A Model of Culture in Trading Agents

  • Gert Jan HofstedeEmail author
  • Catholijn M. Jonker
  • Tim Verwaart
Part of the Advances in Group Decision and Negotiation book series (AGDN, volume 6)


Geert Hofstede’s five-dimensional framework is widely used in social sciences and management science to characterize cultures. It has been suggested to build culturally consistent agent characters based on his framework. This chapter stresses the relevance of culture and trust for trade, substantiates why a dimensional model offers a good basis for cultural differentiation of agents, and presents an approach to apply Hofstede’s model to develop culturally differentiated agents. The approach is based on knowledge acquisition on a dimension-by-dimension basis and a computational method to integrate the acquired knowledge. The approach has been applied to a multi-agent simulation of a trade game. It is instantiated for the processes of partner selection, negotiation, and the interaction between deceit and trust in trade.


Cultural dimensions Trust Trade Multi-agent simulation 


  1. Bala, V., & Long, N. V. (2005). International trade and cultural diversity with preference selection. European Journal of Political Economy, 21, 143–162.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Blanchard, E. G. M., & Frasson, C. (2005). Making intelligent tutoring systems culturally aware. In The International Conference on Artificial Intelligence, ICAI’05, Vol. 2. pp. 644–649. Las Vegas, Nevada: CSREA Press.Google Scholar
  3. Boles, T. L., Croson, R. T. A., & Murnighan, J. K. (2000). Deception and retribution in repeated ultimatum bargaining. Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, 83, 235–259.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Burgers, S. L. G. E., Hofstede, G. J., Jonker, C. M., & Verwaart, T. (2010). Sensitivity analysis of an agent-based model of culture’s consequences for trade. In M. LiCalzi et al. (Eds.), Progress in artificial economics. Lecture Notes in Economics and Mathematical Systems, Vol. 645, pp. 253--264. Heidelberg, Berlin: Springer-Verlag.Google Scholar
  5. Castelfranchi, C., & Falcone, R. (1998). Principles of trust for MAS: Cognitive anatomy, social importance and quantification. In Proceedings of ICMAS’98, pp. 72--79. AAAI Press, Paris.Google Scholar
  6. Castelfranchi, C., Falcone, R., & De Rosis, F. (2001). Deceiving in GOLEM. In C. Castelfranchi & Y. H. Tan (Eds.), Trust and deception in virtual societies. Dordrecht, The Netherlands: Kluwer.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. de Rosis, F., Pelachaud, C., & Poggi, I. (2004). Transcultural believability in embodied agents. In S. Payr & R. Trappl (Eds.), Agent culture. Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates.Google Scholar
  8. Geertz, C. (1973). The interpretation of cultures. New York: Basic Books.Google Scholar
  9. Gilbert, N. (2008). Agent-based models. Los Angeles: Sage.Google Scholar
  10. Guo, R. (2004). How culture influences foreign trade: Evidence from the U.S. and China. Journal of Socio-Economics, 33, 785–812.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Hall, E. T. (1976). Beyond culture. Garden City, NY: Anchor.Google Scholar
  12. Hofstede, G. (2001). Culture’s consequences (2nd ed.). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.Google Scholar
  13. Hofstede, G. J. (2006). Intrinsic and enforceable trust: A research agenda. In Proceedings of the 99th European Seminar of the EAAE. Bonn, Germany: Universität Bonn-ILB Press.Google Scholar
  14. Hofstede, G., & Hofstede, G. J. (2005). Cultures and organizations: Software of the mind (2nd ed.). New York: McGraw-Hill.Google Scholar
  15. Hofstede, G., Hofstede, G. J., & Minkov, M. (2010). Cultures and organizations: Software of the mind (3rd ed.). New York: McGraw-Hill.Google Scholar
  16. Hofstede, G. J., Jonker, C. M., & Verwaart, T. (2008a). Modeling culture in trade: Uncertainty avoidance. In 2008 Agent-Directed Simulation Symposium (ADSS’08). San Diego, CA: SCS.Google Scholar
  17. Hofstede, G. J., Jonker, C. M., & Verwaart, T. (2008b). Individualism and collectivism in trade agents. In N. T. Nguyen et al. (Eds.), IEA/AIE 2008 (LNAI 5027), pp. 492--501. Heidelberg, Germany: Springer.Google Scholar
  18. Hofstede, G. J., Jonker, C. M., & Verwaart, T. (2008c). Long-term orientation in trade. In K. Schredelseker & F. Hauser (Eds.), Complexity and artificial markets, Lecture Notes in Economics and Mathematical Systems 614, pp. 107--118. Heidelberg, Germany: Springer.Google Scholar
  19. Hofstede, G. J., Jonker, C. M., & Verwaart, T. (2009a). Modeling power distance in trade. In N. David & J. S. Sichman (Eds.), MABS 2008 (LNAI 5269), pp. 1--16. Heidelberg, Germany: Springer.Google Scholar
  20. Hofstede, G. J., Jonker, C. M., & Verwaart, T. (2009b). Simulation of effects of culture on trade partner selection. In C. Hernández et al. (Eds.), Artificial economics. Lecture Notes in Economics and Mathematical Systems 631, pp. 257--268. Heidelberg, Germany: Springer.Google Scholar
