Handshaking Promotes Cooperative Dealmaking

35 Pages Posted: 31 May 2014  

Juliana Schroeder

University of Chicago - Booth School of Business

Jane Risen

University of Chicago - Booth School of Business

Francesca Gino

Harvard Business School

Michael I. Norton

Harvard Business School - Marketing Unit

Multiple version iconThere are 2 versions of this paper

Date Written: May 29, 2014

Abstract

Humans use subtle sources of information — like nonverbal behavior — to determine whether to act cooperatively or antagonistically when they negotiate. Handshakes are particularly consequential nonverbal gestures in negotiations because people feel comfortable initiating negotiations with them and believe they signal cooperation (Study 1). We show that handshakes increase cooperative behaviors, affecting outcomes for integrative and distributive negotiations. In two studies with MBA students, pairs who shook hands before integrative negotiations obtained higher joint outcomes (Studies 2a and 2b). Pairs randomly assigned to shake hands were more likely to openly reveal their preferences on trade-off issues, which improved joint outcomes (Study 3). In a fourth study using a distributive negotiation, pairs of executives assigned to shake hands were less likely to lie about their preferences and crafted agreements that split the bargaining zone more equally. Together, these studies show that handshaking promotes the adoption of cooperative strategies and influences negotiation outcomes.

Keywords: Handshake, Negotiation, Cooperation, Integrative, Distributive

Suggested Citation

Schroeder, Juliana and Risen, Jane and Gino, Francesca and Norton, Michael I., Handshaking Promotes Cooperative Dealmaking (May 29, 2014). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2443551 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2443551

Juliana Schroeder

University of Chicago - Booth School of Business ( email )

5807 S. Woodlawn Avenue
Chicago, IL 60637
United States

Jane Risen

University of Chicago - Booth School of Business ( email )

5807 S. Woodlawn Avenue
Chicago, IL 60637
United States

Francesca Gino (Contact Author)

Harvard Business School ( email )

Soldiers Field Road
Morgan 270C
Boston, MA 02163
United States

Michael I. Norton

Harvard Business School - Marketing Unit ( email )

Soldiers Field
Boston, MA 02163
United States

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