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Research Details

Strategic Adaptation in Intercultural Negotiation: Spanish Honor and U.S. Dignity Cultures


This study develops and empirically tests the predictions of strategic adaptation theory in the context of intra and intercultural negotiation between Spanish and U.S. negotiators. It proposes a new theory on strategic adaptation based on the comparison of predictions of social identity and interdependence theory with empirical research on intercultural negotiation. Moreover, it develops and tests hypotheses of the implications of Dignity and Honor cultural prototypes on negotiation strategy. Results of intracultural Spanish and U.S. show that U.S. dignity culture negotiators approached the process as a problem to be solved rationally, relying heavily on information sharing. On the contrary Spanish (honor culture) approached the negotiation as a contest to be won, relying heavily on emotion-based substantiation. Results of intercultural Spanish-U.S. negotiations, the latter conducted in Spanish- showed a strong effect of adaptation to the tactics of the counterpart. This led to an interesting mix of outcomes whereby dignity culture (U.S.) negotiators fared better than honor culture (Spanish) negotiators intraculturally, because their joint gains were higher, but honor culture negotiators fared better than dignity culture negotiators interculturally, although their joint gains were lower reducing their absolute gains below those of the intracultural U.S. negotiators.


Working Paper


J. Ramirez-Marin, Jeanne Brett, Soroush Aslani, Catherine Tinsley, Lourdes Munduate

Date Published



Ramirez-Marin, J., Jeanne Brett, Soroush Aslani, Catherine Tinsley, and Lourdes Munduate. 2015. Strategic Adaptation in Intercultural Negotiation: Spanish Honor and U.S. Dignity Cultures.


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