Research Projects

icon_ideaAt ICoN’s core, there is a state-of-the-art research agenda, centered on relationships in negotiation. Several research projects are conducted in the most rigorous scientific way, in order for findings to be published in top academic journals. It will thus participate in the establishment of negotiation as a recognized field of research. The research agenda is by design open to external researchers, visiting academics and future faculty hires.

Culture and Communication approaches to relationships in negotiation

Basic relational processes and intercultural negotiation:

The purpose of this subproject is to explore culture and communication influences in Relational Negotiation. Relational Negotiation is choosing strategies, or goal directed behaviors (Weingart, Thompson, Bazerman, & Carroll 1990) suited to develop or affirm long-term connections with the counterpart across the table (Gelfand Raver, Nishii, O´Brien 2006, Ramirez & Brett 2011).

The overall scope of this project is to analyze how relationships influence negotiation processes such as goals, strategy and outcomes. The intercultural piece explores how relationship building at the negotiation table works across cultures and develops the conceptualization of Honor, Face and Dignity cultures (Leung & Cohen, 2011) to reach that goal.

Project Managers

Jimena RAMIREZ-MARIN Jimena RAMIREZ-MARIN Basic processes and intercultural negotiation Fawaz BADDAR Fawaz BADDAR Culture and relationships in Key Account Management Chavi FLETCHER-CHEN Chavi FLETCHER-CHEN Communication

Emotions and Relationships in Negotiation

In this sub-project we attempt to understand the role of emotional intelligence (EI) in negotiation.

According to scholars, in today’s dimension of work, EI is recognized as an important ingredient and as a leadership quality (Chopra and Kanji, 2010; Goleman, Boyatzis, and McKee, 2004).

Research has shown that some of emotional intelligence competences are more salient at the negotiation table, and that negotiators practice different conflict management strategies depending on the emotions they experience (Murtezaj, 2013).

This project tends to explore further, through the experiences of high profile leaders, the role of emotional intelligence in leadership, specifically applied to negotiation and conflict situations.

Project Manager


Commercial Relationships in Conflict

In this sub-project, we explore how conflict develops in inter-business interactions and in particular, when it turns into disputes, how the decision-making and the legal functions of the firm interact (Borbély, 2011).

This serves to understand why, in most countries, negotiated dispute resolution (esp. mediation) is not used more often to deal with disputes (Mnookin, 2004).

More broadly, this project looks at principal-agent relationships in negotiation and how behind the table relationships influence negotiation outcomes.

Project Manager


Industrial relations at organizational level

Focuses on understanding the impact of the relationship between social partners (management and labor) in their negotiation behavior as well as in the quality of their agreements.

The term industrial relations, describes the quality of the relationship between social partners (Johnson & Johnson, 1989; Walton & McKersie, 1965). This sub-project addresses why and how industrial relations climate is related to the negotiation behavior of social actors by shaping their psychological orientation towards negotiation (Beersma, Hollenbeck, Humphrey, Moon, Conlon, & Ilgen, 2003; Deutsch, 1949).

This is an initial list of topics; however the agenda and research designs will be open to new hires and potential collaboration opportunities with academic partners and companies in the future.

The centre aims to contribute to the recognition of negotiation as an important management and business development skill that is grounded on systematic scientific research.

Project Manager


Cooperative decision-making and conflict of interest in heterogeneous groups

Teamwork has gained increasing importance in organizations for both decision-making and production. Strategic processes within and between organizations – such as M&A’s, joint ventures and other internal organizational restructurings – result in the formation of newly composed teams. In these heterogeneous teams, (at least) two subgroups arise. Team members are confronted with a social dilemma: continue to act in their self-interest or that of their former team or act in everyone’s interest and contribute to the newly composed team? Free-riding always results in more individual profit on the short-term, regardless of other group members’ choices, but all team members and the organization as a whole are better off if all members cooperate. This research identifies antecedents of cooperative decision-making in such heterogeneous teams.

Aim is to also investigate how the findings on cooperation in faultline-based heterogeneous groups can be implicated on representative negotiations. Inter-group negotiations frequently involve social dilemmas for the representatives: when the constituency consists of subgroups separated by faultlines (coalitions), the representatives need to simultaneously take personal, subgroup, and constituency interests into account, when negotiating with the counterpart.

Project Manager

Ann-Sophie de Pauw Ann-Sophie de Pauw

Relationship Recovery

In spite of the acknowledged importance of long-term relationships, there remains a lack of studies on troubled relationships. In such situations, recovery efforts are needed to continue the important relationships. Using interview data on 28 relationships a process model of business relationship recovery is developed that includes the start of the process, the actions during the process and the outcome(s). The second phase of the project included scale validation for the measurement of Relationship Recovery and inclusion of the scale in a questionnaire containing relational variables to be tested in a b2b marketing context.

Project Manager