Culturally varied relationality in buyer-supplier negotiations: a multi-session simulation

Junjun Cheng, Yimin Huang, Yong Su

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)


Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to empirically examine the role of relationality in buyer–supplier negotiations and how it varies across cultural settings.
Design/methodology/approach – Using a multisession simulation design, this study recruited research participants (n = 82) from diverse cultural backgrounds to play the role of either buyer or supplier for two
negotiation tasks. Regression analyses were used to test the relationships among relational constructs as well as the moderating role of relational culture.
Findings – Results show that negotiators’ relational self-construal enhances their relational commitment to the ongoing negotiations, which leads to a higher level of relational capital accumulated at the end of negotiations. The impact of relational self-construal on relational commitment and that of relational
commitment on counterparts’ relational capital are stronger for negotiators from a high (as opposed to low) relational cultural background. Furthermore, intercultural negotiation context, when compared with intracultural context, weakens the impact of relational commitment on relational capital.
Originality/value – This research is among the first to empirically examine the culturally varied relationality in negotiations. The findings offer important theoretical and practical implications regarding how relationality, when interacting with cultural factors, has varying impacts on business negotiations.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)47-69
Number of pages23
JournalInternational Journal of Conflict Management
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2018


  • Relational capital
  • Cultural context
  • Buyer-supplier negotiation
  • Relational commitment
  • Relational self-construal


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