Dignity, face, and honor cultures: A study of negotiation strategy and outcomes in three cultures

Soroush Aslani*, Jimena Ramirez-Marin, Jeanne Brett, Jingjing Yao, Zhaleh Semnani-Azad, Zhi Xue Zhang, Catherine Tinsley, Laurie Weingart, Wendi Adair

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

80 Scopus citations


This study compares negotiation strategy and outcomes in countries illustrating dignity, face, and honor cultures. Hypotheses predict cultural differences in negotiators' aspirations, use of strategy, and outcomes based on the implications of differences in self-worth and social structures in dignity, face, and honor cultures. Data were from a face-to-face negotiation simulation; participants were intra-cultural samples from the USA (dignity), China (face), and Qatar (honor). The empirical results provide strong evidence for the predictions concerning the reliance on more competitive negotiation strategies in honor and face cultures relative to dignity cultures in this context of negotiating a new business relationship. The study makes two important theoretical contributions. First, it proposes how and why people in a previously understudied part of the world, that is, the Middle East, use negotiation strategy. Second, it addresses a conundrum in the East Asian literature on negotiation: the theory and research that emphasize the norms of harmony and cooperation in social interaction versus empirical evidence that negotiations in East Asia are highly competitive.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1178-1201
Number of pages24
JournalJournal of Organizational Behavior
Issue number8
StatePublished - Nov 1 2016


  • culture
  • dignity
  • face
  • honor
  • negotiation strategy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Applied Psychology
  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Psychology(all)
  • Organizational Behavior and Human Resource Management


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