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Exploring computer-based multilingual negotiation support for English - Chinese dyads: can we negotiate in our native languages?

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The increasing number of international negotiations involving multiple languages has triggered a growing reliance on computer-based multilingual support. Whereas empirical studies on negotiation support systems (NSS) have shown that NSS generally improve negotiation performance, very few NSS exist that cater for multilingual negotiations. With multilingual support, international negotiators of different language backgrounds are expected to address communication barriers and problems. This study involves the development of an NSS prototype with multilingual support as well as a laboratory experiment to examine the efficacy of such support on six important negotiation outcome variables (individual outcome, joint outcome, equality of outcome, time to settlement, satisfaction with process and satisfaction with outcome). Findings suggested significant effects of NSS support on individual outcome and joint outcome. Multilingual support helped to improve equality of outcome (under qualified conditions), but the time taken was significantly longer. The paper underlines the possibility and significance of computer-based multilingual support to address diverse linguistic groups in global negotiation context.

Keywords: Culture; E-negotiations; Language; Multilingual support; Negotiation support systems; Translation

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: School of Computing, National University of Singapore, Singapore

Publication date: May 1, 2007

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