The Lemon Car Game Across Cultures: Evidence of Relational Rationality

G.J. Hofstede, Catholijn Jonker, T. Verwaart, Neil Yorke-Smith

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

Abstract

In cross-cultural business negotiation, culture is known to influence negotiation processes. As a lens to study this effect we deployed the Lemon Car Game, an online negotiation game developed for this purpose (Hofstede et al. in: Proceedings of 39th international simulation and gaming association conference (ISAGA). Technologia, Kaunas, pp 39–46, 2009a; Hofstede et al. in: David, Sichman (eds) Multi-agent-based simulation IX, international workshop, MABS 2008, revised selected papers, LNAI 5269. Springer, Berlin, pp 1–16, 2009b). In this article we report the results from the game, obtained from over 800 players from more than 70 countries. We employ several complementary analyses in a mixed-methods approach.Our findings show that to make sense of the players’ actions during negotiation, economic rationality falls short. A pan-cultural individual-level analysis of actions and stated intentions also fails to yield a coherent picture. Within countries, however, actions and intentions do cohere, as shown by an ecological country-level factor analysis, from which three factors emerge for the sellers at country level: trustworthiness, opportunism, and fairness. We conclude from these findings that, in this game, players are driven by what we call relational rationality: they are rational from the perspective of the social world in which they live, with interpersonal relationships weighing heavily. Relational rationality changes players’ perspective of economic rationality, and thus their observed behaviour in negotiation. Based on this evidence, we extrapolate that relational rationality significantly influences negotiation processes in all cultures.
LanguageEnglish
Number of pages29
JournalGroup Decision and Negotiation
Volume1
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 18 Jul 2019

Fingerprint

rationality
Railroad cars
Economics
Weighing
Factor analysis
evidence
Lenses
Industry
opportunism
simulation
trustworthiness
Berlin
fairness
economics
Car
Rationality
factor analysis
Players
Economic rationality
Negotiation process

Keywords

  • Negotiation
  • Culture
  • Experimental studies
  • Power distance
  • Long-term orientation
  • Lemon car

Cite this

Hofstede, G.J. ; Jonker, Catholijn ; Verwaart, T. ; Yorke-Smith, Neil. / The Lemon Car Game Across Cultures: Evidence of Relational Rationality. In: Group Decision and Negotiation. 2019 ; Vol. 1.
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The Lemon Car Game Across Cultures: Evidence of Relational Rationality. / Hofstede, G.J.; Jonker, Catholijn; Verwaart, T.; Yorke-Smith, Neil.

In: Group Decision and Negotiation, Vol. 1, 18.07.2019.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

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