Spirals of Trust: Identifying the Factors that Shape and Sustain Trust in Negotiation

33 Pages Posted: 29 Mar 2002

See all articles by Mara Olekalns

Mara Olekalns

University of Melbourne - Melbourne Business School

Feyona Lau

University of Melbourne - Department of Psychology

Philip Smith

University of Melbourne - Department of Psychology

Abstract

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

Suggested Citation

Olekalns, Mara and Lau, Feyona and Smith, Philip L., Spirals of Trust: Identifying the Factors that Shape and Sustain Trust in Negotiation. IACM 15th Annual Conference. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=305145 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.305145

Mara Olekalns (Contact Author)

University of Melbourne - Melbourne Business School ( email )

200 Leicester Street
Carlton, Victoria 3053 3186
Australia
+61 3 9349 8146 (Phone)
+61 3 9349 8133 (Fax)

Feyona Lau

University of Melbourne - Department of Psychology ( email )

School of Behavioural Science
Victoria 3010
Australia

Philip L. Smith

University of Melbourne - Department of Psychology ( email )

School of Behavioural Science
Victoria 3010
Australia
+61 3 8344 6343 (Phone)

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