The Effect of the Partner's Emotions

Most studies on emotion in negotiations focus on the effect of the negotiator's own emotions on the process. However, what the other party feels might be just as important, as group emotions are known to affect processes both at the group and the personal levels. When it comes to negotiations, trust in the other party is a necessary condition for its emotion to affect, and visibility enhances the effect. Emotions contribute to negotiation processes by signaling what one feels and thinks and can thus prevent the other party from engaging in destructive behaviors and to indicate what steps should be taken next: PA signals to keep in the same way, while NA points that mental or behavioral adjustments are needed.

Partner's emotions can have two basic effects on negotiator's emotions and behavior: mimetic/ reciprocal or complementary. For example, disappointment or sadness might lead to compassion and more cooperation. In a study by Butt et al. (2005) which simulated real multi-phase negotiation, most people reacted to the partner's emotions in reciprocal, rather than complementary, manner. Specific emotions were found to have different effects on the opponent's feelings and strategies chosen:

• Anger caused the opponents to place lower demands and to concede more in a zero-sum negotiation, but also to evaluate the negotiation less favorably. It provoked both dominating and yielding behaviors of the opponent.

• Pride led to more integrative and compromise strategies by the partner.

• Guilt or regret expressed by the negotiator led to better impression of him by the opponent, however it also led the opponent to place higher demands. On the other hand, personal guilt was related to more satisfaction with what one achieved.

• Worry or disappointment left bad impression on the opponent, but led to relatively lower demands by the opponent.

Problems with Lab. Negotiation Studies

Negotiation is a rather complex interaction. Capturing all its complexity is a very difficult task, let alone isolating and controlling only certain aspects of it. For this reason most negotiation studies are done under laboratory conditions and focus only on some aspects. Although lab studies have their advantages, they do have major drawbacks when studying emotions:

• Emotions in lab studies are usually manipulated and are therefore relatively 'cold' (not intense). Although those 'cold' emotions might be enough to show effects, they are qualitatively different from the 'hot' emotions often experienced during negotiations.

• In real life there is self-selection to which negotiation one gets into, which effects the emotional commitment, motivation and interests. However this is not the case in lab. studies.

• Lab studies tend to focus on relatively few well defined emotions. Real life scenarios provoke a much wider scale of emotions.

• Coding the emotions has a double catch: if done by a third side, some emotions might not be detected as the negotiator sublimates them for strategic reasons. Self report measures might overcome this, but they are usually filled only before or after the process and if filled during the process might interfere with it.

The Pervasive Impact of Culture on International Negotiations

The primary purpose of this section is to demonstrate the extent of cultural differences in negotiation styles and how these differences can cause problems in international business negotiations. The reader will note that national culture does not determine negotiation behavior. Rather, national culture is one of many factors that influence behavior at the negotiation table, albeit an important one. For example, gender, organizational culture, international experience, industry or regional background can all be important influences as well. Of course, stereotypes of all kinds are dangerous and international negotiators must get to know the people they are working with, not just their culture, country, or company.

The material here is based on systematic study of international negotiation behavior over the last three decades in which the negotiation styles of more than 1,500 businesspeople in 17 countries (21 cultures) were considered. The work involved interviews with experienced executives and participant observations in the field, as well as behavioral science laboratory work including surveys and analyses of videotaped negotiations. The countries studied were Japan, S. Korea, China (Tianjin, Guangzhou and Hong Kong), Vietnam, Taiwan, the Philippines, Russia, Israel, Norway, the Czech Republic, Germany, France, the United Kingdom, Spain, Brazil, Mexico, Canada (English-speakers and French-speakers) and the United States. The countries were chosen because they constitute America's most important present and future trading partners. Looking broadly across the several cultures, two important lessons stand out. The first is that regional generalizations very often are not correct. For example, Japanese and Korean negotiation styles are quite similar in some ways, but in other ways they could not be more different. The second lesson learned from the research is that Japan is an exceptional place: On almost every dimension of negotiation style considered, the Japanese are on or near the end of the scale. For example, the Japanese use the lowest amount of eye contact of the cultures studied. Sometimes, Americans are on the other end. But actually, most of the time Americans are somewhere in the middle. The reader will see this evinced in the data presented in this section. The Japanese approach, however, is most distinct, even sui generis.

Cultural differences cause four kinds of problems in international business negotiations, at the levels of:

 
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