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Title:Attributes of individualism/collectivism and the behavior of representatives in intergroup negotiations
Author(s):Gelfand, Michele Joy
Doctoral Committee Chair(s):Carnevale, Peter J.
Department / Program:Psychology
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Subject(s):Psychology, Social
Psychology, Industrial
Abstract:The dominant paradigm in negotiation research has virtually ignored the cultural context in which negotiations occur. The present study sought to expand the dominant paradigm by incorporating the theory of individualism-collectivism, one of the primary dimensions on which cultures vary, into research on intergroup negotiations derived from Adam's (1976) boundary role theory. Individualism-collectivism is a cultural syndrome, the central theme of which contrasts the extent to which people are autonomous individuals or embedded in groups (Triandis, 1989; 1993). Based on the theory of individualism-collectivism, (Markus & Kitayama, 1991; Triandis, 1993; 1995), it was hypothesized that individualism-collectivism would directly affect the structure of the boundary role system and representative role obligations. Moreover, several hypotheses were offered which postulated that individualism-collectivism may moderate the relationship between negotiation conditions (group representation and group accountability) and negotiator's psychological states, tactics, and outcomes. Results from a within-country laboratory experiment found that representatives with collectivist attributes perceived less social distance toward their constituents and their opponents, and also had higher perceived role obligations toward their constituents, as compared to representatives with individualism attributes. The results also suggested that attributes of individualism-collectivism moderated the effect of negotiation conditions on psychological states, tactics, and outcomes. Specifically, (1) group representation differentially affected those with individualist and collectivist attributes. Those with collectivist attributes were more concerned about their outcomes, and engaged in fewer problem-solving behaviors when they represented a group as compared to when they negotiated on their own behalf. Those with individualist attributes, by contrast, engaged in fewer problem-solving behaviors when they negotiated on their own behalf, as compared to when they represented a group; (2) accountability differentially affected those with individualist and collectivist attributes. For representatives with individualists attributes, accountability enhanced competitive intentions, diminished problem-solving behaviors, and resulted in lower outcomes. For representatives with collectivist attributes, by contrast, accountability enhanced cooperative intentions and problem-solving behaviors, and resulted in higher outcomes. The results are interpreted within the framework of impression-management, and through certain aspects of Hull's (1943) theory of behavior. A model for effects of culture on negotiation is introduced, and future research possibilities are discussed.
Issue Date:1996
Rights Information:Copyright 1996 Gelfand, Michele Joy
Date Available in IDEALS:2011-05-07
Identifier in Online Catalog:AAI9625137
OCLC Identifier:(UMI)AAI9625137

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