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Culture and Negotiation Strategy

Culture and Negotiation Strategy: A Framework for Future Research 

by Jeanne M. Brett, Brian C. Gunia, and Brosh M. Teucher 

from Abstract


The literature on the use and effectiveness of negotiation strategies reveals intriguing yet unexplained patterns of cultural differences. Negotiators in some regions of the world rely on the questions and answers (Q&A) strategy, typically associated with high trust and high joint gains, while negotiators in other regions of the world rely on the substantiation and offers (S&O) strategy, typically associated with low trust and low joint gains. Yet negotiators from some low-trust cultures use Q&A, negotiators from some high-trust cultures use S&O, and negotiators from some cultures achieve low joint gains through Q&A or high joint gains through S&O. To explain these anomalies, we propose an integrated framework involving three constructs from cultural psychology: cultural levels of trust, tightness–looseness, and holistic versus analytic mindset. Specifically, we propose that the interaction between trust and tightness–looseness can explain cultural differences in the use of negotiation strategies, while the interaction of these strategies with holistic versus analytic mindset can explain cultural differences in the effectiveness of negotiation strategies. In sum, we extend the boundaries of current research to develop a cultural rationale for anomalies in extant research, encouraging negotiation and management researchers to consider new constructs as their research “goes global.”

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