The Display of 'Dominant' Nonverbal Cues in Negotiation: The Role of Culture and Gender

International Negotiation, Vol. 16, No. 3, pp. 451-479, 2011

29 Pages Posted: 26 Feb 2012

See all articles by Zhaleh Semnani-Azad

Zhaleh Semnani-Azad

University of Waterloo - Department of Psychology

Wendi L. Adair

University of Waterloo - Department of Psychology

Date Written: March 26, 2011

Abstract

The current study extends prior negotiation research on culture and verbal behavior by investigating the display of nonverbal behaviors associated with dominance by male and female Canadian and Chinese negotiators. We draw from existing literature on culture, gender, communication, and display rules to predict both culture and gender variation in negotiators’ display of three nonverbal behaviors typically associated with dominance: relaxed posture, use of space, and facial display of negative emotion. Partici- pants engaged in a dyadic transactional negotiation simulation which we videotaped and coded for non- verbal expression. Our findings indicated that male Canadian negotiators engaged in more relaxed postures and displayed more negative emotion, while male Chinese negotiators occupied more space at the negotiation table. In addition, use of space and negative emotion partially mediated the relationship between culture and joint gains, as well as satisfaction with negotiation process. We discuss contributions to cross-cultural negotiation literature, implications for cross-cultural negotiation challenges, as well as future studies to address cultural variation in the interpretation of nonverbal cues.

Keywords: dominant behavior, negotiation, culture, gender, nonverbal communication

JEL Classification: D74

Suggested Citation

Semnani-Azad, Zhaleh and Adair, Wendi L., The Display of 'Dominant' Nonverbal Cues in Negotiation: The Role of Culture and Gender (March 26, 2011). International Negotiation, Vol. 16, No. 3, pp. 451-479, 2011. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2011109

Zhaleh Semnani-Azad (Contact Author)

University of Waterloo - Department of Psychology ( email )

200 University Avenue West
Waterloo, Ontario N2L 3G1
Canada

Wendi L. Adair

University of Waterloo - Department of Psychology ( email )

200 University Avenue West
Waterloo, Ontario N2L 3G1
Canada
519-888-4567 ext. 38143 (Phone)
519-746-8631 (Fax)

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