A critical discourse analysis of negotiations between business and Aboriginal peoples : implications for strategic management of crosscultural knowledge
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The concept and use of knowledge in business studies is predominantly determined by a Western interpretation, with strategic management theory and practice positioning knowledge as a key factor in the creation of competitive advantage. The thesis examines Western and Aboriginal ways of knowing, and explores the presuppositions of knowledge in Western culture.Utilising critical theory the thesis has researched and penetrated the cultural interface between Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal people during business negotiations. The research is a first order interpretation by a non-Aboriginal researcher that critically analyses and unpacks the non-Aboriginal discourse of cross-cultural negotiations. The thesis reveals the impact of Western normative culture on the construction of cross-cultural knowledge.It is argued the current Western orientation of strategic management theory fails cross-cultural negotiations, and that ways of knowing outside the paradigm of traditional strategic management research can provide a broader understanding of knowledge and improve cross-cultural negotiations. The thesis argues that the models for understanding national cultures are Western orientated models that may have inherent cultural limits. The thesis draws upon frame theory, and argues that cultural schema and mental models known as frames have a significant impact on cross-cultural negotiations.The significance of the research resides in two primary areas. Firstly the literature regarding knowledge in strategic management is inclined to be positivist with a strong Western academic influence. This thesis argues that the literature and discipline of strategic management will be enriched by a more heterogenous approach to knowledge through a diversity of research paradigms, and through understanding other cultural approaches to knowledge. This thesis contributes through an interpretive perspective to strategic management theory and practice.Secondly the research contributes to the literature, theory and practice of cross-cultural negotiations. Specifically there is a paucity of literature on Aboriginal and non- Aboriginal negotiations, and this thesis through the critical discourse analysis of negotiations provides a significant insight into this cultural interface. Frame theory assists understanding how non-Aboriginal negotiators make meaning during cross-cultural negotiations and how this influences their understanding of knowledge.The thesis concludes with two key recommendations. Firstly that strategic management research, theory and practice will be well served by a broader approach to knowledge. This will be achieved by recognising that a positivist approach to research in strategic management has limitations, and the management models of knowledge have culturally imbued presuppositions or schema that frame our interpretation of ways of knowing. Secondly two models for cross-cultural negotiations are proposed. The models recommend that we suspend our own constructs of reality to engage with other ways of knowing in a reflective process to generate new schemas of knowledge.
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