Negotiation refers to the collaboration between multiple parties in an endeavor to arrive at a mutually acceptable goal. For negotiations to be effective, they ought not to be perceived as being situations where parties are confronting others. Before the parties converge at the negotiating table, they ought to have established their wants and needs. These needs are supposed to represent concrete requirements while wants are those aspects that would facilitate business engagements. This means that for negotiations to be fruitful, the needs have to be fulfilled. Nevertheless, unfulfilled wants do not necessarily mean that negotiations have failed. The internet has facilitated negotiations, especially in situations where the parties happen to have originated from different countries (Buell, 1994; Berlo, 1960).
Online information sources have facilitated an increased positive affect toward English and greater communicative as well as negotiation competence. Online information sources enable the negotiators to acquire language and cultural skills through what is referred to as tandem learning. Online information facilitates a process where individuals interact as they attempt to learn each others’ languages and cultures through bilingual conversations. In recent years, this process of learning has been facilitated by the enhancement of virtual environments, especially the evolution of object-oriented domains. Object-oriented domains are designed to accommodate multiple users, a scenario which is exploited for effective business negotiations. Multi-user and object-oriented domains, MOOs, have been utilizing tools, such as virtual worlds and other learning websites, as they promote the acquisition of the second languages and other people’s cultures. Online information sources have facilitated amicable interactions between individuals from France, Italy, the Arab world, the United States, Korea, and Indonesia (Bing, 2004; Banaji, 2010).
Online information sources have enabled groups of individuals with complementally language and communication skills to learn the languages of each other by participating in mutually beneficial interactions. In this case, an Arabic learner of French may be connected with a French learner of the Arabic, so that the two individuals can learn from one another. Such interactions and learning are facilitated by alternating the roles of the Arabic learner with those of his/her French colleagues as they engage in the conversations. The conversation may be face-to-face, via e-mail, via chat systems, like Skype, or through audio- and video-conferencing. High level of assimilation has been witnessed where one of the parties happens to be an expert in the two languages, i.e. he/she is bilingual. Nevertheless, a remarkable learning is still possible even in situations where the concerned parties happen to be unilingual. Upon such cultural and language learning, it becomes easier to greet and communicate with each other whenever there is a formal meeting (Drucker, 1992; Austen & Irvine, 2002).
Individuals around the world have been interested in learning other people for quite some time. However, the traditional method of learning has proved ineffective due to the increasing work and life commitments. Technological advancement has, nevertheless, facilitated computer mediated communication and learning. There have been some remarkable achievements, although much remains to be done. One of the main challenges that hinder the effective of individual meeting and greeting is the misconceptions regarding the computer mediated communication. As such, there is a need to undertake research studies on the effectiveness of technology in bridging cultural and language barriers to individuals’ interactions. Upon the mitigation of that challenge, it would become easier for individuals from such countries as France, Indonesia, Italy, and India to meet and interact (Esty, 2004; Gadman, 2005).
Having a good first impression facilitates understanding between individuals from different cultural beliefs and traditions. It is for this reason that online information sources become valuable as they facilitate the mutual promotion of communication in a manner that meets each party at its comfort zone (Argyris, 1976). Fundamentally, online information sources help to create a situation whereby parties with different cultural backgrounds, upon meeting in a social setting, attempt to improve their socialization by enhancing each other’s communication and apprehension of what is presumed to be the correct code of conduct. Having an effective first impression enhances the level of exchange between the parties involved in negotiations. Foreigners who participate in any engagement ought to learn the culture and the language of the locals. In order to achieve the goal of such an endeavor, it would be beneficial to collaborate with their colleagues in the host countries, and/or the host families (Downing, 2003; Edwards, 2005).
Natives of different cultures need to communicate and share their cultural values in a manner that enables the parties to begin learning the words and phrases that are associated with each others’ language. In such a case, should one of the parties fail to comprehend something, others in the other group step in to explain the concepts that they have learnt in a few words, i.e. if an French fails to comprehend something, an Arab counterpart may step in to elaborate the concept using a few French terms (Argyris, 1993). In this case, assisted communication becomes mutually beneficial, especially when none in the two groups is bilingual. In the end, individuals may learn to communicate in a manner that is agreeable with each party’s beliefs. With the evolution of technology, it has become possible to utilize computers as tools for mediating during formal or informal exchanges. As such, individuals in distant locations can overcome the geographical barriers and learn each others’ languages the same way they would do it if they met physically. Consequently, this improves the effectiveness of the impression that either of the parties makes as soon as they meet for the first time (Easthorpe, 2004).
Globalization as well as the emergence of a cross-cultural business environment has tremendously redefined the working environment over the last decade. Individuals worldwide have increasingly been finding themselves associating with counterparts and colleagues from various cultures. Dealing with these diversities has been complicated and, as such, it necessitates an improved cross-cultural competence (Argyris, 1993). This is achieved through an effective training and cross-cultural awareness. In order to comprehend these differences, individuals ought to classify specific cultures into categories that provide referencing of other people’s attitudes towards a certain subject. One may need to appreciate that, for example, the Spanish speak in louder voices as compared to the British. Another example is that the Brazilians are more emotive than the Finnish. Although there happen to be some levels of truth in these assertions, such stereotypical representations may be oversimplified. This means that they could result into false assumptions (Colls & Dodd, 1986; Ailon, 2008).
As the world becomes more and more interconnected, computers have begun to be considered as convenient and useful tools for promoting intercultural communication as individuals endeavor to acquire proficiency in, say, second languages. In fact, computer-assisted language learning, CALL, provides the type of social interaction that is agreeable and implementable in most of the negotiating endeavors. This assignment was meant to facilitate the understanding of how such internet-based video conferencing tools as Skype have been facilitative of intercultural communication. The study was also meant to facilitate an increased and positive effect on the learning of languages such as English, a situation that, consequently, facilitates enhanced communicative competence. The study has evaluated many published studies that have documented the effectiveness of CALL in promoting the cultural integration as well as the second language acquisition (Avison & Fitzgerald, 2002).