Spirals of Trust: Identifying the Factors that Shape and Sustain Trust in Negotiation
33 Pages Posted: 29 Mar 2002
Two experiments tested the relationship between first impressions and trust in simulated negotiations. Experiment 1 tested the impact of Social Motive and Behavioral Consistency on trust and impressions in a 2-party negotiation. Negotiators established a positive cycle of trust in which initial impressions and trust predicted later impressions and trust. Initial trust was higher and impressions were more positive when negotiators had a cooperative, rather than an individualistic, social motive. They remained stable when the other party (a confederate) displayed behavioral consistency, but changed in response to behavioral inconsistency. Both worsened if the other party changed from cooperation to competition, but improved if the change was from competition to cooperation. Experiment 2 tested the relationship between trust, impressions and outcomes in a 3-party negotiation that manipulated negotiators' power. Analyses again demonstrated a positive cycle of trust, although the strength with which this cycle emerged varied with negotiators' power. Identification based trust predicted the high and low power parties' outcomes, whereas knowledge based trust predicted the medium power party's outcome. A more detailed analysis showed that a complex network of trust relationships determined outcome share, which was predicted not only by who was trusted but also by who was distrusted.
Keywords: Trust, negotiator cognition, power
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