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ICON members at the 7th Edition of the International Biennale on Negotiation

Members of IÉSEG’s Center of Excellence on Negotiation (ICON) were recently involved in the organization and moderation of the 7th Edition of the International Biennale on Negotiation conference that took place on the 19th November.

The goal of this international event, that was held online this year,  is to stimulate ideas for new research and practices on negotiation and mediation. It gathered over 120 participants from around the world, for a series of lively discussions from both the panelists and audience to reinforce links between academics and practitioners. Amongst the topics covered in the panel sessions at the conference:

  • Negotiating at work:  new trends in practice
  • Transformation in mediation – And how mediators can foster that
  • Negotiation teaching and training online – challenges and opportunities
  • Language differences and their influence on negotiation outcomes
  • Negotiating within and with the European Union
  • Methods in negotiation research

Professor Jimena Ramirez Marin (ICON) is a member of the conference steering committee and facilitated the session on language differences which also included a presentation from ICON’s Elena Poliakova. Discussions looked at how accents (from non-native speakers) can potentially have a negative impact on negotiation or conflict management when the counterpart is a native speaker; and also the impact of native versus non-native language on negotiation outcomes. These are clearly important topics for people working  in an international/multicultural environment where people speak a multitude of different languages.

Many other members of ICON and other professors from IÉSEG also participated in this international event


Assistant Professor in International Negotiation at IÉSEG School of Management (Paris)

PhD in Marketing, Georgia State University (USA)

PhD in Philology (Linguistics), Lomonosov Moscow State University (Russia)

Elena’s research focuses on the interdependence of language and culture in the domain of international negotiations and conflict resolution. Methodologically, she explores how linguistic cues can corroborate or challenge the established measures in negotiation and conflict management research. Elena’s interests also include cross‐cultural management and international marketing campaigns. Her research has been presented at various international conferences and published in academic journals, such as the Journal of International Business Policy and the Journal of Cross-Cultural and Strategic Management. Elena has taught courses in negotiation, decision games, international business, and qualitative research methods. Before joining IESEG, she has worked in marketing and education in Russia, Germany, and the United States.


Adjunct Professor to department of People, Organizations and Negotiation, IESEG School of Management

PhD in Management from the Caucasus School of Business, Caucasus University (Tbilisi, Georgia) in partnership with J. Mack Robinson College of Business, Georgia State University (Atlanta, USA).

Paata’s research interests include interpersonal deal making, social exchange, psychological contracts, trust and research methods. He has more than 10 years of international teaching experience. He delivers lectures in management area on Doctoral, Master and Undergraduate levels. His teaching interests range across: negotiation, leadership, organizational behavior and change management.

ICON Research Seminar – by Kevin Tasa

During this ICON Research Seminar, Kevin Tasa (Schulich School of Business, York University, Toronto) will present his work entitled « The Upside of Political Skill: Linking Social Competence to Negotiation Behavior and Outcomes ».

The Influence of Close Relationships and Perspective Taking in Negotiation: an interview with Professor Jimena Ramirez

Professor Jimena Ramirez-Marin

Professor Jimena Ramirez-Marin

Jimena Ramirez, a professor in International Negotiation at IÉSEG, and a member of the School’s center of excellence on negotiation, recently published a research paper* looking at how interpersonal relations can influence the dynamics of negotiation processes. We spoke to her about the outcomes of this work and the importance of perspective taking in business negotiations.


1. In this research, you find that interpersonal relationships influence the expectations of negotiators. How does this manifest itself at the negotiation table?

Expectations in negotiation can be expressed as offers. For example, if you are selling a car, how much do you expect the other party to offer? In this research*, we explored the influence of close relationships on the expected offers. Our paper shows that negotiators expect more from those that are close to them. Furthermore, we found that when these higher expectations are not met, negative emotions can arise, which can result in negative (negotiation) outcomes for both sides. For example, our data shows that if I am buying a car from a close friend, my expectations are that he/she will make an offer that is beneficial for me. However, if both parties expect to receive beneficial offers for themselves, both parties’ expectations will be violated, which results in anger and disappointment, subsequently preventing them from reaching an agreement.

2. You explain that perspective taking is therefore an important element for negotiators facing this kind of situation. Can you explain why?

Perspective taking has been shown to have a positive effect in reaching mutually beneficial agreements in negotiation. As opposed to empathy, which is emotional, perspective taking is a cognitive process that allows negotiators to understand the priorities and interests of the counterpart better. This understanding leads to mutually beneficial agreements. In our study, we demonstrated that perspective taking allowed the participants to expect less from those who were close to them.

3. What would your recommendations be, therefore, for managers in this situation?

Managers focus on building relationships with their teammates, across departments, with their suppliers and so on. For some managers, like Key Account Managers this is at the core of their job. They should be aware that the closer those relationships are, the more they will expect from others. And when expectations are high, expectancy violation is likely and it can in turn hurt the relationship they worked so hard to build. When negotiating with people who are close to them, we recommend managers to put themselves in the other party’s shoes (take perspective), specifically to think about how the other party has contributed to the relationship, to prevent themselves from expecting too much from their counterparts.

* “I Expected More from You: The Influence of Close Relationships and Perspective Taking on Negotiation Offers”, Group Decision and Negotiation (2018), co-authored with Jaime Ramirez-Fernandez and Lourdes Munduate.

More about the School’s MSc in International Business Negotiation is available on the program website