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J Appl Psychol. 2013 May;98(3):504-13. doi: 10.1037/a0031908. Epub 2013 Mar 11.

Toward a culture-by-context perspective on negotiation: negotiating teams in the United States and Taiwan.

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Department of Psychology, University of Maryland, College Park, MD 20742, USA.


Within the United States, teams outperform solos in negotiation (Thompson, Peterson, & Brodt, 1996). The current research examined whether this team advantage generalizes to negotiators from a collectivist culture (Taiwan). Because different cultures have different social norms, and because the team context may amplify the norms that are salient in a particular culture (Gelfand & Realo, 1999), we predicted that the effect of teams on negotiation would differ across cultures. Specifically, we predicted that since harmony norms predominate in collectivist cultures like Taiwan, the team context would amplify a concern with harmony, leading Taiwanese teams to negotiate especially suboptimal outcomes. In support, 2 studies showed that Taiwanese teams negotiated less-optimal outcomes than Taiwanese solos. We also used a moderated-mediation analysis to investigate the mechanism (Hayes, 2012), documenting that the interactive effect of culture and context on outcomes was mediated by harmony norms. By showing that the same situational conditions (team negotiations) can have divergent effects on negotiation outcomes across cultures, our results point toward a nuanced, sociocontextual view that moves beyond the culture-as-main-effect approach to studying culture and negotiations.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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