Faculty of Business Administration
Management and Marketing
When cultures meet: Implicit culture beliefs and intercultural negotiation
Dr. Melody Chao
Assistant Professor
Department of Management
Hong Kong University of Science and Technology

Intercultural negotiations can be challenging because cross-cultural differences and distrust toward foreign others can impede negotiation effectiveness. However, studies on multicultural exposure suggest that intercultural environments can lead to higher generalized trust and more creative problem solving, which are important attributes that are conducive to negotiation success. These apparent contradictions have presented mixed messages to researchers and practitioners about whether intercultural contacts would result in drawbacks or benefits in the negotiation process, compared with intracultural ones. Integrating insights from research on culture and implicit beliefs, the current research examined how implicit beliefs about cultures interplay with cultural environment to facilitate negotiation. Findings across three studies revealed that individuals who endorsed the belief that cultural attributes are malleable were more likely to trust their interaction partner in intercultural (vs. intracultural) conflict situations. The increased trust, in turn, enabled them to create and claim more of the pie in the negotiation process. Theoretical and practical implications for intercultural negotiation effectiveness will be discussed.

Date: January 21, 2015 (Wednesday)

Time: 11:00~12:30

Venue: Faculty of Business Administration, E22-1011

A Short Biography of Dr. Chao

Dr. Melody Chao is an Assistant Professor at the Department of Management at the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology. She received her B.A. degree in Psychology from the University of California, Berkeley. Before pursuing graduate school, she worked in a substance abuse treatment agency that provides prevention, intervention, and treatment services to Asian American communities in the San Francisco Bay Area. Her experiences working with the communities ignited her research interest in understanding multicultural experiences and intercultural relations. She then pursued her M.A. and Ph.D. degrees in Social Psychology at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign. Her research investigates the dynamics of psychological processes in intercultural contexts. It focuses on how individuals actively participate in cultural processes and how they negotiate between conflicting cultural values and norms.