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The influence of Indian culture on negotiation from a French perspective

Benjamin Vindry (CDH, Manali, India)
Florence Gervais (Marketing Department, IDRAC Business School, Lyon, France)

Journal of Management Development

ISSN: 0262-1711

Article publication date: 8 October 2019




With India becoming a strategic trading partner for France, the purpose of this paper is to identify and describe cultural differences between India and France in order to achieve three main objectives: What traits or values are salient for Indians when negotiating with French people? The second to assess the utility and appropriateness of cultural dimensions as described by Hofstede (1991, 2001) and Trompenaars (1993, 2004) to gain insight into this process, and finally to prepare a French businessman to negotiate with an Indian partner.


A qualitative approach is best to achieve the research objectives. Expert profiles were defined according to the guidelines set out by Bogner et al. (2009). Snowball sampling method was used, whereby the first French businessmen interviewed provided contacts of other negotiators. Six semi-directive interviews were conducted lasting 1 h and 30 min each. Data collection and analysis were carried out according to Gioia’s proposed methodology (Gioia et al., 2013).


This qualitative inquiry enabled a deep inductive analysis, resulting in the emergence of seven key characteristics of the negotiation process in India. Cultural dimensions as defined by Hofstede (1991, 2001) and Trompenaars (1993, 2004) are useful in explaining four of these. However, three other characteristics cannot be directly related to these cultural dimensions, and among them, the seventh characteristic, the importance of having an Indian mediator in the negotiation, emerges as an original and decisive advantage for the foreign partner.

Research limitations/implications

Interviewing a larger sample of experts would strengthen the precision, validity and reliability of the findings. Furthermore, investigating buyer–seller relationships and negotiation theories would help to gain an alternative and complementary insight into this complex topic.


Cultural differences between France and India are a poorly documented and under-researched topic.



Vindry, B. and Gervais, F. (2019), "The influence of Indian culture on negotiation from a French perspective", Journal of Management Development, Vol. 38 No. 9, pp. 755-770.



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