Meritullinraitti 8 B23, 90100 Oulu, Finland
This paper is a report of an on-going study of intercultural business negotiations. Two meetings were under scrutiny: a company-internal strategy meeting of a sales team (‘the sellers’ internal meeting’), which was analysed on a general level for goals and other background information; a client negotiation with the same sellers meeting a potential customer, which was under detailed analysis for its interactional structure and the realisation of goals. The analysis revealed some interactional strategies that were used by the negotiators when trying to reach goals as a sales team in a competitive business context, when the goals are known as they have been expressed in the sellers’ internal meeting. Although business negotiations have been shown to be constrained by factors such as the surrounding business context and seller and buyer behaviour of a particular kind, according to the results of the present study the goals the participants attempt to achieve in a negotiation structure the interaction. This would mean that the factors constraining the negotiators’ behaviour are not static but are modified by the goals the negotiators set out to achieve.