Investigating Dyadic Patterns of Verbal Interactions in Cross-cultural Business Negotiations

  • Cheryl Dowie

Student thesis: Phd


ABSTRACT Increase in globalisation has resulted in the need for frequent face-to-face negotiations, and this has fostered the growth for scholarly research in this area. This study identifies recurring patterns in verbal interactions that lead to either successful or unsuccessful outcomes in cross-cultural business negotiations with the aim of helping international business negotiators better manage their face-to-face interactions with business clients. The development of a coding instrument in this study facilitated the identification of these verbal interactions as this seems to be the basis for any meaningful analysis in this context. The Interactive Process Analysis model (Bales, 1950a) was used as the root to create this straightforward, agile and reliable coding system for trained coders to use. The empirical data was collected through 40 Saudi-Arabian and British dyads participating in business negotiation role-play simulations. The participants in these simulations were Master’s students from a reputed British University who enacted the role of business negotiators. The empirical data was analysed through qualitative methods supported using statistical procedures. Interviews were also conducted with real-world business negotiators to understand if these behavioural interactions could be applied by them practically. Through this mixed method approach, the study proposes five theoretical contributions to knowledge (three major contributions and two minor contributions) and two methodological contributions. Mirroring positive dyadic patterns in interactions, engaging in rapport-building patterns in interactions and avoiding the use of negative patterns in interaction are the verified major contributions from this study that and these can help business negotiators successfully manage cross-cultural business negotiations. The managerial implications provide real-world business negotiators with some suggestions on how to conduct themselves in a cross-cultural business negotiations environment. Furthermore, this study suggests certain patterns in verbal interactions that can help them build and sustain their relationships with their business counterparts.
Date of Award1 Aug 2018
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • The University of Manchester
SupervisorOscar De Bruijn (Supervisor) & Claudio De Mattos (Supervisor)


  • dyadic
  • coding
  • simulation
  • IPA
  • face-to-face interaction
  • cross-cultural
  • business negotiation
  • international
  • categorise

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