Getting to Less: When Negotiating Harms Post-Agreement Performance
Posted: 20 Sep 2017 Last revised: 15 Jun 2022
Date Written: September 18, 2017
The negotiation process can harm post-agreement motivation. For example, a homeowner might negotiate with a landscaper, but through the process of negotiating harm the landscaper’s motivation to deliver high quality service. In contrast to prior work that has assumed that negotiated agreements represent the full economic value of negotiated outcomes, we demonstrate that the act of engaging in a negotiation can itself influence post-agreement behavior in ways that change the economic value of an agreement. Across six studies, we demonstrate that negotiations can harm post-agreement motivation and productivity on both effortful and creative tasks. Specifically, we find that wage negotiations can harm post-agreement performance, even when the negotiation has integrative potential or is conducted face-to-face. The negotiation process can increase perceptions of relational conflict, and these conflict perceptions mediate the relationship between negotiation and performance. Compared to not negotiating, individuals who negotiate may secure favorable deal terms, but risk incurring affective, relational, and economic costs after the agreement. Our investigation fills a critical gap in our understanding of post-agreement behavior, and has particular relevance for negotiations that involve services. Our findings suggest that individuals should enter negotiations with caution, and we call for future work to explore not only what happens prior to an agreement, but also what happens after an agreement has been reached.
Keywords: negotiation, productivity, conflict, reciprocity
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