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The Gap Partnership

Diverse cultures 'respond differently' to negotiation techniques

Asian negotiators responding negatively to anger compared to their European counterparts

21 July 2010

Diverse cultures respond differently to the same negotiation techniques, according to a new study.

Graduate business school Insead teamed up with the University of Berkeley to research the different responses to anger during negotiations.

The study found that Asian negotiators are less likely to make concessions than their European counterparts during heated negotiations.

A further experiment suggests that cultures react differently to anger in 'appropriate' situations.

Asians were more likely to conduct deals with an angry opponent if they were told that expressing anger was acceptable, while Europeans were less likely to make concessions if anger was deemed unacceptable.

Hajo Adam, of Insead in France, said: "People tend to react negatively [to inappropriate anger]. They no longer want to concede. They may even want to shut down and potentially penalise the counterpart for acting inappropriately," he said.

Firms may wish to train employees in negotiation workshops in order to develop their ability to communicate with those from different cultures.

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