Edwin Amuga
8 min readJun 28, 2022


Strategic Negotiation Using Facial Emotion Technique


Negotiation occurs daily at different societal levels with effect and emotions taking center stage in negotiation and other motivated performances. Many theories have been put that that posit that sufficient information on one’s internal affective state is revealed by facial expression. The contextual emotion hypothesis asserts that facial emotional perception is affected by situational factors. Other’s perceptions of one’s facial emotional display could be biased depending on these factors. Based on this hypothesis, one can have different facial displays of the same emotion, which depends on how the sentiment is expressed. This paper considers the automatic facial expression analysis problem. It proposes a technological solution to it far from the traditional experiments and applications in the lab conditions and into the technical analysis in unconstrained conditions. Recent efforts in this direction have shown improvements but how to achieve an accurate, real-time, robust, and informative facial expressional analysis remains vague.

Keywords: technique, facial, expression, emotion

Strategic Negotiation Using Facial Emotion Technique


Human psychology, as a field, has extensively studied how facial expressions are perceived and interpreted in terms of health indicators, social signals, and mental-emotional models and affective states. Several theories have come to life on how to encode, represent, and interpret facial expressions (Geddes ad Linderbaum, 2020). The computer vision community attempted to analyze facial expression by machine analysis but still heavily relied on natural psychology theories and used on convection and coding system.

Negotiation is a daily activity in an adult human’s personal and professional lives in the face of strategic and emotionally-charged social interaction. Emotion is a crucial part of human factors especially in self-relevant and task engaging situations that need a cognitive response. Motivated performance situations and their attendant interactions are associated with both positive and negative emotional states of the interactants. To interested partners, negotiations must take the shape of motivated performance.

Organizations must dedicate their energy, money, and time to train their front-line employees on good negotiation skills as companies expand internationally in the face of cultural differences (Zhao, Romero and Rudnicky, 2018). Approaching foreign markets needs different methods from those applied in the domestic markets to face fierce competition to keep a competitive position adequately. Negotiation n remains one of the most challenging tasks in management. International negotiation is complex and challenging and affected by cultural and demographic differences making them very costly.


Data collection comprises both primary and secondary data sources. Secondary data was drawn from journals, publications, and articles on strategic negotiation practices. This procedure collected past data that were analyzed, reviewed and interpreted after a systematic literature review. The study utilized Google scholar and scientific electronic library to find scientific publications with key words including strategic negotiation, facial expression and context in emotion being used in searching documents on the matter under investigation.

The study based its secondary data search methodology on publication that were relevant to the subject under investigation. The search was limited to works and reviews done between 2015 and 2020 as they were considered most relevant and up to date. Articles published at dates earlier than 2015 were not included as per the set inclusion criterion. The inclusion criteria also stipulated that articles and reviews that did not directly address the subject matter were not to be left out as websites, new materials and reports done within the set time period and those that directly addressed to subject matter were included and used. The primary study data was updated with the data that came from these sources. The most part of the current literature was developed on the topic but was still sizably reduced to a good desired number after content analysis. The flow was used to select reviews considering the years of publications, the type of study, objectives, authors and limitations.

Both primary and secondary data sets were incorporated in the study, all of which were triangulated to enhance the research quality and outcome. The primary data collection involved interviews conducted on professionals and scholars in the field using structured and unstructured open-ended questions set and aimed at to identifying respondents.

This study was conducted on an 80-person population size that is currently or in the past directly or indirectly involved in managerial roles in organizational negotiation. The sample size was chosen with a marginal error of 0.5% by snowball non-probability sampling. These chain-referrals forms of sampling procedures are useful when referrals are needed, especially when respondents are not easily identifiable and rare for identifying an unknown potential respondent. The sampling procedure enables the researchers to identify a few likely respondents and request them to participate in the study and requesting further reference or suggesting other potential respondents.

The snowball techniques were identified by Etikan, Alkassim, and Abubakar (2016) and are of three types. The first is the linear in which the researcher is referred by the subject to another potential respondent making it a line of referrals. The second is an exponential non-discriminative procedure in which respondents give multiple references, and all the numerous referrals are explored before going to the next referral level. The other is an exponential sampling procedure in which the researcher selects one referral and leaves the other. In this procedure, the identified respondent directs the researchers to another potential respondent where they also choos one. This study used the exponential non-discriminative snowball sampling to achieve the desired respondent number.

As a data collection tool, semi-structured questionnaire was preferred to help compliment the secondary data collected. A questionnaire and critical informant interview were used. Using more than one instrument helps in supplementing information, thus making reliable findings and conclusions. The questionnaire was designed to encompass respondent’s demographic data, and the expected impacts of the utilized approaches

The qualitative part of the data was collected through the use of essential informant interview guides. The guide was to facilitate interviews with selected respondents to support the questionnaire with more information supporting respondents’ choices of answers. The interview guide mostly included parts included in the questionnaire but leaving the prompts in an open-ended approach for the clients to give their views about the peer tutoring program.

