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Promoting prevention success at the bargaining table: Regulatory focus in distributive negotiations

Listed author(s):
  • Trötschel, Roman
  • Bündgens, Silke
  • Hüffmeier, Joachim
  • Loschelder, David D.
Registered author(s):

    While promotion-focused individuals conceptualize goals as ideals and opportunities, prevention-focused individuals conceptualize goals as obligations and necessities. Due to these different goal conceptualizations, prevention-focused parties are expected to set the framework for agreements in distributive business-negotiations among parties with different regulatory foci: Specifically, we predict that prevention-focused negotiators reveal a high resistance to concede until their goals are met, but are willing to concede once their goals are fulfilled. In contrast, promotion-focused parties should adjust their concession making to the best attainable outcomes, irrespective of their negotiation goals. Two studies supported these theoretical assumptions: Prevention-focused parties with goals located in the upper range (i.e., high goals) of the ‘zone of possible agreements’ (ZOPA; e.g., Sebenius, 1992) revealed a high resistance to concede. Hence, they outperformed promotion-focused counterparts—irrespective of whether the latter held low (Study 1) or equally high (Study 2) goals. Conversely, prevention-focused parties with goals located in the lower range of the ZOPA (i.e., low goals) revealed a lower resistance to concede. Hence, they were outperformed by their promotion-focused counterparts—irrespective of whether the latter held equally low (Study 1) or high (Study 2) goals. The findings are discussed with respect to the role of self-regulation and goal conceptualization in the context of negotiations.

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    Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Journal of Economic Psychology.

    Volume (Year): 38 (2013)
    Issue (Month): C ()
    Pages: 26-39

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    Handle: RePEc:eee:joepsy:v:38:y:2013:i:c:p:26-39
    DOI: 10.1016/j.joep.2012.03.006
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    1. Bazerman, Max H. & Magliozzi, Thomas & Neale, Margaret A., 1985. "Integrative bargaining in a competitive market," Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, Elsevier, vol. 35(3), pages 294-313, June.
    2. James K. Sebenius, 1992. "Negotiation Analysis: A Characterization and Review," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 38(1), pages 18-38, January.
    3. Crowe, Ellen & Higgins, E. Tory, 1997. "Regulatory Focus and Strategic Inclinations: Promotion and Prevention in Decision-Making," Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, Elsevier, vol. 69(2), pages 117-132, February.
    4. Bottom, William P., 1998. "Negotiator Risk: Sources of Uncertainty and the Impact of Reference Points on Negotiated Agreements," Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, Elsevier, vol. 76(2), pages 89-112, November.
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