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Tension and trust in international business negotiations: American executives negotiating with Chinese executives

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  • Kam-hon Lee

    (Faculty of Business Administration, The Chinese University of Hong Kong, Shatin, New Territories, Hong Kong SAR, China)

  • Guang Yang

    (Faculty of Marketing, Bryant University, Smithfield, RI, USA)

  • John L Graham

    (Paul Merage School of Business, University of California, Irvine, CA, USA)

Abstract

The purpose of the study is to shed light on the antecedents and consequences of tension felt during international business negotiations. A total of 176 American and Chinese executives participated in simulated international business (buyer–seller) negotiations. The negotiations were videotaped, and the participants completed questionnaires. Each participant was also asked to review his/her videotaped negotiation, rate the tension felt on a videotape review form, and briefly describe the antecedents of the tension felt. The data collected were then analyzed using first a structural equations approach and then a more exploratory content analysis. Both Chinese and American executives felt tension during the negotiations. For the Chinese, greater levels of tension led to an increased likelihood of agreement, but also led to lower levels of interpersonal attraction and in turn lower trust for their American counterparts. For the Americans, tension felt decreased marginally the likelihood of an agreement, did not affect interpersonal attraction, but did have a direct negative effect on trust. A series of other cultural differences are also reported. The measure of tension felt developed in the study appears to be useful methodologically, theoretically, and practically. Journal of International Business Studies (2006) 37, 623–641. doi:10.1057/palgrave.jibs.8400215

Suggested Citation

  • Kam-hon Lee & Guang Yang & John L Graham, 2006. "Tension and trust in international business negotiations: American executives negotiating with Chinese executives," Journal of International Business Studies, Palgrave Macmillan;Academy of International Business, vol. 37(5), pages 623-641, September.
  • Handle: RePEc:pal:jintbs:v:37:y:2006:i:5:p:623-641
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Buckley, Peter J. & Cross, Adam & De Mattos, Claudio, 2015. "The principle of congruity in the analysis of international business cooperation," International Business Review, Elsevier, vol. 24(6), pages 1048-1060.
    2. Ahammad, Mohammad Faisal & Tarba, Shlomo Y. & Liu, Yipeng & Glaister, Keith W. & Cooper, Cary L., 2016. "Exploring the factors influencing the negotiation process in cross-border M&A," International Business Review, Elsevier, vol. 25(2), pages 445-457.
    3. repec:eee:worbus:v:53:y:2018:i:2:p:280-289 is not listed on IDEAS
    4. Tony W. Tong & Jeffrey J. Reuer & Beverly B. Tyler & Shujun Zhang, 2015. "Host country executives' assessments of international joint ventures and divestitures: An experimental approach," Strategic Management Journal, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 36(2), pages 254-275, February.
    5. Lumineau, Fabrice & Henderson, James, 2012. "The influence of relational experience and contractual governance on the negotiation strategy in buyer-supplier disputes," MPRA Paper 38510, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    6. repec:spr:grdene:v:24:y:2015:i:3:d:10.1007_s10726-014-9420-8 is not listed on IDEAS
    7. Jitka Odehnalová, 2009. "The Nature of Chinese Business Negotiation Behaviour: A Battlefield or a Gentlemen's Club?," Acta Oeconomica Pragensia, University of Economics, Prague, vol. 2009(6), pages 52-62.
    8. repec:eee:iburev:v:26:y:2017:i:5:p:881-895 is not listed on IDEAS
    9. Lau, Victor P. & Dimitrova, Mihaela N. & Shaffer, Margaret A. & Davidkov, Tzvetan & Yordanova, Desislava I., 2012. "Entrepreneurial Readiness and Firm Growth: An Integrated Etic and Emic Approach," Journal of International Management, Elsevier, vol. 18(2), pages 147-159.
    10. repec:eee:touman:v:35:y:2013:i:c:p:132-143 is not listed on IDEAS
    11. Pia Hurmelinna-Laukkanen & Kwadwo Atta-Owusu & Eeva-Liisa Oikarinen, 2016. "You Are Joking, Right? — Connecting Humour Types To Innovative Behaviour And Innovation Output," International Journal of Innovation Management (ijim), World Scientific Publishing Co. Pte. Ltd., vol. 20(08), pages 1-22, December.
    12. Chan, Sow Hup & Ng, Tsz Shing, 2016. "Ethical negotiation values of Chinese negotiators," Journal of Business Research, Elsevier, vol. 69(2), pages 823-830.

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