Publication Date


Degree Program

Department of Communication

Degree Type

Master of Arts in Communication


As international trade between China and the United States has increased markedly in recent years, negotiation behavior between Chinese and Americans has become a timely issue. Most research conducted in this area discusses the fundamental cultural differences between East and West, as well as the difficulties Westerners have in negotiating with the Chinese. Little was written on the actual negotiation behavior itself. This paper is focused on the negotiation behavior between Chinese and American business people. Following a review of relevant research, the author found that both Confucian philosophy and Taoistic philosophy continue to provide the foundations of Chinese cultural traditions and values, which influence Chinese perceptions and approaches to conflict resolution and thus affect Chinese negotiation behavior. Cultural values discussed include harmony, collectivism, conformity, holism-contextualism, time, face, shame, reciprocity, high context, friendship, and Guanxi. The author suggests that traditional Chinese cultural values influence Chinese people to be less openly assertive and emotional in conflict situations, which consequently lead Chinese negotiators to the adoption of high compromising and avoiding behaviors and a relatively low preference for competing and assertive postures in negotiations. Based on the cultural values and Chinese conflict preferences, the author offers recommendations for preparing, conducting, and concluding negotiations with Chinese people.


Communication | Sociology