Michael R.Carrell is the director of the ADR Center at Northern Kentucky University. Matthew Shank is the dean of the College of Business at the University of Dayton. Jose Luis Barbero is the director of the MBA Program at EOI in Madrid, Spain. The authors can be reached by e-mail at email@example.com; firstname.lastname@example.org; email@example.com.
Negotiators often use, consciously or unconsciously, different social norms to achieve one of the most basic psychological drives—maintaining consistency and fairness. Researchers have suggested that people from different cultures may prefer different norms.The authors studied how a group of American and European respondents viewed four norms in order to determine if their preferences are culturally based.They found that all respondents understood and accepted the norms as “fair and reasonable” but in hypothetical negotiating situations, the U.S. and European respondents preferred different norms.
In the classic distributive negotiation, once the parties have exchanged their initial offers and each party has privately determined its reservation point (i.e., the maximum or minimum value it will accept), they must then decide how to proceed in the classic “give and take” of negotiations. What motivates the making of a counter offer, or the acceptance or rejection of a counter offer?