Language Strategies in International Business: New Prospects for Negotiation and Conflict Management
Date of Award
Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)
Dr. Leigh Anne Liu
Dr. S. Tamer Cavusgil
Dr. Edward W. Miles
Dr. Sevgin Eroglu
Dr. Denish Shah
With the COVID-19 pandemic of 2020 — when negotiations have been almost exclusively carried out in online settings — there is a growing need for research which addresses this new norm. This dissertation explores how linguistic cues can corroborate or challenge the established measures in negotiation and conflict management research. The overarching objective is to study the interdependence of language and culture in the presence of technology within the domain of international negotiations and conflict resolution.
The first essay of the dissertation addresses the anomalies regarding the use of the two major negotiation strategies identified by prior research – questions and answers (Q&A) and substantiation and offers (S&O) – and their effectiveness across cultures. I triangulate between cognitive methods utilized in negotiations research (mental model convergence, fixed-pie bias), linguistic cues (words with positive and negative connotations), and language style matching (LSM), a novel analysis in international buyer-seller negotiations. Based on an online negotiation simulation between representatives of a high-context (Hong Kong Chinese) and low-context (U.S.) communication culture (total sample size is 300) and subsequent linguistic analysis of the transcripts, the essay questions the notion of normative strategy; shows the conditions when the strategies have an integrative versus distributive character; identifies cognitive mechanisms which explain why S&O might be more beneficial than Q&A in a high-context communication culture; and clarifies in which cultural contexts the index of language style matching reflects a deeper, cognitive simmilarity and in which an automatic process.
The second essay is a systematic literature review of studies about language in international conflict management research. The essay emphasizes a positive potential of a conflict and suggests how it can be achieved linguistically in an intercultural environment. It shows how language can give a dynamic process to conflict management. Unlike the static view of conflict, the proposed theoretical framework underscores the importance of poly-contextual behavior, i.e., how the behavior changes across contexts. By focusing on the multilingualism, the essay further disentangles language and culture, which are often mixed together. The essay suggests short term and long term strategies for a dynamic conflict de-escalation in the domain of international business.
Poliakova, Elena, "Language Strategies in International Business: New Prospects for Negotiation and Conflict Management." Dissertation, Georgia State University, 2020.
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