Group Decision and Negotiation

, Volume 24, Issue 3, pp 383–400 | Cite as

Confucian Ideal Personality and Chinese Business Negotiation Styles: An Indigenous Perspective

  • Zhenzhong Ma
  • Weiwei Dong
  • Jie Wu
  • Dapeng Liang
  • Xiaopeng Yin


China has become one of the most important economies in the global market, but negotiating with the Chinese remains a great challenge for most Westerners. This study is to help better understand Chinese business negotiation styles with an indigenous perspective by exploring the impact of Confucian ideal personality on business negotiation process in China. This study tests the effects of three key components of Confucian ideal personality—benevolence (Ren), wisdom (Zhi), and courage (Yong) on Chinese negotiation behaviors and further on negotiation outcomes with 200 business students in a simulated negotiation exercise. The results support the significant effects of benevolence and courage on Chinese business negotiation styles but wisdom is not found to have any significant impact in China. The overall pattern of the results substantiates the strong influence of Confucianism on Chinese negotiation styles, and provides an important supplement to negotiation theories developed in the West.


China Confucianism Benevolence Courage Negotiation Personality 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Zhenzhong Ma
    • 1
  • Weiwei Dong
    • 2
  • Jie Wu
    • 3
    • 4
  • Dapeng Liang
    • 5
  • Xiaopeng Yin
    • 6
  1. 1.Odette School of BusinessUniversity of WindsorWindsorCanada
  2. 2.School of Economics and ManagementShanghai Institute of TechnologyShanghaiChina
  3. 3.Leeds University Business SchoolUniversity of LeedsLeedsUK
  4. 4.Faculty of Business AdministrationUniversity of MacauMacauChina
  5. 5.HIT-UMKC Institute for Entrepreneurship and Innovation, School of Economics and ManagementHarbin Institute of TechnologyHarbinChina
  6. 6.School of International Trade and EconomicsUniversity of International Business and EconomicsBeijingChina

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