Blunt Electronics is a global conglomerate involved in the manufacturing, distribution, marketing and sales of consumer products such as household appliances, mobile phones, TVs and other consumer electronics. Its headquarters are in Japan, with distributors in most countries except for China and some of the African countries. There is growing shareholders’ pressure on Blunt Electronics to grow its sales and market share, given the slowing economy in the developed countries.
You are the founder of 24-SEVEN, a small group of three retail outlets that distribute and sell groceries, household appliances, toys and other miscellaneous items in Guangzhou, China.
24-SEVEN has been established for five years and sales had been growing by more than 20%
every year. It appears that despite facing stiff competition from larger local retail chains, the
24-SEVEN retail stores are popular with consumers, especially due to your in-depth knowledge of local consumer preferences. You are also well-known within the business community and have developed strong ties with landlords, government agencies and other stakeholders.
Most of the products sold by 24-SEVEN are local brands. Hence, you wish to expand your business into international brands by seeking to be appointed as the sole authorised distributor of Blunt Electronics in Guangzhou, China. You believe that there is a high demand for Japan-made products due to the increasing income level of consumers in Guangzhou and the perceived quality of a Japanese brand. There are many imitation products of Blunt Electronics in Guangzhou but with poorer quality.
The projected sales by 24-SEVEN of Blunt Electronic products are likely to reach close to US$800,000 by the end of a 3-year period. Your senior management team advised you that it would be fairly important for 24-SEVEN to be the exclusive distributor in order to seize market share within this 3-year period.
Since you have little experience in the marketing and sales of international brands and providing post-sales service for international brands, you know that Blunt Electronics would likely have reservations in appointing you as an authorised distributor of their products (let alone as an exclusive distributor) in Guangzhou.
Hence, you wish to set up a meeting with the representatives from the headquarters of Blunt Electronics to discuss this matter further. However, you anticipate that Blunt Electronics would only be sending their junior representatives to the meeting. The items for discussion during the meeting would include:
- Appointment of 24-SEVEN as the exclusive distributor for Blunt Electronics products in Guangzhou for a specific period.
- Request for Blunt Electronic to provide free sales and technical training for one year.
- Request for Blunt Electronics to co-fund up to US$15,000 for a huge publicity blitz and launch event to announce its appointment of 24-SEVEN as a distributor in Guangzhou.
(a) For a successful integrative approach to negotiations, you must first establish the appropriate environment and context for the negotiation to take place.
Examine the four (4) key contextual factors that are critical to the proposed meeting. In your analysis:
- identify and discuss the key contextual factors, and
- analyse the actions that you must take to establish the right context.
Support your analysis with specific examples, based on the case scenario above.
(b) Identify and analyse two (2) major sources of power which you possess vis-à-vis the representatives from Blunt Electronics. Explain how you should leverage on these two (2) sources of power to achieve positive results from the meeting.
To prepare yourself for the meeting, you would need to formulate a plan on how to successfully implement a win-win negotiation strategy. Use the 10-step planning process to examine and discuss in detail any seven (7) of the 10 steps that are required for achieving a positive result for both Blunt Electronics and 24-SEVEN, including the selection of a choice of venue for the meeting.
Illustrate the steps with specific examples that are relevant to the above case scenario. To demonstrate a good understanding of the concepts, your plan should:
- frame the issues in a way that is positive and mutually acceptable to both parties and would preferably be presented as goals to be achieved; and
- demonstrate critical thinking skills in the definition of bargaining mix, interests and
resistance points, among other things.
Conduct research into Hofetede’s four cultural dimensions for China and Japan, given that the negotiating parties are from these 2 countries.
Assess the characteristics typically exhibited by the above countries under the Hofstede’s dimensions. Evaluate how these characteristics would likely influence the representatives’ behaviour during the negotiation process.
Identify two (2) significant risks of being too culturally responsive to such characteristics and discuss how you would mitigate such risks.
For your research, you should refer to textbooks, research articles and/or validated sources of information available on the internet. Remember to cite the sources of your researc
Prepare a set of PowerPoint presentation based on only ONE (1) question (out of the three questions in Section A above). PowerPoint slide is to explain in detail on the Issue, Rule, Application and Conclusion of the chosen case. PowerPoint slide has to be around 8-10 slides.