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This chapter reviews theory and evidence regarding the barriers to trust that arise within the context of cross-cultural negotiations. The chapter provides an overview of how trust has been conceptualized in the domain of cross-cultural negotiations. It also provides a discussion of the psychological and social barriers to trust common to cross-cultural negotiations. The chapter then discusses approaches to attenuating or overcoming the deleterious effects of these psychological and social barriers. The chapter concludes by discussing some practical implications of the findings, as well as some directions for future research.
A central and recurring question in the study of cross-cultural relations has been how best to resolve the unavoidable conflicts that arise between interdependent groups and nations (Kahn and Zald, 1990; Messick and Mackie, 1989; Pruitt and Rubin, 1986; Stephan and Stephan, 1996; Taylor and Moghaddam, 1987). Given the obvious importance of the problem, it is hardly surprising that a variety of approaches have been proposed for dealing with such conflicts, ranging from complex structural interventions to elaborate procedural remedies (Davis et al., 1990; Mares and Powell, 1990). Despite the numerous creative approaches advanced to deal with this problem, negotiation remains one of the most basic and reliable mechanisms for conflict resolution in cross-cultural contexts (Garling et al., 2006; Gelfand and Brett, 2004; Kahn and Kramer, 2006; Leung, 2006).
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