CREATE-ET is a joint project between the University of Trier and ESCP Europe Berlin. Scientific staff of both research and educational institutions work closely together to implement the research project.


CREATE-ET is a joint project between the University of Trier and ESCP Europe Berlin. Scientific staff of both research and educational institutions work closely together to implement the research project.

Project Leader

Univ.-Prof. Dr. Katrin Muehlfeld

Inhaberin der Professur für Management Organisation und Personal Universität Trier

Univ.-Prof. Dr. Robert Wilken

Inhaber des Lehrstuhls für Internationales Marketing ESCP Europe Berlin

Dr. Alexandra Moritz

Wissenschaftliche Mitarbeiterin Universität Trier

Dr. Veronique Slomski

Wissenschaftliche Mitarbeiterin ESCP Europe Berlin

Anja Loderer

Wissenschaftliche Mitarbeiterin Universität Trier

Frühere Forschung zum Thema

Eröffnungsangebote in Verhandlungen können als mächtiger Anker fungieren und letztlich ihr Ergebnis stark beeinflussen. Für ein tiefergehendes Verständnis des Einflusses von Startgeboten verfolgen wir einen prozessorientierten Ansatz und analysieren den Einfluss von Eröffnungsangeboten auf einzelne nachfolgende Zugeständnisse in simulierten distributiven Preisverhandlungen zwischen Käufern und Verkäufern. Unter Verwendung eines Multilevel-Ansatzes, der neu für diesen Forschungskontext ist, zeigen die Ergebnisse einen signifikanten Einfluss von Eröffnungsangeboten auf alle darauffolgenden Zugeständnisse von Käufer und Verkäufer sowie eine Abnahme der Zugeständnisse im Laufe der Verhandlung. Interessanterweise bleiben die eigenen Konzessionen von denjenigen des Verhandlungspartners unbeeinflusst. Die empirischen Befunde verdeutlichen also die besondere Rolle von Erstgeboten als mächtiger Anker und zentraler Einflussfaktor von Verhandlungsergebnissen. Der Planung von Eröffnungsangeboten kommt folglich eine große Bedeutung in der Verhandlungspraxis zu.
First offers are powerful anchors that strongly determine the outcome of a negotiation. To gain deeper insights into the power of first offers, we adopt a process-oriented view and analyze the impact of first offers on single subsequent concessions, in simulations of distributive price negotiations between a buyer and a seller. Using a multilevel approach which is new to this field of investigation, the results show that first offers have a significant influence on all subsequent concessions made by the buyer and seller, and these concessions decrease during the course of negotiation. Interestingly, concessions remain unaffected by the opponent’s preceding concession. These results thus demonstrate that the first offer is indeed a powerful anchor, as it influences all single steps required to reach an agreement.

Purpose – This study aims to investigate the use of deceptive negotiation tactics to explain why teams can attain higher negotiation profits than individual negotiators. The study distinguishes deception by commission (i.e. active misrepresentation of preferences) from deception by omission (i.e. passive misrepresentation of preferences). Design/methodology/approach – The sample used to test the mediation hypothesis was made up of data from two electronically mediated negotiation simulations encompassing 75 negotiation dyads with 278 participants. The methodology involved coding deceptive negotiation tactics from the log files by counting utterances related to indifference options that enabled negotiation parties to deceive. Findings – The results show that teams do apply deceptive negotiation tactics more frequently than individual negotiators and that this behavior helps them increase their negotiation profits. Originality/value – The findings are valuable for two reasons. First, the study included controls for other important antecedents of deceptive behavior and negotiation outcome (e.g. negotiators’ nationalities, first bids). Consequently, the empirical results underline the importance of considering team size to understand its impact on profits through the use of deceptive tactics. Second, although this study does show that deception increases negotiation profits, the absolute level of deception is rather small (on average just one deceptive statement per negotiation).

Culture likely affects the choice of negotiation strategies significantly, and culture-dependent preferences for negotiation strategies could lead to conflict when negotiations cross borders. Negotiators often regard some degree of adaptation to the culture of their negotiation partner as a solution to such conflicts. The authors test this suggested solution in an asymmetric setting, in which a solo (outnumbered) negotiator faces a team. Two studies that employ web-based negotiation simulations show that only solo negotiators adapt to the negotiation strategies of their team counterpart. In a third study that uses a symmetric (solo–solo) setting, the adaptation effect disappears. These studies thus illustrate the greater social impact of teams versus solo negotiators. For outnumbered negotiators, adaptation is particularly beneficial (i.e., increases negotiation profit) if it involves an increased use of integrative strategies. The degree to which negotiators succeed in intercultural negotiations thus depends on their counterpart’s (team’s) culture.

