Culture and Accountability in Negotiation: Recognizing the Importance of In-Group Relations
15 Pages Posted: 1 Jun 2012 Last revised: 12 Dec 2012
Date Written: 2012
We extend Gelfand and Realo’s (1999) argument that accountability motivates negotiators from relationally-focused cultures to use a more pro-relationship approach during negotiations. Our research shows that the effect they predict is found only when the other negotiating partner is an in-group member. Specifically, in two studies involving participants from China (a relationally-focused culture) and the US (a less relationally-focused culture), we found that only when negotiating with an in-group member are Chinese participants under high accountability more likely to use a pro-relationship approach than those under low accountability. Consequently, the differences between Chinese and American participants in the use of a pro-relationship approach occur only when they negotiate with an in-group member under high accountability. The strong attention to relationships, however, results in higher fixed-pie perceptions and lower joint gains. The implications of our findings for theory and practice are discussed.
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation