Culture, Accountability and Group Membership: A Dynamic Constructivist Approach to Cross-Cultural Negotiation
32 Pages Posted: 25 Oct 2009 Last revised: 20 Nov 2012
Date Written: June 15, 2009
Most cross-cultural research focuses on general differences or similarities between cultures, while little attention has been paid to when these differences emerge. A dynamic constructivist view of culture (Hong, Morris, Chiu, & Benet- Martínez, 2000; Morris & Fu, 2001) posits that culture impacts individuals’ behaviors through the activation of cultural knowledge in specific contexts. Using this approach, the present study examines how the interaction between cultural and situational factors affects business negotiation. Specifically, we predicted that only when they negotiate with ingroup members under high accountability conditions, would Chinese negotiators show greater relationship-oriented (vs. self-focused) tendencies than would American negotiators. A pilot negotiation simulation study with 108 Chinese students and a main study with 230 students from China and the United States provided support to our predictions. The implications of our studies to theory and practice are also discussed.
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