Relational Accommodation in Negotiation: Effects of Egalitarianism and Gender on Economic Efficiency and Relational Capital (Formerly the O. Henry Effect: The Impact of Relational Norms on Negotiation Outcomes)

45 Pages Posted: 15 Sep 2004  

Jared R. Curhan

Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) - Sloan School of Management

Margaret Neale

Stanford Graduate School of Business

Lee D. Ross

Stanford University - Psychology

Jesse Rosencranz-Engelmann

Stanford University

Abstract

Highly relational contexts can have costs as well as benefits. Researchers theorize that negotiating dyads in which both parties hold highly relational goals or views of themselves are prone to relational accommodation, a dynamic resulting in inefficient economic outcomes yet high levels of relational capital. Previous research has provided only indirect empirical support for this theory. The present study fills this gap by demonstrating the divergent effects of egalitarianism on economic efficiency and relational capital in negotiation. Dyads engaged in a simulated employment negotiation among strangers within a company that was described as either egalitarian or hierarchical. As hypothesized, dyads assigned to the egalitarian condition reached less efficient economic outcomes yet had higher relational capital than dyads assigned to the hierarchical condition. Negotiations occurring between females resulted in lower joint economic outcomes than negotiations occurring between males. Results are consistent with the theory of relational self construal in negotiation.

Keywords: Negotiation, egalitarianism, hierarchy, power distance, gender, relational self-construal, relational satisficing, organizational culture, relational capital, economic outcomes, joint value, O. Henry Effect

Suggested Citation

Curhan, Jared R. and Neale, Margaret and Ross, Lee D. and Rosencranz-Engelmann, Jesse, Relational Accommodation in Negotiation: Effects of Egalitarianism and Gender on Economic Efficiency and Relational Capital (Formerly the O. Henry Effect: The Impact of Relational Norms on Negotiation Outcomes). Harvard PON Working Paper No. 04-122; MIT Sloan Working Paper No. 4509-04; AoM Conflict Management Division 2002 Mtgs. No. 14092; Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, Forthcoming. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=321448

Jared R. Curhan (Contact Author)

Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) - Sloan School of Management ( email )

50 Memorial Drive, E52-554
Cambridge, MA 02142
United States
617-253-5219 (Phone)
617-253-2660 (Fax)

Margaret A. Neale

Stanford Graduate School of Business ( email )

655 Knight Way
Stanford, CA 94305-5015
United States
415-725-7979 (Fax)

Lee D. Ross

Stanford University - Psychology ( email )

BLDG 420-RM 380
Mail Code: 2130
Stanford, CA 94305
United States
(650) 725-2447 (Phone)

Jesse Rosencranz-Engelmann

Stanford University

Stanford, CA 94305
United States

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