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IACM 2023

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Trust Or Harmony: The Myth of Information Exchange In Negotiations In East Asia

Decades of research has documented the trust–information exchange integrative path to joint gains in negotiations. In this research, we challenge the generalizability of this finding in non-Western cultures and propose and test an alternative integrative path to joint gains in East Asia. In Study 1, a meta-analysis (k = 15, N = 2,695), we demonstrate that the relationship between trust and information exchange in negotiations is positive and significant only in Western cultures. In Study 2, a senior manager survey from 10 cultures, we introduce and test the moderating role of trust radius to explain why trust predicts information exchange only in Western cultures. In Study 3, we use an experiment to show that harmony concern rather than trust is the driver of information exchange for negotiators in an East Asian culture. In Study 4, we use a simulation study to test a comprehensive model showing that in East Asia harmony concern leads to an integrative negotiation path while low trust leads to a distributive negotiation path. This research enhances our understanding of how and why culture affects integrative and distributive paths in non-Western culture negotiations.

Jingjing Yao
IESEG School of Management

Han Li
Peking University

Zhi-Xue Zhang
Peking University

Brett Jeanne
Northwestern University
United States


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