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The effect of framing and negotiation partner's objective on judgments about negotiated transfer prices

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  • Chang, Linda
  • Cheng, Mandy
  • Trotman, Ken T.

Abstract

A common approach to set transfer prices is via intra-firm negotiation. However, Luft and Libby [Luft, J. L., & Libby, R. (1997). Profit comparisons, market prices and managers' judgments about negotiated transfer prices. The Accounting Review, 72(2), 217-229] found that because of the existence of self-serving biases, negotiating managers have different expectations regarding what constitutes a 'fair' transfer price, leading to a less efficient negotiation process. In this study, we examine two factors that are expected to affect managers' transfer price negotiation judgments, namely, framing as a gain or as a loss and the negotiation partner's objective (whether the partner's objective involves high or low concern-for-others). We propose that these two factors affect managers' perceptions of the negotiation context, and thus the way they interpret the economic and social consequences of accounting information. Our results show that a loss frame (compared to a gain frame) exacerbates managers' self-serving biases and increases the 'transfer price expectation gap' between buyers and sellers. Further, in our experiment where market price is higher than equal-profit price, we find that managers' transfer price expectations are lower (and deviate more from the prevailing market price) when they are negotiating with a partner with high concern-for-others than with a partner with low concern-for-others. We discuss the broader implications of these results for the design of management accounting systems.

Suggested Citation

  • Chang, Linda & Cheng, Mandy & Trotman, Ken T., 2008. "The effect of framing and negotiation partner's objective on judgments about negotiated transfer prices," Accounting, Organizations and Society, Elsevier, vol. 33(7-8), pages 704-717.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:aosoci:v:33:y:2008:i:7-8:p:704-717
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Caputo, Andrea, 2016. "Overcoming judgmental biases in negotiations: A scenario-based survey analysis on third party direct intervention," Journal of Business Research, Elsevier, vol. 69(10), pages 4304-4312.
    2. Luft, Joan, 2016. "Management accounting in the laboratory and in social context: Four contrasts, 1975–2014," Accounting, Organizations and Society, Elsevier, vol. 49(C), pages 9-20.
    3. Mandy M. Cheng & Cathy Hsieh, 2009. "Transfer Price Negotiation in the Presence of Unequal Bargaining Power: The Effect of a Peer Evaluation Scheme on Inter-divisional Profit Distribution," Australian Accounting Review, CPA Australia, vol. 19(3), pages 195-206, September.

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