Culture and accountability in negotiation: Recognizing the importance of in-group relations

Wu Liu, Ray Friedman, Ying Yi Hong

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

30 Citations (Scopus)


We extend Gelfand and Realo's (1999) argument that accountability motivates negotiators from relationally-focused cultures to use a more pro-relationship approach during negotiations. Our research shows that the effect they predict is found only when the other negotiating partner is an in-group member. Specifically, in two studies involving participants from China (a relationally-focused culture) and the US (a less relationally-focused culture), we found that only when negotiating with an in-group member are Chinese participants under high accountability more likely to use a pro-relationship approach than those under low accountability. Consequently, the differences between Chinese and American participants in the use of a pro-relationship approach occur only when they negotiate with an in-group member under high accountability. The strong attention to relationships, however, results in higher fixed-pie perceptions and lower joint gains. The implications of our findings for theory and practice are discussed.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)221-234
Number of pages14
JournalOrganizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2012


  • Accountability
  • Chinese
  • Culture
  • Fixed-pie perception
  • In-group
  • Negotiation
  • Relationship

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Applied Psychology
  • Organizational Behavior and Human Resource Management

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