market for decades. The local people living in Nigeria will find it confusing and difficult to make the initial switch
5 PESTEL Analysis of Body Shop in Both Countries
A PESTEL analysis of Body shop in both countries has also been conducted. Body Shop has a number of political issues which would be important for the company (Awe, 2000). In Nigeria, the company would have to deal to deal with uncertainty and political turmoil, as the government is not stable. In
6 Solutions and Recommendations
It has been concluded that it is completely difficult to track the starting points that are used by the negotiators belonging from different national settings. The reason for this is that cultures are constantly changing with changing times. From another perspective, it can be argued that cross-cultural negotiation literature is based on the