  21. Hofstede, G. J., Jonker, C. M., & Verwaart, T. (2010a). Cultural differentiation of negotiating agents. Group Decision and Negotiation. doi: 10.1007/s10726-010-9190-x.
  22. Hofstede, G. J., Jonker, C. M., & Verwaart, T. (2010b). A cross-cultural multi-agent model of opportunism in trade. In N. T. Nguyen & R. Kowalczyk (Eds.), Transactions on computational collective intelligence II (LNCS 6450), pp. 24--45. Heidelberg, Germany: Springer.Google Scholar
  23. Hofstede, G. J., Jonker, C. M., & Verwaart, T. (2011). Computational modeling of culture’s consequences. In T. Bosse et al. (Eds.), MABS 2010 (LNAI 6532), pp. 136--151. Heidelberg, Germany: Springer.Google Scholar
  24. Hofstede, G., & McCrae, R. R. (2004). Personality and culture revisited: Linking traits and dimensions of culture. Cross-Cultural Research, 38, 52–88.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Hofstede, G. J., & Pedersen, P. B. (1999). Synthetic cultures: Intercultural learning through simulation gaming. Simulation & Gaming, 30, 415–440.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Hofstede, G. J., Pedersen, P. B., & Hofstede, G. (2002). Exploring culture. Yarmouth, ME: Intercultural Press.Google Scholar
  27. Hofstede, G. J., Spaans, L., Schepers, H., Trienekens, J., & Beulens, A. (2004). Hide or confide: The dilemma of transparency. ‘s-Gravenhage, The Netherlands: Reed Business Information.Google Scholar
  28. House, R. J., Hanges, P. J., Javidan, M., Dorfman, P. W., & Gupta, V. (2004). Leadership culture and organizations: The GLOBE study of 62 societies. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.Google Scholar
  29. Hwang, P., & Burgers, W. P. (1999). Apprehension and temptation: The forces against cooperation. Journal of Conflict Resolution, 43, 117–130.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Jager, W., & Mosler, H. J. (2007). Simulating human behavior for understanding and managing environmental dilemmas. Journal of Social Issues, 63(1), 97–116.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Jennings, N. R., Sierra, C., Sonenberg, L., & Tambe, M. (Eds.) (2004). Proceedings of the third international joint conference on autonomous agents and multi-agent systems, AAMAS’04 (pp. 672–679). New York: IEEE Computer Society Press.Google Scholar
  32. Jonker, C. M., & Treur, J. (1999). Formal analysis of models for the dynamics of trust based on experiences. In F. J. Garijo & M. Boman (Eds.), MAAMAW’99 (LNCS 1647), pp. 221--232. Heidelberg, Germany: Springer.Google Scholar
  33. Jonker, C. M., & Treur, J. (2001). An agent architecture for multi-attribute negotiation. In B. Nebel (Ed.), Proceedings of the 17th international joint conference on AI, IJCAI’01, pp. 1195--1201. Seattle, Washington, Morgan Kaufman.Google Scholar
  34. Kashima, Y. (2009). Culture comparison and culture priming: A critical analysis. In R. S. Wyer, C.-Y. Chiu, & Y.-Y. Hong (Eds.), Understanding culture. New York: Psychology Press.Google Scholar
  35. Kersten, G. E. (2002). Do E-business systems have culture and should they have one? In Proceedings of the 10th European Conference on Information Systems, ECIS 2002, pp. 1237--1248. Gdansk, Poland.Google Scholar
  36. Kersten, G. E., Köszegi, S. T., & Vetschera, R. (2002). The effects of culture in anonymous negotiations: Experiment in four countries. In Proceedings of the 35th HICSS, pp. 27. Big Island, HI.Google Scholar
  37. Kirkman, B. R., Lowe, K. B., & Gibson, C. B. (2006). A quarter century of culture’s consequences: A review of empirical research incorporating Hofstede’s cultural values framework. Journal of International Business Studies, 37, 285–320.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. Klein Woolthuis, R., Hillebrand, B., & Nooteboom, B. (2005). Trust, contract and relationship development. Organization Studies, 26, 813–840.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  39. Kónya, I. (2006). Modeling cultural barriers in international trade. Review of International Economics, 14(3), 494–507.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  40. Lévi-Strauss, C. (1992). Tristes Tropiques. New York: Penguin Books. (Originally in French, 1955)Google Scholar
  41. Meijer, S. (2009). The organisation of transactions: Studying supply networked using gaming simulation. Dissertation, Wageningen University, Wageningen.Google Scholar
  42. Meijer, S., & Verwaart, T. (2005). Feasibility of multi-agent simulation for the trust-and-tracing game. In M. Ali & F. Esposito (Eds.), IEA/AIE 2005 (LNAI 3533), pp. 145--154. Heidelberg, Germany: Springer.Google Scholar
  43. Minkov, M. (2007). What makes us different and similar: A new interpretation of the world values survey and other cross-cultural data. Sofia, Bulgaria: Klasika I Stil.Google Scholar
  44. Modelling trade and trust across cultures. In Stølen, K., Winsborough, W. H., Martinelli, F., Massacci, F. (Eds.) (2006, May 16–19). Proceedings of the 4th International Conference on Trust Management, iTrust 2006. Pisa, Italy. Proceedings, Series: Lecture Notes in Computer Science (Vol. 3986, pp. 120–134).Google Scholar
