Group Decision and Negotiation

, Volume 22, Issue 4, pp 641–655 | Cite as

Negotiating with the Chinese: Are They More Likely to Use Unethical Strategies?

  • Zhenzhong MaEmail author
  • Dapeng Liang
  • Honghui Chen


It is always a challenge to deal with ethical dilemmas in negotiations and it is even more difficult when the other party is from a different culture. Understanding the differences between what is ethically appropriate and what is not in an international context has thus become important for a better understanding of different negotiation practices across the globe. This study explores the likelihood of Chinese negotiators’ using unethical strategies in negotiations by examining Chinese managerial employees’ perceived appropriateness of five categories of ethically questionable strategies. The results show that, in comparison with their counterparts from the USA, Chinese managers are more likely to consider it appropriate to use ethically questionable negotiation strategies in all five categories except the traditional bargaining strategies. In addition, contrary to the West where women tend to maintain higher ethical standards, no gender difference is found in China in the perceived appropriateness of using these strategies in all but one category. Implications for negotiation practitioners and international managers that often participate in international negotiations with the Chinese are then discussed, along with potential future research directions.


China Culture Business ethics Negotiation strategy SINS USA 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Lingnan CollegeSun Yat-Sen UniversityGuangzhouChina
  2. 2.Odette School of BusinessUniversity of WindsorWindsorCanada
  3. 3.School of ManagementHarbin Institute of TechnologyHarbinChina

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