When Time is Not Money: Why Americans May Lose Out at the Negotiation Table

Elizabeth D. Salmon, Michele J. Gelfand, Hsuchi Ting, Sarit Kraus, Yakov Gal, Ashley Fulmer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Although previous research has linked hyperbolic discounting, an economic model of impatience, to negative outcomes such as smoking, problem drinking, lowered academic achievement, and ineffective career search decisions, there is little research that addresses how impatience may impact performance at the bargaining table and whether Americans have a disadvantage in negotiations as compared to other cultural groups as a result. Using the subjective line task, we replicate previous research showing that subjective time perceptions underpin hyperbolic discounting (Study 1a, n = 101) and are related to estimations and perceptions of durations in a timed experiment and impatience in recalled negotiations (Study 1b, n = 202). Further, in a study of negotiation (Study 2, n = 132), Americans viewed time as relatively more condensed and achieved lower negotiation outcomes as compared to Lebanese participants, and moreover, subjective time perceptions mediated the relationship between culture and negotiation outcomes. This research has significant consequences for real-world negotiations, as cultural differences in time perception can be used as an exploitable weakness and may hinder negotiation outcomes.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)349-367
Number of pages19
JournalAcademy of Management Discoveries
Issue number4
Early online date15 Apr 2016
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2016


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