Negotiating Karma: Catalysts for Cooperative Behavior in Negotiation
30 Pages Posted: 22 May 2010
Cooperative actions are central to a problem-solving approach in negotiation. In deciding how to approach a negotiation, individuals draw on multiple cues to assess the likelihood that the other party will reciprocate cooperative actions. Using a simulated business negotiation, we examined how two contextual variables, regulatory focus (RF) and interpersonal orientation (IO), combined with individuals’ norms of reciprocity to determine strategy choices. Drawing on negotiation and regulatory focus theory, we identified two competing models for the relationship between IO and RF: strategic fit (promotion focus, interdependent orientation or prevention focus, independent orientation) and regulatory fit (promotion focus, independent orientation or prevention focus, interdependent orientation). Our analysis showed that when RF and IO provided congruent cues (strategic fit) to negotiators, they engaged in higher levels of deal-making behaviors (offer management, offer exploration, positional information). Negotiators in strategic fit further increased their use of relationship-based influence and offer management when they had strong norms of reciprocity. Weak norms of reciprocity increased the use of influence tactics when negotiators had an independent orientation, suggesting that negotiators attempted to increase the other party’s commitment to the negotiation. Finally, for promotion focused negotiators with an interdependent orientation, weak norms of reciprocity disinhibited the use of positional information.
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