Best Foot Forward or Waiting Game: First Mover Effects in a Distributive Negotiation

22 Pages Posted: 29 Mar 2002

See all articles by John M. Oesch

John M. Oesch

University of Toronto - Rotman School of Management

Glen Whyte

University of Toronto - Rotman School of Management

Abstract

This study reports the results of an experiment designed to test the premise of a first mover advantage in distributive bargaining. Dyads negotiated the price of an advance for a newly published book in the absence of market information. The experiment explored the effects of advice to make an initial offer before your opponent or to wait until your opponent reveals their initial offer. A first mover advantage was evident across all conditions. Sellers in dyads in which one of the negotiators was instructed to move first benefited from making the first offer. If the first mover landed their initial offer in the bargaining zone, the first mover advantage became a liability. Implications for theory and negotiation practice are discussed.

Keywords: First offers, distributive bargaining

Suggested Citation

Oesch, John M. and Whyte, Glen, Best Foot Forward or Waiting Game: First Mover Effects in a Distributive Negotiation. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=305144 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.305144

John M. Oesch (Contact Author)

University of Toronto - Rotman School of Management ( email )

105 St. George Street
Toronto, Ontario M5S 3E6 M5S1S4
Canada
416-978-1913 (Phone)

Glen Whyte

University of Toronto - Rotman School of Management ( email )

105 St. George Street
Toronto, Ontario M5S 3E6 M5S1S4
Canada
416-978-4369 (Phone)

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