The instruments were tested based on a small sample of the population. For the questionnaire, five potential respondents were selected to answer the questions. From the five, two will also be interviewed to ensure the tool applicability. To enhance the device validity, instrument piloting was recommended to ensure that ambiquous questions were eliminated or modified. The researchers identified issues that needed restructuring, reframing and elimination in the questionnaire. The total time a respondent needed to fill the questionnaire and the interview was established during the toll piloting process.

Permission was sought from the school and the department of education to grant authorization/letter for the data collection; after identifying the respondents, the researcher and a few selected research assistants engaged in a physical visit to the identified respondents. The potential respondents were reached out to and requested to take part in the interviews and questionnaire filling through phone calls and emails. After booking an interview, the researcher interviewed and probed the respondent for 15 minutes. Some selected respondents were given questionnaires to answer. The researcher allowed two days to collect the questionnaires for the respondents who cite busy schedules.

Secondary data were, therefore, extracted from journals, newspaper articles, internet sources, periodicals, and books on negotiation techniques, policy instruments, declarations, and laws, magazines and articles on the topic under investigation.

The process of data analysis was guided by the objectives of the study as information collected were taken through a verification process before they were subjected to the theoretical framework. The information was then analyzed using analytical; and logical arguments using qualitative approaches. This process resulted in qualitative information that were analyzed through content and thematic analysis before they were triangulated and integrated with the secondary data findings. The views, ideas and quotes of the respondents were quoted in the study results to enhance result validity.

The chain-referral sampling procedures were used to identify respondents who led the researcher to others that are unknown but are potential respondents. The researcher was, therefore, be able to locate more respondents, approach them for their participation in the study, and ask them for further referral of more respondents until the required sample size is achieved. The study also adopted a descriptive cross-sectional survey due to its significance in facilitating comprehensive data sources coverage. Qualitative studies help give succinct and elaborate answers to research problems. The qualitative design is used in describing and understanding human behavior and reading facial expressions, while the quantitative approach focuses on the explanation and prediction of human behavior. The use of both methods, quantitative and qualitative, strengthens the research model as it increases result validity and reliability.

Findings and Conclusion

Negotiators identify and control the impact of every situational factor on bargaining process and form their perspectives and analyses based on these. Negotiators must understand the needs fully and wants of their counterparts about the subject under negotiation (Shutzberg, 2019). As negotiators face people from different cultures, good communication and listening skills, orientation towards the people’s cultural response to communications, the will to use support, elevated self-esteem, high ambition, and smart personality displayed using facial expression adds credence and influence to the negotiators and the organization as a whole. The facial expression technique draws from individual characteristics as opposed to the training of the negotiators. The respondents highlighted that they prefer a team of negotiators when negotiating on behalf of a company for a win-win outcome (Laubert and Parlamis (2019).

The outcome of the study demonstrates that effect in negotiation plays a crucial role as negotiators facing counterparts who expressed anger made concessions easily even though their counterparts may not have felt the offense in the first place. Those that express anger during negotiations claim more value and also do not lose their ability to create value. Expression of emotions influences the social interference of the counterpart and their subsequent behavior during negotiation. The success of negotiation processes are based on establishing trust as parties aim to get the most of out of each other. Facial expressions that show anxiety brings mistrust or can bring about a disadvantaged position to a negotiators as it lead to development of low aspirations and expectations leading them to make timid offers. Anxiety therefore predicts poor outcomes in a negotiation process. Calm, persistence and patience are desirable tin a negotiation process as early exit can be counterproductive.

On the other hand, the expression of positive emotions helps increase the willingness of the counterpart to agree to proposals and view things in a better light. The positive facial expression of emotions is a useful strategy but has to be carefully added with negative feelings for successful negotiation and goal achievement (Zhao, Romero, and Rudnicky, 2018). Therefore, the facial expression of anger and emotions in negotiation plays both negotiation skills and negotiation strategy. Consequently, organizations must train their front-line employees, such as marketers and deal-makers, on building powerful negotiation skills with facial expression techniques taking center stage for better deal-making and leadership.



Etikan, I., Alkassim, R., & Abubakar, S. (2016). Comparison of Snowball Sampling and Sequential Sampling Technique. Biometrics & Biostatistics International Journal, 3(1), 00055.

Geddes, D., & Lindebaum, D. (2020). Unpacking the ‘why’ behind strategic emotion expression at work: A narrative review and proposed taxonomy. European Management Journal.

Laubert, C., & Parlamis, J. (2019). Are you angry (happy, sad), or aren’t you? Emotion detection difficulty in email negotiation. Group Decision and Negotiation, 28(2), 377–413.

Shutzberg, M. (2019). Unsanctioned techniques for having sickness certificates accepted: a qualitative exploration and description of the strategies used by Swedish general practitioners. Scandinavian journal of primary health care, 37(1), 10–17.

Zhao, R., Romero, O. J., & Rudnicky, A. (2018, November). SOGO: a social, intelligent negotiation dialogue system. In Proceedings of the 18th International Conference on Intelligent Virtual Agents (pp. 239–246).