Effects of Culture, Power, and the Problem-Solving Approach on International Bilateral Negotiations: A U.S.-Japan Comparison of Simulated Negotiation Processes and Outcomes

problem solvingChiharu Okajima
George Mason University

16th Annual IACM Conference Melbourne, Australia

Abstract:
The issues of culture and power have been frequently debated in the study of negotiation. The problem-solving approach which considers needs and concerns of the adversary has received growing attention. This study is designed to investigate effects of these variables on the process and outcomes of international bilateral negotiations. Using simulation research methods, the study makes comparisons between U.S. and Japanese negotiators and between symmetric and asymmetric negotiations. The study further examines the effectiveness of the problem-solving approach by comparing negotiations in which one of the negotiators is instructed to use the approach to those in which neither of them is instructed to use it. Results indicate that the cultural variable affects the process and outcomes of international bilateral negotiations more significantly than the power and approach variables. For instance, U.S. dyads spent fewer minutes to resolve negotiation issues and reached more agreement.

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