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Indigenous Workways

Indigenous Workways is the lab’s newest knowledge sharing initiative. We have engaged in conversation with practitioners, community members, and academics on issues facing Indigenous youth in the workplace at a Roundtable at the 2015 Canadian Psychological Association, a 2016 two-day Knowledge Sharing event at Vancouver Island University – Cowichan Campus (funded by a SSHRC Connections Grant), and a presentation at the 2016 CANDO (Council for the Advancement of Native Development Officers) Annual meetings. 

Currently, we are working with Aboriginal Education Centres at four Southwest Ontario post-secondary institutions to create opportunities for Indigenous alumni and students to share their stories about work.

Aboriginal youth in regalia

Culture and Conflict Management

Our research on culture and conflict management focuses on the decision making process, or, what goes on during a dyadic or group negotiation. In the context of transactional negotiation, we examine how negotiators act and react to one another, how these patterns are influenced by national culture, and how they change when someone negotiates across cultures. In the area of decision making, we examine how culture influences susceptibility to common cognitive biases such as the endowment effect or escalation of commitment.  In the case of workplace conflict, parties often come to the table with high emotion, often feeling wronged; they may not expect to reach a deal; and communication is typically constrained. Because conversations in conflict negotiations are oftentimes centered more around persuading the other party to see one’s point of view than around sharing information, we use this context to study the use of influence and persuasion strategies in negotiation.

Select Publications:

  • Olekalns, M. & Adair, W. (2013). Handbook of Research on Negotiation. Cheltenham, UK: Edward Elgar.

  • Aslani, S., Ramirez, J., Brett, J.M., Yao, J., Semnani-Azad, Z., Zhang, Z.X., Tinsley, C., Weingart, L. & Adair, W.L. (2016). Dignity, face, and honor cultures: A study of negotiation strategy and outcomes in three cultures. Journal of Organizational Behavior, 37(8), 1178-1201. doi: 10.1002/job.2095

  • Beune, K., Giebels, E., Adair, W.L., Fennis, B.M., & Van der Zee, K.I. (2011). Strategic Sequences in Police Interviews and the Importance of Order and Cultural Fit. Criminal Justice and Behaviour, 38 (8).
  • Adair, W. L., Taylor, M. S., & Tinsley, C. (2009) U.S. and Japanese schemas for inter-cultural negotiation: A tale of overadjustment? Negotiation and Conflict Management Research, 2(2): 138-163. *Won Best Article of the Year from Negotiation and Conflict Management Research.
  • Adair, W. & Brett, J. M. (2005). The negotiation dance: Time, culture, and behavioural sequences in negotiations. Organization Science, 16(1): 33-51. 
    * Won Outstanding Article Published in 2005 from International Association for Conflict Management.

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Cross-Cultural and Multicultural Teams

Research on cross-cultural teams addresses how work teams from different cultures experience conflict and identity. Our work on multicultural teams includes research on subgroups, conflict, and identity in culturally heterogeneous teamsge conflict.

Select Publications:

  • Adair, W.L., Liang, L., & Hideg, I. (2017). Buffering against the detrimental effects of demographic faultlines:  The curious case of intragroup conflict in small work groups. Negotiation and Conflict Management Research, 10(1), 28-45.
  • Liang, L., Hideg, I., & Adair, W.L. (2014). When should we disagree? The effect of relationship conflict on team identity in East Asian and North American teams.  Negotiation and Conflict Management Research, 7(4), 281-288. doi: 10.1111/ncmr.12041
  • Adair, W.L., Hideg, I., Wang, Z., & Spence, J. (2013). The culturally intelligent team: The impact of team cultural intelligence and cultural heterogeneity on team shared values. Journal of Cross-cultural Psychology, 44(6), 941-962. doi: 10.1177/0022022113492894
  • Adair, W.L. & Ganai, O. (2013). Unpacking four forms of emergent third culture in multicultural teams. In Yuki, M. & Brewer, M. (Eds.), Frontiers of Culture and Psychology: Culture and Group Process (pp 195-213).New York: Oxford University Press.

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Culture and Communication

Culture-based communication norms impact what we say and how we say it. CAWL research on culture and communication addresses context dependence, or the degree to which one uses and attends to contextual cues in messages, relationships, time, and space,  and also the use and interpretation of nonverbal cues in negotiation and conflict management.

See Dr. Adair's work on culture and communication as it appears here with a whiteboard video illustration and some audio comments by the authors.


  • Liu, L.A. & Adair, W.L. (forthcoming). Intercultural communication in international negotiation. In. Y.Y. Kim (Ed.) The International Encyclopedia of Intercultural Communication, in Wiley-ICA International Encyclopedias of Communication Series. Hoboken, NJ: Wiley.

  • Adair, W.L, Buchan, N., Chen, X.P., & Liu, D. (2016). A model of communication context and measure of context dependence. Academy of Management Discoveries, 2(2): 198-217. doi: 10.5465/amd.2014.0018

  • Liu, L.A., Adair, W.L. & Bello, D. (2015). Relational metaphors, equity structure, and socioeconomic outcomes of international strategic alliances. Journal of International Business Studies, 46(7), 830-849. doi: 10.1057/jibs.2015.13

  • Semnani-Azad, Z. & Adair, W.L. (Winter 2013-14). Watch your tone... Relational paralinguistic messages in negotiation: The case of the East and West. International Studies of Management and Organization, 43(4), 64-89. doi: 10.2753/IMO0020-8825430404

  • Semnani-Azad, Z., & Adair, W.L. (2011). The Display of "Dominant" Nonverbal Cues in Negotiation: The Role of Culture and Gender. International Negotiation. 16,451–479.

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