Group Decision and Negotiation

, Volume 21, Issue 1, pp 79–98 | Cite as

Cultural Differentiation of Negotiating Agents

  • Gert Jan Hofstede
  • Catholijn M. Jonker
  • Tim VerwaartEmail author


Negotiations proceed differently across cultures. For realistic modeling of agents in multicultural negotiations, the agents must display culturally differentiated behavior. This paper presents an agent-based simulation model that tackles these challenges, based on Hofstede’s model of national cultures. The context is a trade network for goods with a hidden quality attribute. The negotiation model is based on the ABMP negotiation architecture and applies a utility function that includes market value, quality preference and risk attitude. The five dimensions of Hofstede’s model are the basis for the modification of ABMP parameters and weight factors in the utility function. The agents can observe each other’s group membership and status. This information is used, along with the indices of Hofstede’s dimensions, to differentiate behavior in different cultural settings. The paper presents results of test runs that verify the implementation of the model. The model helps to explain behaviors of actors in international trade networks. It proves that Hofstede’s dimensions can be used to generate culturally differentiated agents. Further validations of the model with case studies from literature and experiments have yet to be conducted. Extensions can make this model a useful tool for training traders who engage in cross-cultural negotiation and for implementation in negotiation support systems.


Multi-agent simulation Culture Bargaining Negotiation Trade network 


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. Adair W, Brett J, Lempereur A, Okumura T, Shikhirev P, Tinsley C, Lytle A (2004) Culture and negotiation strategy. Negot J 20: 87–111CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Bosse T, Jonker CM, Treur J (2004) Experiments in human multi-issue negotiation: analysis and support. In: Proceedings of the third international joint conference on autonomous agents and multi-agent systems, pp 672–679Google Scholar
  3. Brett JM, Okumura T (1998) Inter- and intracultural negotiation: US and Japanese negotiators. Acad Manag J 41: 495–510CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Coehoorn RM, Jennings NR (2004) Learning an opponent’s preferences to make effective multi-issue negotiation trade-offs. In: Proceedings of 6th international conference on e-commerce, pp 59–68Google Scholar
  5. de Rosis F, Pelachaud C, Poggi I (2004) Transcultural believability in embodied agents: a matter of consistent adaptation. In: Payr S, Trappl R (eds) Agent Culture. Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, pp 75–105Google Scholar
  6. Faratin P, Sierra C, Jennings NR (1998) Negotiation decision functions for autonomous agents. Robo Auton Syst 24: 159–182CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Gelfand MJ, Brett JM (2004) The handbook of negotiation and culture. Stanford University Press, StanfordGoogle Scholar
  8. Graham JL, Mintu AT, Rodgers W (1994) Exploration of negotiation behaviors in ten foreign countries using a model developed in the United States. Manag Sci 40:72–95CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Hindriks K, Tykhonov D (2008) Opponent modeling in automated multi-issue negotiation using Bayesian learning. In: Proceedings of the seventh international conference on autonomous agents and multi-agent systems, pp 331–338Google Scholar
  10. Hofstede G (2001) Culture’s Consequences. 2. Sage Publications, Thousand OaksGoogle Scholar
  11. Hofstede G, Hofstede GJ (2005) Cultures and organizations: software of the mind, third millennium edition. McGraw-Hill, New YorkGoogle Scholar
  12. Hofstede GJ, Jonker CM, Meijer S, Verwaart T (2006) Modeling trade and trust across cultures. In: Stølen K, et al (eds) Trust management: 4th international conference, iTrust 2006. Springer-Verlag, pp 120–134Google Scholar
  13. Hofstede GJ, Jonker CM, Verwaart T (2008a) Individualism and collectivism in trade agents. In: Nguyen NT, et al (eds) New frontiers in applied artificial intelligence, IEA/AIE 2008. Springer-Verlag, pp 492–502Google Scholar
  14. Hofstede GJ, Jonker CM, Verwaart T (2008b) Modeling culture in trade: uncertainty avoidance. In: 2008 Agent-directed simulation symposium (ADSS’08), Spring Simulation Multiconference 2008. SCS, pp 143–150Google Scholar
  15. Hofstede GJ, Jonker CM, Verwaart T (2008c) Long-term orientation in trade. In: Schredelseker K, Hauser F (eds) Complexity and artificial markets. Springer, pp 107–118Google Scholar
  16. Hofstede GJ, Jonker CM, Verwaart T (2009) Modeling power distance in trade. In: David N, Sichman JS (eds) Multi-agent-based simulation IX, international workshop, MABS 2008, Revised Selected Papers. Springer, pp 1–16Google Scholar
  17. Jonker CM, Treur J (2001) An agent architecture for multi-attribute negotiation. In: Nebel B (ed) Proceedings of the 17th international joint conference on AI, IJCAI ‘01, pp 1195–1201Google Scholar
  18. Kumar R, Worm V (2004) Institutional dynamics and the negotiation process: comparing India and China. Int J Confl Manag 15: 304–334CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Meijer S, Hofstede GJ, Beers G, Omta SWF (2006) Trust and tracing game: learning about transactions and embeddedness in a trade network. Prod Plan Control 17: 569–583CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Metcalf LE, Bird A, Shankarmahesh M, Aycan Z, Larimo J, Valdelamar DD (2006) Cultural tendencies in negotiation: a comparison of Finland, India, Mexico, Turkey and the United States. J World Bus 41: 382–394CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Osborne MJ, Rubinstein A (1994) A course in game theory. The MIT Press, CambridgeGoogle Scholar
  22. Raiffa H, Richardson J, Metcalfe D (2002) Negotiation analysis: the science and art of collaborative decision making. Harvard University Press, CambridgeGoogle Scholar
  23. Smith P (2004) Nations, cultures, and individuals: new perspectives and old dilemmas. J Cross-Cult Psychol 35: 50–61CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Thompson LL (2005) The mind and heart of the negotiator. 3. Pearson Prentice Hall, Upper Saddle RiverGoogle Scholar
  25. Tykhonov D, Jonker C, Meijer S, Verwaart T (2008) Agent-based simulation of the trust and tracing game for supply chains and networks. J Artif Soc Soc Simul 11(3):1 Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  • Gert Jan Hofstede
    • 1
  • Catholijn M. Jonker
    • 2
  • Tim Verwaart
    • 3
    Email author
  1. 1.Wageningen UniversityWageningenThe Netherlands
  2. 2.Delft Technical UniversityDelftThe Netherlands
  3. 3.LEI Wageningen URDen HaagThe Netherlands

Personalised recommendations