Buyer–seller negotiations (BSN) are the fundamental mechanism of deal-making in business markets. However, it is well-known that many such negotiations fail to exploit their integrative potential and remain inefficient. Therefore, defining, measuring, and understanding the causes of BSN efficiency are of great consequence to researchers, managers, and policy makers. Based on an assessment of the shortcomings in extant measures, we posit the conceptual and analytical desiderata for any measure of negotiation efficiency. Specifically, we refine the conceptual understanding of BSN efficiency beyond the standard economic viewpoint and extend it to encompass a) affective responses to complement economic outcome measures, b) resources expended to reach these outcomes, and c) the multi-dimensional nature of both the outcome and input (resource) aspects. We propose Data Envelopment Analysis (DEA) as a means to measure our conceptualization of BSN efficiency to alleviate the shortcomings identified. We use two studies to illustrate the face validity and additional insights that employing DEA provides compared to traditional outcome measures. We conclude by discussing the directions for future research.

Many modern business negotiations cross borders, and one plausible idea for successfully managing such negotiations is to equip negotiation teams with a “cultural moderator,” an individual who has the same cultural background as the business partner. This study investigates the effect of cultural moderators on both the negotiation process (e.g., use of integrative strategies) and economic outcomes (e.g., profit). Using German and French negotiators in an experimental setting, the authors show that a cultural moderator’s influence on the team’s use of integrative strategies depends on the moderator’s degree of collectivism. With respect to economic outcomes, the presence of a cultural moderator always improves a team’s results. Together, these findings suggest that the benefits of using a cultural moderator are not unconditional; rather, they depend on the cultural moderator’s cultural background and on the negotiation goals (process vs. outcome) of the team that employs the moderator.

As previous research demonstrates, few firms provide full pricing authority to their sales representatives (in the following: sales reps), and those sales representatives who do have full pricing authority may offer too many price concessions in their effort to close the sale. Thus, many sales managers lose the opportunity to use salespeople’s superior customer knowledge to exploit their customers‘ willingness to pay. This study investigates how a company might steer sales reps during price negotiations while still giving them full pricing authority. The proposed instrument is simple to understand, easy to implement, fairly inexpensive, and effective; it posits that the kind of cost information that sales reps receive affects both their cognitive references and their negotiation behavior, which in turn affect negotiated prices. Electronically mediated negotiations in an experimental setting with 119 student dyads (Study 1), as well as replications of the findings using 41 dyads of key account managers (Study 2), indicate that undifferentiated cost information (full costs without information on direct costs) leads to higher reference prices (reservation price, target price, and first offer), as well as stronger attacking behavior and weaker coordinating behavior. These effects yield higher sales prices, and therefore more profit for the company. These results offer sales managers valuable insights into the “black box” of negotiations, which may be particularly helpful for steering sales reps in a situation in which they have full pricing authority.

Purpose and Methodology. Both academic research and managerial practice devote attention to the topic of negotiation, and price negotiations have particular salience in business relations. Despite frequent negotiations between buying and selling centers in practice, the impact of team characteristics on the course and outcome of a negotiation rarely has been researched. This study proposes an integrative framework of the determinants of negotiation outcomes that examines the impact of group characteristics on both the conduct of the negotiating parties and the negotiation outcome. Originality. Unlike most studies, this research integrates the impact of group characteristics on both the course and the outcome of a negotiation. In practice, negotiations occur between teams, so the question of how groups should be designed to perform well in that context is very relevant. Also, in practice, objective outcome measures are often hard to obtain; instead, businesses often must rely on subjective evaluations by negotiators. We therefore measure negotiation outcomes perceived by the negotiating parties, in addition to objective outcome measures, to discern whether the drivers of objective and subjective success differ or coincide. Findings. Team characteristics translate to a certain, albeit limited, extent into between-group negotiation conduct. Cohesive groups and groups with a participative decision-making structure are less likely to engage in contending behavior. Group characteristics unequally affect objective and perceived outcome measures. Groups with a participative decision-making structure achieve a higher joint profit (i.e., higher profit for the whole supply chain) from the negotiation but evaluate the outcome more negatively than do groups with a lower level of participative decision making. Factors that enhance a party’s perception of negotiation outcomes do not necessarily benefit objective outcomes and are particularly harmful for joint outcomes. Practical Implications. For business marketing practice, the findings imply that the composition of a buying and/or selling center and the related decision-making mode within that center can influence the negotiation. Furthermore, relying on the negotiator’s evaluation of negotiation success might be problematic. Instead, efforts should be made to quantify the negotiation outcome in a more objective fashion.

