Imagine what it would mean for businesses if they found that the money spent on the entertainment of guests had no real affect on the trust built with the other party. Or perhaps if businesses were told the opposite, that sharing food would enhance trust between two parties, they would invest in it more liberally. It is this dilemma that makes the question of sharing food to enhance trust in negotiations so important. Our inquiry comes from the research question: Does sharing food enhance trust in negotiations? This question is important because its answer may dictate how firms will choose to allocate their budgets. For example, if it is found that sharing food does indeed enhance trust between parties; firms may choose to put more money toward the entertainment of clients and partners. We will take a causal research design to test if there is a cause-effect relationship between food and trust. If it is found that sharing food has no effect on negotiations, firms will do well to heed advice to reallocate some of the funds previously budgeted for entertainment.
[...] For each one of them we wrote down their names on a paper so that they would feel compelled to come and gave them a post-it note featuring the hour, day and place of the experiment as a reminder. We also mailed them the day of the experiment, but it was not sufficient as a third of the subjects were missing. This is why we forced to postpone the testing experiment. The means Financially, we knew that providing food for about 50 people would be a problem. [...]
[...] Through primary experimentation and support of the aforementioned literature, we aim to find if there is a causality relationship between food and trust, if there is a so-called “third factor” at play, being time, or if neither of these factors play a role in trust whatsoever and are merely coincidences of correlation or a reverse of causality. The dependence of the trust variable upon the food-sharing condition is the basis for the definition of the problem: “Does sharing food enhance trust in negotiations?” Experiment design and hypotheses There are many papers in which a positive correlation appears between food sharing and trust. [...]
[...] Culture can have an influence As the traditions and protocols vary from a culture to another, we hypothesize that the respect disrespect- of cultural aspects of food sharing plays an important role in the trust building process. If one of the person does not respect the practice of the people he/she eat with, they might feel very uncomfortable; then, they would probably not be willing to trust him for negotiations. This particular aspect of food sharing may be even more relevant in countries where the respect of the tradition is a central part of everyday life organisation. [...]
[...] This allows us to conclude that sharing food does have an effect on the process of sharing food, and that this effect is a positive one because we noticed that subjects in the first level were more willing to give their candies than in the other level, and that the number of candies that each subject gave away was generally greater that the one in the other level. Consequently, we can deduce from this analysis that our hypothesis was correct: sharing food does have and influence on trust-building and in addition, it is a positive one. [...]
[...] In the article “Food sharing and feeding another person suggest intimacy; two studies of American college students” (Miller et al, 1998) a study finds that when American college students see two members of the opposite sex sharing a meal, they are inclined to believe that the relationship is an intimate one of romantic or even sexual nature and that there is a greater than normal degree in closeness in the relationship. More literature attempts to define the value of trust in the context of business relationships. [...]
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