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Influences of Culture on Transfer Price Negotiation

Mohamed Hussein (), Michael Kraten, Gim S. Seow and Kinsun Tam

The International Journal of Accounting, 2017, vol. 52, issue 3, 227-237

Abstract: Luft and Libby (1997) posit that American transfer price negotiators tend to settle on prices that result in smaller differences in profit between divisions than the external market price will dictate. They attribute the results to a fairness effect. While fairness is present in all cultures, what is considered “fair” differs between cultures (Bian & Keller, 1999; Bolton et al., 2009; Gao, 2009; Surowiecki, 2009). This study ascertains whether cultural affiliation of the negotiator impacts this fairness effect. American and Chinese subjects participated in within-culture and cross-cultural negotiations in an experiment modeled after Luft and Libby (1997). Our results confirm Luft and Libby's (1997) fairness effect when American participants negotiate with each other, but illustrate a contrary effect when Chinese participants negotiate with each other. The negotiator's cultural affiliation is found to determine profit distribution in cross-cultural negotiations. These findings are consistent with longstanding theories of cultural traits (Hofstede, 1980) that are relevant to transfer price negotiation activities. Our results imply that the fairness effect in transfer price negotiation may need to be refined to account for the impact of culture.

Keywords: Culture; Fairness effect; Negotiation; Transfer pricing (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2017
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DOI: 10.1016/j.intacc.2017.07.001

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Handle: RePEc:eee:accoun:v:52:y:2017:i:3:p:227-237