Strategic Demurral in Integrative Negotiations: The Mediating Role of Contentious Behaviors and Anger
IACM 18th Annual Conference
30 Pages Posted: 24 May 2005
Date Written: 2005
A demurral is a verbal or physical display of shock, disgust, or disbelief made immediately in response to an opening offer. This study investigated the impact of immediately demurring in response to a counterpart's opening offer in an integrative bargaining task. The results indicate that negotiators who demurred claimed significantly more value than negotiators who did not demur. Surprisingly, demurring did not affect the impasse rate or the value created in negotiations. Negotiators in receipt of a demurral, however, perceived their outcomes as less favorable than negotiators who did not receive a demurral. Furthermore, demurring appeared to negatively affect the recipient's perception of the bargaining relationship. Mediation analyses revealed that the aforementioned effects of the demurral tactic are fully mediated by the recipients' perceptions of the demurring negotiators' behaviors. Mediation analyses did not support the hypothesis that the effects of the demurral tactic would be mediated by the recipients' perception of the demurring negotiators' anger. Implications of this research for negotiation theory and practice, and directions for future research, are discussed.
Keywords: Negotiation, demurral, first offer
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