The impact of cultural differences on buyer-supplier negotiations: An experimental study

Past event — 15 May 2013

Kühne Logistics University
Grosser Grasbrook 17, 20457 Hamburg

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Prof. Dina Ribbink

Assistant Professor

Ivey Business School at Western University


In today’s economy, an ever-increasing number of companies are dealing with partners from across the world, giving rise to the need to understand the impact of cultural differences on business interactions. Using Hall’s distinction of high and low context cultures, this study investigates the direct and moderating impact of cultural differences, specifically the combination of a high context and a low context culture participant, in dyadic buyer-supplier negotiations. Based on a transaction cost economics lens, theory is developed regarding the impact of culture on joint profits. In the simulation negotiation, participants, classified by their country of origin, are asked to take on the role of either a buyer or a seller. They negotiate prices and quality levels for three products. This study finds that  cultural differences within the negotiation dyad reduce joint profits when compared to dyads of participants with similar cultural backgrounds. Cultural differences also moderate the impact of trust and cooperative bargaining strategies on joint profits. Overall, this study concludes that cultural differences as encountered in day-to-day business interactions in global supply chains can have significant impacts on negotiation outcomes.

About the Presenter

Dina Ribbink is Assistant Professor of Operations Management at the Ivey Business School at Western University, Canada. She received her Ph.D. from the Robert H. Smith School of Business, University of Maryland in College Park and her MS in Business Administration from Maastricht University, the Netherlands. Dina's research focus is on contractual buyer-supplier relationships and the impact of cultural differences within supply chains. In addition, she has a keen interest in behavioral studies in the field of operations management.

More information about Professor Dina Ribbink

About the Seminar

The KLU research seminar series is a regular meeting of PhD students, Post-Docs and professors who conduct research in the field of logistics and supply chain management. The research seminar is open to the public and we happily welcome guests.