Team decision‐making on organizational and strategic changes is pervasive. Yet, little is known about determinants of teams‘ change preferences. We analyze how composition with respect to personality traits associated with (pro‐)active behavior (locus of control and type‐A/B behavior) influences self‐managing teams‘ preferences for the likelihood and magnitude of changes, and whether participative decision‐making and team monitoring as core features of group decision‐making counteract or reinforce change tendencies. Results from a business simulation with 42 teams largely support predictions. Stronger type‐A orientation increases the likelihood of (drastic) changes. Teams dominated by internal locus of control members are highly responsive to performance feedback in their change preferences. Participative decision‐making encourages, whereas team monitoring restricts tendencies towards extreme magnitudes.

Business schools around the world must prepare their students for two realities: operating in an English-speaking business world and working in teams. As yet, there is limited understanding of how operating in a native or a foreign language impacts students’ propensity to free ride in group settings. Building on general dual process theory of higher cognition and using a unique dataset of 276 Dutch business school students, we find that students are more inclined to free ride in a foreign language setting than in a native language setting. A student’s conscientiousness attenuates this relationship such that this effect is stronger for students who are less conscientious, and weaker and almost absent for those who are more conscientious. After a student decides not to free ride but to positively contribute to the group, the specific level of contribution is not affected by foreign language. We discuss implications for practice, policy, theory, and future research.

While increasing globalization of the business world and rising numbers of people working in foreign language contexts are undoubted facts of modern work life, there are surprisingly few studies on individuals’ emotional reactions to working in a foreign language. Facilitating further research, we introduce a short scale for foreign language anxiety that is applicable in business and other professional contexts. Additionally, we investigate its relationship with gender and general personality traits. Our analysis of survey data from 320 adult bilinguals with Dutch as their mother tongue and English as foreign language demonstrates the reliability of the short scale. Furthermore, we find that females experience higher levels of FLA, but that this association is mediated by differences in personality. Our study contributes to the emerging literature on individuals’ (emotional) responses to using foreign languages in business contexts.

This study develops and tests theory about the multifaceted causal effect of foreign language on individuals’ cooperative behavior and confidence therein. Based on mediation and moderation arguments, we disentangle two mechanisms: Language-induced information barrier and language-related cultural accommodation/alienation effect. While language proficiency mitigates the information barrier effect identified through the mediating lack of understanding, a larger ‘cultural accommodation gap’ — a novel, individual-level concept — enhances the direct culture-related language effect. Results of a randomized experiment with 238 Dutch participants support our predictions: Using a foreign language (here, English) affects cooperation through both mechanisms, and moderators display the predicted signs.

We investigate the relationship between gender and foreign language anxiety (FLA) in the second language (L2: English) of 320 adult bilinguals (L1: Dutch) outside the foreign language learning context. Results show that females experience higher levels of FLA. The association between gender and FLA, however, is a reflection of gender differences in personality; personality mediates most of this relationship. Individuals who are highly emotional or conscientious— dimensions for which males and females demonstrate substantial differences—experience higher levels of FLA. Furthermore, this relationship is stronger for women; that is, gender also acts as moderator to the personality-FLA relationship.

Individual-level opportunity recognition processes are vital to corporate entrepreneurship. However, little is known regarding how managerial communication impacts the effectiveness of idea suggestion systems in stimulating individuals‘ participation in intrapreneurial ideation. Integrating self-determination theory, creativity, and framing research, we theorize how different ways of inviting employees to submit proposals (opt-out/opt-in registration; provision of examples) affect the number and quality of submitted ideas. Our multi-method study (field experiment, vignette experiment, interviews) shows that (i) opt-out increases employee participation without reducing idea quality and (ii) the provision of examples enhances the usefulness of ideas but decreases novelty and the number of submissions.

The influence of foreign language on individuals’ creative performance is an underexplored issue in organizational research. We argue that the language setting affects motivational, cognitive, and affective determinants of creativity. Integrating the extant literatures on determinants of individuals’ creativity and on (foreign) language in business with cognitive psychological literature on limited mental resources, we hypothesize that high task commitment, superior foreign language proficiency, and low foreign language anxiety result in high creative performance. Furthermore, we expect gender to moderate the relationship between foreign language anxiety and creative performance. An empirical study with 157 participants largely supports our theory. Task commitment promotes creative performance, but only in a mother-tongue setting. Based on a comparison of effect sizes, foreign language anxiety rather than low proficiency appears to be the main obstacle to creative performance in a foreign language setting. Practical and theoretical implications for research on creativity and on foreign language in business are derived.