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2019 International Association for Conflict Management Conference

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A Linguistic Analysis of Intercultural Business Negotiations

Keywords: intercultural business negotiation, language, English as lingua franca, linguistic analysis

Abstract: Intercultural negotiations are at the core of increasingly global economic exchanges. One specific challenge is mastering a common language – mostly English, which is typically not the native language on both sides. Extant literature has focused on imbalanced levels of foreign language proficiency (FLP) and rather extreme communication constellations. We instead argue that not a lack of FLP, but rather subtle differences in foreign language are more insightful to better understand the outcome of intercultural negotiations. To that purpose, we will use computer-aided text analysis programs, enabling us to investigate large quantities of text-based language by comparing and counting words associated with predefined categories. A negotiation simulation conducted in a multi-cultural teaching environment will serve as our data basis, and the Linguistic Inquiry and Word Count will help us operationalize the negotiation process linguistically. We will compare predictive validity of the linguistic categories with those of more traditional process categories.

Christel Blamberg, ESCP Europe

Robert Wilken, ESCP Europe

Hannah Martensen, IUBH School of Business and Management


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