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Ethics in Negotiations: The Confrontation between Representation and Practices

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  • Claude Alavoine

Abstract

While in practice negotiation is always a mix of cooperation and competition, these two elements correspond to different approaches of the relationship and also different orientations in term of strategy, techniques, tactics and arguments employed by the negotiators with related effects and in the end leading to different outcomes. The levels of honesty, trust and therefore cooperation are influenced not only by the uncertainty of the situation, the objectives, stakes or power but also by the orientation given from the very beginning of the relationship. When negotiation is reduced to a confrontation of power, participants rely on coercive measures, using different kinds of threats or make false promises and bluff in order to establish a more acceptable balance of power. Most of the negotiators have a tendency to complain about the unethical aspects of the tactics used by their counterparts while, as the same time, they are mostly unaware of the sources of influence of their own vision and practices. In this article, our intention is to clarify these sources and try to understand what can lead negotiators to unethical practices.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Department of Research, Ipag Business School in its series Working Papers with number 2014-272.

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Length: 7 pages
Date of creation: 29 Apr 2014
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:ipg:wpaper:2014-272

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Keywords: competition; cooperation; ethics; negotiation; power;

This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:

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  1. Mara Olekalns & Philip Smith, 2009. "Mutually Dependent: Power, Trust, Affect and the Use of Deception in Negotiation," Journal of Business Ethics, Springer, vol. 85(3), pages 347-365, March.
  2. Mara Olekalns & Philip Smith, 2007. "Loose with the Truth: Predicting Deception in Negotiation," Journal of Business Ethics, Springer, vol. 76(2), pages 225-238, December.
  3. Taya Cohen, 2010. "Moral Emotions and Unethical Bargaining: The Differential Effects of Empathy and Perspective Taking in Deterring Deceitful Negotiation," Journal of Business Ethics, Springer, vol. 94(4), pages 569-579, July.
  4. Jukka Varelius, 2006. "Allhoff on Business Bluffing," Journal of Business Ethics, Springer, vol. 65(2), pages 163-171, 05.
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