The attitudes of business negotiators in the Arabian Gulf towards the use of negotiation power were explored through a qualitative interview-based study. Participants included 21 managers from various organizations in the Muscat metropolitan area of Oman for whom negotiation constitutes an essential part of the job. The semi-structured format of the interviews ensured consistency and flexibility in the data collection. The construct of negotiation power was not defined to allow the participants to focus on how negotiation power should be used rather than on what the sources of negotiation power are. The interviews were digitally recorded, transcribed verbatim and examined for underlying themes. The findings revealed four major types of attitudes: a tendency towards an immediate use of power, a tendency towards a delayed use of power, a tendency towards a principled use of power and a tendency towards a reluctant use of power. The attitudes of principled and reluctant use of power were emphasised most and favoured by the majority of negotiators. Analysis of the narratives showed that the principled use of power was related to the negotiator�s concern for economic and psychological outcomes of the counterpart, discreetness in the use of power and the feelings of right and wrong. The reluctant use of power was linked to the strategic preference for trying to build a relationship and trust first and for using persuasive appeals instead of applying power. The implications for the practice of cross-cultural negotiations and negotiation research are discussed.
Alexandre Anatolievich Bachkirov, Sultan Qaboos University, Oman
Stream: Other Special Topics
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