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  

Emily T. Amanatullah

Georgetown University Women's Leadership Institute

Michael Morris

Columbia Business School - Management

Jared R. Curhan

Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) - Sloan School of Management

Date Written: March 13, 2008

Abstract

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

Suggested Citation

Amanatullah, Emily T. and Morris, Michael and Curhan, Jared R., Negotiators Who Give Too Much: Unmitigated Communion, Relational Anxieties, and Economic Costs in Distributive and Integrative Bargaining (March 13, 2008). Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, Forthcoming. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1106004

Emily T. Amanatullah (Contact Author)

Georgetown University Women's Leadership Institute ( email )

Austin, TX 78712
United States

Michael W. Morris

Columbia Business School - Management ( email )

3022 Broadway
New York, NY 10027
United States
212-854-2296 (Phone)

HOME PAGE: http://www.michaelwmorris.com

Jared R. Curhan

Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) - Sloan School of Management ( email )

50 Memorial Drive, E52-554
Cambridge, MA 02142
United States
617-253-5219 (Phone)
617-253-2660 (Fax)

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