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Getting to Yes in the cross-cultural-context: ‘one size doesn’t fit all’ – a critical review of principled negotiations across borders

  • Purpose The purpose of this paper is to investigate the implicitly assumed universality of the best seller negotiation literature Getting to Yes by Roger Fisher and William Ury. Design/methodology/approach Existing cross-cultural negotiation literature was systematically searched for findings indicating either a higher or lower likelihood of successfully applying the authors’ advice in different cultural environments, as defined in the Hofstede framework or The Globe Study. The findings were aggregated, categorized into a matrix, synthesized and analyzed. Findings This paper finds that the assumed universality of the method of Getting to Yes and its single principles is not supported by research. Instead, a dichotomy of the four principles’ applicability along the Individuality dimension of Hofstede was found. Hence, the western orientation of Getting to Yes is reality, inhibiting its use in non-western cultures. However, in one principle – Invent options for mutual gain – the findings refute a successful application in western cultures. Additional findings and research gaps are presented. Practical implications Practitioners should apply Getting to Yes with caution, if at all, in a non-western environment. For the teaching of negotiations, alternative approaches for conducting negotiations in the non-western world are needed. Originality/value Although widely used in research, scholars only addressed sporadic comments concerning the limitations of Getting to Yes across cultures. Often the universality of Getting to Yes is either implicitly or explicitly assumed in research and practice. This paper approaches this topic systematically by providing evidence that Getting to Yes is not universal and conceptually sees negotiations through a western shaped perspective that provides considerable implications for research, practice and teaching.

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Document Type:Article
Author:Raphael SchoenORCiD
Chairs and Professorships:Chair of International Management
Parent Title (English):International Journal of Conflict Management
Year of Completion:2022
First Page:22
Last Page:46
Tag:Getting to Yes; Interest-based negotiations; Negotiation; Principled bargaining; Principled negotiations
Search also: Rafael Schön
Content Focus:Academic Audience
Peer Reviewed:Yes
Rankings:AJG Ranking / 2
SJR Ranking / Q2
Licence (German):License LogoUrheberrechtlich geschützt