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The Effect of Dutch and German Culture on Negotiation Strategy: An Exploratory Study to Compare Innovation and Operations Contexts

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image of International Negotiation

Different business settings may induce different types of negotiation behavior. More specifically, clearly defined problems in an operations management (OM) setting may lead to different negotiation behavior than more diffuse innovation management (IM) problems. In addition, negotiators from different national cultures may react differently to such variations in business settings. This article addresses these issues through a set of experiments. The specific goal of our study is to understand whether there is a difference between German and Dutch negotiators regarding their negotiation behavior in IM and OM settings. To analyze possible cross-cultural differences, negotiations that took place in a German monocultural setting and those which occurred in a Dutch monocultural setting are compared. Two hypotheses were tested:

German negotiators are more cooperative in the OM context than in the IM context.

Dutch negotiators are more cooperative in the IM context than in the OM context.

Both hypotheses were confirmed by using speech act analysis and personal pronoun analysis in a 2 × 2 experimental design. Dutch negotiators had difficulties adopting a cooperative attitude and building empathy in an OM context, whereas German negotiators encountered these problems in the IM setting.


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