Negotiators Who Give Too Much: Unmitigated Communion, Relational Anxieties, and Economic Costs in Distributive and Integrative Bargaining
Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, Forthcoming
56 Pages Posted: 17 Mar 2008
Date Written: March 13, 2008
A series of studies found that the personality dimension of unmitigated communion (Fritz & Helgeson, 1998) leads negotiators to make concessions in order to avoid straining relationships. Results indicate that even within the population of successful business executives, this dimension of relational anxiety can be identified distinctly from more general relational orientations, such as agreeableness, and that it distinctly predicts accommodating tendencies in everyday conflicts. In economic games, unmitigated communion predicts giving in contexts where the relational norm of reciprocity applies, but not in contexts tapping instrumental or altruistic motives for cooperation. In distributive negotiations, the effect of unmitigated communion in lowering a negotiator's outcome is mediated by pre-negotiation anxieties about relational strain and plans to make large concessions if needed to avoid impasse (lower reservation points). In integrative negotiations, high unmitigated communion on both sides of the negotiation dyad results in relational accommodation, evidenced by decreased success in maximizing economic joint gain but increased subjective satisfaction with the relationship.
Keywords: personality, negotiation, distributive, integrative, relational accommodating
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