Expatriate Managers as Negotiators: A Comparative Study on Australians in China and French in Brazil

  • Mona Chung
  • Kleber Luís Celadon


There has been an increase in the number of overseas assignments that are taken by expatriates. This chapter focuses on the challenges of communicating and negotiating in cross-cultural settings expatriates face when posted on overseas assignments. Using two case studies—Australian expatriates in China and French expatriates in Brazil—this chapter examines the importance of the home-country culture and the host-country culture in negotiation and communication. The chapter presents a conceptual framework illustrating why success in cross-cultural negotiation and communication of expatriate managers with local staff is essential to the success of the expatriates’ assignments. Beyond its contributions to understanding negotiation styles of people in the four countries we discuss, this chapter also contributes to the literature by focusing specifically on the role of managers and leaders who must communicate and negotiate around the world when posted on expatriate assignments. The comparative study illustrates the diverse and complex issues and interactions we now encounter in today’s globalized world, spotlighting the importance of negotiation and communication for expatriates seeking to transfer knowledge from one culture to another to achieve knowledge integration.


Communication Cross-cultural Expatriates Knowledge integration Negotiation 


  1. Adler, N., Braham, R., & Graham, J. L. (1992). Strategy Implementation: A Comparison of Face-to-face Negotiations in the People’s Republic of China and the United States. Strategic Management Journal, 13, 449–466.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Adler, N., & Graham, J. (1989). Cross-cultural Interaction: The International Comparison Fallacy? Journal of International Business Studies, 20, 515–537.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Barley, S. R., & Kunda, G. (2006). Contracting: A New Form of Professional Practice. Academy of Management Perspectives, 20(1), 45–65.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Berggren, C., Bergek, A., Bengtsson, L., & Söderlund, J. (2009). Exploring Knowledge Integration and Innovation. Oxford: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  5. Bloor, G., & Dawson, P. (1994). Understanding Professional Culture in Organizational Context. Organization Studies, 15(2), 275–295.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Boyacigiller, N., Kleinberg, J., Philips, M., & Sackmann, S. (2004). Conceptualizing Culture: Elucidating the Streams of Research in International Cross-cultural Management. In B. J. Punnet & O. Shenkar (Eds.), Handbook for International Management Research (pp. 99–167). Michigan: University of Michigan Press.Google Scholar
  7. Brem, A., & Wolfram, P. (2009). Integration of Market Pull and Technology Push in the Corporate Front End and Innovation Management—Insights from the German Software Industry. Technovation, 29(5), 351–367.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Bruns, H. (2012). Working Alone Together: Coordination in Collaboration Across Domains of Expertise. Academy of Management Journal, 56(1), 62–83.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Burdett, K., Shi, S., & Wright, R. (2001). Pricing and Matching with Frictions. Journal of Political Economy, 109(5), 1060–1085.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Cai, D., Wilson, S., & Drake, L. (2000). Culture in the Context of Intercultural Negotiation. Human Communication Research, 26, 591–617.Google Scholar
  11. Celadon, K. L. (2014). Knowledge Integration and Open Innovation in the Brazilian Cosmetics Industry. Journal of Technology Management & Innovation, 9(3), 34–50.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Chung, M. (2008). Shanghaied: Why Foster’s Could Not Survive China. Melbourne: Heidelberg Press.Google Scholar
  13. Chung, M. (2012). Doing Business Successfully in China. Oxford: Chadons Publishing.Google Scholar
  14. Cooper, R., & Kleinschmidt, E. (1995). Benchmarking the Firm’s Critical Success Factors in New Product Development. Journal of Product Innovation Management, 12, 374–391.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Darawong, C., & Igel, B. (2012). Acculturation of Local New Product Development Team Members in MNC Subsidiaries in Thailand. Asia Pacific Journal of Marketing and Logistics, 24(3), 351–371. Scholar
  16. Darawong, C., Igel, B., & Badir, Y. F. (2016). The Impact of Communication on Conflict Between Expatriate and Local Managers Working in NPD Projects of MNC Subsidiaries: A Local Perspective. Journal of Asia-Pacific Business, 17(1), 81–99.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Davis, K. E., & Trebilcock, M. J. (2008). The Relationship Between Law and Development: Optimists Versus Skeptics’. American Journal of Comparative Law, 56(4), 895–946.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Deutsch, M., & Coleman, P. T. (2000). The Handbook of Conflict Resolution: Theory and Practice. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.Google Scholar
  19. Eid, M., & Diener, E. (2001). Norms for Experiencing Emotions in Different Cultures: Inter- and Intranational Differences. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 81(5), 869–885.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Fayerweather, J., & Kapoor, A. (1972). Simulated International Business Negotiations. Journal of International Business Studies, 3(1), 19–31.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Fisher, R., Ury, W., & Patton, B. (1991). Getting to Yes: Negotiating an Agreement Without Giving In (2nd ed.). Sydney: Century Business.Google Scholar
