Location Matters When it Comes to Deal Making

Smiling businesswoman in a negotiation
© Photographer: Wavebreakmedia Ltd | Agency: Dreamstime.com
Even six-year-olds know who you sit beside matters, whether you’re in first grade or at a high-powered dinner.

But now a new study, using the U.S. Senate Chamber as its laboratory, provides documented evidence of that phenomenon. It shows that where a person is located influences who they interact with and who they will turn to in order to build support for their own agenda.

For the powerful however, seating arrangements don’t make much of a difference. That’s because the people they need support from usually come to them.

The study’s researchers chose the Senate as “a window into how people rally support for their initiatives,” said Christopher Liu, an assistant professor of strategic management at the University of Toronto’s Rotman School of Management. Prof. Liu conducted the study with Rotman PhD student Jillian Chown.

The Senate was ideal for study because of its rich record-keeping. The researchers analyzed co-sponsorship patterns for bills proposed between 1979 and 2001. This was compared with seating charts kept for the same period. Detailed analysis was done on the distance between specific senators’ desks to test for the likelihood that senators sitting closer to each other might co-sponsor similar bills.

The study found that co-sponsorship of a senator’s bill was more likely to come from those sitting near them. Senators sitting close together were also more likely to co-sponsor the same bills. More senior — and therefore more powerful — senators however were not dependent on their senate location for support on legislative initiatives.

Although the study took place in a political forum, its findings have implications for other organizations that are trying to better understand the importance of where their employees are located and how to foster interactions between them.

“Geographic location is a managerial lever,” said Prof. Liu. “You can’t force people to work with one another. But you can make them share a bathroom, or pass one another in the hall.”

The study is forthcoming in the Strategic Management Journal.

 

###

Share this post through your social networks!

Follow the Magazine: https://businessleadershipmanagement.wordpress.com/subscribe-follow-the-magazine/

(After you have filled in your email address in the column at the right hand side of the screen, a confirmation email will sent to your email address. You will have to confirm it before subscription begins. Subscription is FREE)

Follow us on Twitter: https://twitter.com/BusinessLeaders

Like us on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/BusinessLeadershipManagement

**As part of the Magazine’s drive to reward subscribers/followers, we will be providing subscribers/followers special access to exclusive content which will not be otherwise available to normal visitors. Please be sure to subscribe to the Magazine. Many visitors have given us positive comments that they will be bookmarking the site, but as the system is unable to capture a working email address to which the passcodes for exclusive content will be sent, they will miss out on this content. Do note that passcodes are locked to each exclusive content, not a one-for-all access, so do provide a working email address that you check regularly so as not to miss out on them

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s