The Role of Gender and Culture in Business Negotiations: A Thematic-synthesis Study
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Negotiation is a social and economic process people engage in daily. Business negotiations may involve negotiating as an employee to justify tasks or remuneration while a personal negotiation might include negotiating with a seller to get the best deal out of a purchase. Thus, being an effective negotiator becomes an essential part of communication and transactions. But how an individual develops an effective negotiation behaviour is a question asked in multiple ways. Researchers have observed the effect of culture on business negotiations with respect to the development of communication patterns, construction of goals, choice of strategies, and the relative outcomes of the negotiation. Researchers have also observed the role of gender in business negotiations by analysing the impact of social role theory, relational accommodation theory, gender stereotypes, and morality on the outcomes achieved by male and female negotiators. This study aimed to connect the two dimensions of negotiation research i.e. culture and gender by asking what is the nature of current literature about culture and gender in business negotiations, and, are there any intersections or gaps in the literature? This study is constructed under the interpretative paradigm, applying thematic-synthesis to review and synthesize relevant literature published from 2008-2017. The findings highlight two main categories i.e. the research focus and the research design. The first category (research focus) shed light on research about culture and gender relating to ethics, aspiration levels and goals of the negotiating party, cognitive and behavioural moderators, and perceptions and stereotypes. The second category (research design) highlighted the implications of research methods and participant profiles for business negotiation research. Overall, this research project develops analytical themes and propositions from negotiation research at the intersection of culture and gender. The project was conducted in preparation for the design of future discourse negotiation research with emphasis on both, culture and gender.