  45. Olekalns, M., & Smith, P. L. (2009). Mutually dependent: Trust, affect and the use of deception in negotiation. Journal of Business Ethics, 85, 347–365.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  46. Payr, S., & Trappl, R. (2004). Agent culture; human-agent interaction in a multicultural world. Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates.Google Scholar
  47. Raser, J. C. (1969). Simulations and society: An exploration of scientific gaming. Boston, MA: Allyn & Bacon.Google Scholar
  48. Rehm, M., André, E., Bee, N., Endrass, B., Wissner, M., Nakano, Y. I., et al. (2007). The CUBE-G approach – Coaching culture-specific nonverbal behavior by virtual agents. In Proceedings of the 38th conference of the international simulation and gaming association, Nijmegen, The Netherlands.Google Scholar
  49. Rehm, M., Nishida, T., André, E., & Nakano, Y. I. (2008). Culture-specific first meeting encounters between virtual agents. In IVA 2008 (LNCS 5208). Heidelberg, Germany: Springer.Google Scholar
  50. Schimmack, U., Oishi, S., & Diener, E. (2005). Individualism: A valid and important dimension of cultural differences between nations. Personality and Social Psychology Review, 9, 17–31.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  51. Schwarz, S. H. (2009). Culture matters: National value cultures, sources, and consequences. In R. S. Wyer et al. (Eds.), Understanding culture. New York: Psychology Press.Google Scholar
  52. Silverman, B. G., Bharathy, G., Johns, M., Eidelson, R. J., Smith, T. E., & Nye, B. (2007). Sociocultural games for training and analysis. IEEE Transactions on Systems, Man, and Cybernetics, Part A, 37, 1113–1130.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  53. Silverman, B. G., Johns, M., Cornwell, J., & O’Brien, K. (2006). Human behavior models for agents in simulators and games: Part I: Enabling science with PMFserv. Presence, 15, 139–162.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  54. Smith, P. B. (2002). Culture’s consequences: Something old and something new. Human Relations, 55, 119–135.Google Scholar
  55. Smith, P. B. (2006). When elephants fight, the grass gets trampled: The GLOBE and Hofstede projects. Journal of International Business Studies, 37, 915–921.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  56. Smith, P. B., Dugan, F., & Trompenaars, F. (1996). National culture and the values of organizational employees: A dimensional analysis across 43 nations. Journal of Cross-Cultural Psychology, 27, 231–246.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  57. Sóndergaard, M. (1994). Hofstede’s consequences: A study of reviews, citations and replications. Organization Studies, 15, 447–456.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  58. Steinel, W., & De Dreu, K. W. (2004). Social motives and strategic misrepresentation in social decision making. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 86, 419–434.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  59. Tönnies, F. (1963). Community and society. New York: Harper & Row. (Original pub. 1887)Google Scholar
  60. Triandis, H. C. (1995). Individualism and collectivism. Boulder, MA: Westview.Google Scholar
  61. Triandis, H.C., Carnevale, P., Gelfand, M., Robert, C., Arzu Wasti, S., Probst, T. (2001). Culture and deception in business negotiations: A multilevel analysis. International Journal of Cross Cultural Management, 1, 73–90.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  62. Trompenaars, F. (1993). Riding the waves of culture. London: Nicholas Brealy.Google Scholar
  63. Tykhonov, D., Jonker, C., Meijer, S., & Verwaart, T. (2008). Agent-based simulation of the trust and tracing game for supply chains and networks. Journal of Artificial Societies and Social Simulation, 11(3), 1.Google Scholar
  64. Ward, D., & Hexmoor, H. (2003). Towards deception in agents. In Proceedings of AAMAS 2003, pp. 1154--1155. Melbourne, Australia.Google Scholar
  65. Weisbuch, G., Kirman, A., & Herreiner, D. (2000). Market organisation and trading relationships. Economic Journal, 110, 411–436.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  66. Williamson, O. E. (1985). The economic institutions of capitalism. New York: Free Press.Google Scholar
  67. Williamson, O. E. (1998). Transaction cost economics: How it works; where it is headed. De Economist, 146, 23–58.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  68. Wilson, D. S. (2007). Evolution for everyone. New York: Delacorte Press.Google Scholar
  69. Wirtz, J., & Kum, D. (2004). Consumer cheating on service guarantees. Journal of the Academy of Marketing Science, 32(2), 159–175.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Gert Jan Hofstede
    • 1
    Email author
  • Catholijn M. Jonker
    • 2
  • Tim Verwaart
    • 3
  1. 1.Social SciencesWageningen UniversityWageningenThe Netherlands
  2. 2.Interactive Intelligence GroupDelft University of TechnologyDelftThe Netherlands
  3. 3.LEI Wageningen URden HaagThe Netherlands

Personalised recommendations