Why are Some Negotiators Better than Others? Opening the Black Box of Bargaining Behaviors

31 Pages Posted: 21 May 2010

See all articles by Hillary Anger Elfenbein

Hillary Anger Elfenbein

Washington University in St. Louis, Olin School of Business

Ashley D. Brown

Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)

Jared R. Curhan

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

Noah Eisenkraft

University of Pennsylvania - The Wharton School

Aiwa Shirako

University of California, Berkeley - Haas School of Business

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Abstract

The authors address the longstanding mystery of individual differences in negotiation performance. Using Kenny’s (1994) Social Relations Model to examine the role of individual consistency in this dyadic process, analyses showed 52% of the variance in performance resulted from individual differences. Beyond demonstrating consistency, coding systems were used to examine transcripts, linguistic style, and nonverbal behavior in order to ‘open the black box’ and understand what makes some negotiators better than others. With hypotheses grounded in Behavioral Negotiation Theory and Interpersonal Theory, results showed that consistently great negotiators differed substantially from consistently poor negotiators in their behavioral profiles. Limitations and future directions for reinvigorating research in this area are discussed.

Suggested Citation

Elfenbein, Hillary Anger and Brown, Ashley D. and Curhan, Jared R. and Eisenkraft, Noah and Shirako, Aiwa, Why are Some Negotiators Better than Others? Opening the Black Box of Bargaining Behaviors. IACM 23rd Annual Conference Paper. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1612491 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1612491

Hillary Anger Elfenbein (Contact Author)

Washington University in St. Louis, Olin School of Business ( email )

One Brookings Drive
Campus Box 1133
St. Louis, MO 63130-4899
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Ashley D. Brown

Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) ( email )

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Cambridge, MA 02139-4307
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Jared R. Curhan

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

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617-253-5219 (Phone)
617-253-2660 (Fax)

Noah Eisenkraft

University of Pennsylvania - The Wharton School ( email )

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Philadelphia, PA 19104-6365
United States

Aiwa Shirako

University of California, Berkeley - Haas School of Business ( email )

545 Student Services Building, #1900
2220 Piedmont Avenue
Berkeley, CA 94720
United States

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