  22. Garsten, C., & Haunschild, A. (2014). Transient and Flexible Work Lives: Liminal Organizations and The Reflexive Habitus. In B. Koene, N. Galais, & C. Garsten (Eds.), Management and Organization of Temporary Agency Work (pp. 23–37). New York: Routledge, Routledge Studies in Management, Organizations and Society.Google Scholar
  23. Gelfand, M. J., & Brett, J. M. (2004). The Handbook of Negotiation and Culture. Palo Alto, CA: Stanford University Press.Google Scholar
  24. George, J. M., Jones, G. R., & Gonzalez, J. A. (1998). The Role of Affect in Cross-cultural Negotiations. Journal of International Business Studies, 29, 749–772.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Grant, R. M. (1998). Contemporary Strategy Analysis. Massachusetts: Blackwell.Google Scholar
  26. Hall, E. T. (1976). Beyond Culture. New York: Doubleday.Google Scholar
  27. Hall, E. T., & Hall, M. R. (1990). Understanding Cultural Differences: Germans, French and Americans. Yarmouth: Intercultural Press.Google Scholar
  28. Harris, P. R., & Moran, R. T. (Eds.). (1979). Managing Cultural Differences. Houston: Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data.Google Scholar
  29. Hofstede, G. (1997). Cultures and Organizations: Software of the Mind. New York: McGraw-Hill.Google Scholar
  30. Hofstede, G., Neuijen, B., Ohayv, D. D., & Sangers, B. (1990). Measuring Organizational Cultures: A Qualitative and Quantitative Study Across Twenty Cases. Administrative Science Quarterly, 35(2), 286–316.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Huang, L. L. (1999). Interpersonal Harmony and Conflict. Taipei, Taiwan: Gui Guan.Google Scholar
  32. Jehn, K., Northcraft, G., & Gibson, C. (1999). Why Differences Make a Difference. A Field Study on Diversity, Conflict and Performance in Workgroups. Administrative Science Quarterly, 44, 741–763.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. Johansson, M., Axelson, M., Enberg, C., & Tell, F. (2011). Knowledge Integration in Inter-firm R&D Collaboration: How Do Firms Manage Problems of Coordination and Cooperation? In C. Berggren, A. Bergek, L. Bengtsson, M. Hobday, & J. Söderlund (Eds.), Knowledge Integration and Innovation (pp. 148–169). Oxford: Oxford University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. Kim, D., Pan, Y., & Park, H. S. (1998). High- Versus Low-Context Culture: A Comparison of Chinese, Korean, and American Cultures. Psychology and Marketing, 15(6), 507–521.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. Kogut, B., & Zander, I. (1992). Knowledge of the Firm, Combinative Capabilities and the Replication of Technology. Organization Science, 3, 383–397.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. Kuhn Inc., A. M. (2014). Kuhn Group Acquires Brazil Sprayer Manufacturer. Retrieved July 11, 2016, from
  37. Levitt, B., & March, J. G. (1988). Organizational Learning. Annual Review of Sociology, 14, 319–340.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. Li, H., Huang, C., Su, S. Y. W., & Higdon, B. (2002). Design and Implementation of Business Objects for Automated Business Negotiations. Group Decision and Negotiation, 11(1), 23–44.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  39. Mathisen, G., Einersen, S., & Jorstad, K. (2004). Climate for Work Group Creativity and Innovation: Norwegian Validation of the Team Climate Inventory (TCI). Scandinavian Journal of Psychology, 45, 383–392.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  40. Meyer, E. (2014). The Culture Map. New York: Public Affairs.Google Scholar
  41. Meyer, E. (2015). Getting to Si, Ja, Oiu, Hai and Da. Harvard Business Review.Google Scholar
  42. Nicolini, D., Gherardi, S., & Yanow, D. (Eds.). (2003). Knowing in Organizations: A Practice-Based Approach. New York: M.E.Sharpe.Google Scholar
  43. Penrose, E. T. (1959). The Theory of the Growth of the Firm. New York: John Wiley.Google Scholar
  44. Primecz, H., Romani, L., & Sackmann, S. (2011). Cross-cultural Management in Practice: Culture and Negotiate Meanings. Cheltenham: Edward Elgar.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  45. Pye, L. (1982). Chinese Commercial Negotiation Style. Cambridge, MA: US Airforce Report.Google Scholar
  46. Sankowska, A., & Söderlund, J. (2015). Trust, Reflexivity and Knowledge Integration: Toward a Conceptual Framework Concerning Mobile Engineers. Human Relations, 68(6), 973–1000.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  47. Söderlund, J., & Bredin, K. (2011). Participants in the Process of Knowledge Integration. Knowledge Integration and Innovation: Critical Challenges Facing Technology-based Firms. Oxford: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  48. Triandis, H. C. (1995). Individualism and Collectivism. Boulder: CO, Westview Press.Google Scholar
  49. Tse, D. K., Francis, J., & Walls, J. (1994). Cultural Differences in Conducting Intra- and Inter-cultural Negotiations: A Sino-Canadian Comparison. Journal of International Business Studies, 25, 537–555.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  50. Ulijn, J., Rutkowski, A. F., Kumar, R., & Zhu, Y. (2005). Patterns of Feelings in Face-to-face Negotiation: A Sino-Dutch Pilot Study. Cross Cultural Management: An International Journal, 12(3), 103–118.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Mona Chung
    • 1
  • Kleber Luís Celadon
    • 2
  1. 1.Cross Culture International (CCI)MelbourneAustralia
  2. 2.University of the West of EnglandBristolUK

Personalised recommendations