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Is There a U.S. Negotiating Style?

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In this final essay, a number of issues are raised about depicting negotiating behavior in terms of national styles. Although many of the previous commentaries describe particular characteristics of a U.S. style, these are unlikely to be inherent attributes of negotiators from that country. Rather, a nation's approach to negotiation is better understood in terms of the situation confronting its negotiators. For example, behavior thought to reflect "style" may be a result of power differences between the nations in a particular negotiation. Negotiators from different nations may react to the same situation in similar ways due to shared socializing experiences. Systematic research is needed to distinguish among the various possible sources for negotiating behavior. It should be guided by a framework that places culture among the panoply of influences on negotiating behavior. And it should consist of research designs that compare different national delegations and employ a variety of methodological strategies.

Affiliations: 1: National Research Council, 2101 Constitution Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20418, USA


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