to prepare managers, military personnel, diplomats, and even travelers to negotiate effectively across different cultural contexts.
This paper reviews key findings in the area of culture and negotiation, broadly defined as conditions under which individuals have to manage their interdependence (Walton and McKersie, 1965). The review is mainly delimited to social-psychological research on culture and negotiation that has been published in the last decade; see Imai and Gelfand (in press) for an interdisciplinary review of culture and negotiation research. In what follows, I first review research that has examined culture in the context of deal-making negotiations or situations in which parties are seeking to form or manage an economic or social relationship. Next, I review research on culture as it relates to disputing, or conflict situations in which there has been a rejected claim, and relationships have become highly distressed (Brett, 2001). In each area, I discuss key findings and new promising research directions. In the final section, I highlight some additional research gaps and methodological challenges that warrant attention in future research.
Following similar distinctions in mainstream negotiation research, cross-cultural research on negotiation has examined negotiator cognition, communication processes, and the role of the social context in negotiations across different national cultures.
Drawing heavily on behavioral decision theory, research in the United States has demonstrated that negotiators are susceptible to numerous judgment biases that interfere with the development of high-quality negotiation agreements. For example, negotiators are subject to framing, overconfidence, anchoring, availability, self-serving biases, reactive devaluation, fundamental attribution errors, among other biases, many of which lead to competitive processes and suboptimum agreements (see Thompson, Neale, and Sinaceur, 2004, for a review). Although such biases and their consequences have been consistently documented, the evidence comes almost exclusively from studies in the United States and other Western cultures. This finding naturally raises the question of cultural generalizability: Are the biases documented thus far merely local habits—characteristics Western or “individualistic” negotiators—rather than invariant, fundamental aspects of human nature? Has negotiation research overlooked other biases that are more prominent in other cultural settings?
Research on culture and negotiation has begun to address these questions and has found that there is systematic variability in negotiator cog-