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Sweet Little Lies: Social Context and the Use of Deception in Negotiation

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  • Mara Olekalns

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  • Carol Kulik

    ()

  • Lin Chew

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Abstract

Social context shapes negotiators’ actions, including their willingness to act unethically. We use a simulated negotiation to test how three dimensions of social context—dyadic gender composition, negotiation strategy, and trust—interact to influence one micro-ethical decision, the use of deception. Deception in all-male dyads was relatively unaffected by trust or the other negotiator’s strategy. In mixed-sex dyads, negotiators consistently increased their use of deception when three forms of trust (identity, benevolent, deterrent) were low and opponents used an accommodating strategy. However, in all-female dyads, negotiators appeared to use multiple and shifting reference points in deciding when to deceive the other party. In these dyads, the use of deception increased when a competitive strategy combined with low benevolence-based trust or an accommodating strategy combined with high identity-based trust. Deception in all-female dyads decreased when a competitive strategy was used in the context of low deterrence-based trust. Copyright Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2014

Suggested Citation

  • Mara Olekalns & Carol Kulik & Lin Chew, 2014. "Sweet Little Lies: Social Context and the Use of Deception in Negotiation," Journal of Business Ethics, Springer, vol. 120(1), pages 13-26, March.
  • Handle: RePEc:kap:jbuset:v:120:y:2014:i:1:p:13-26
    DOI: 10.1007/s10551-013-1645-y
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Matthias Sutter & Ronald Bosman & Martin Kocher & Frans Winden, 2009. "Gender pairing and bargaining—Beware the same sex!," Experimental Economics, Springer;Economic Science Association, vol. 12(3), pages 318-331, September.
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    9. 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.
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Kray, Laura J. & Kennedy, Jessica A. & Van Zant, Alex B., 2014. "Not competent enough to know the difference? Gender stereotypes about women’s ease of being misled predict negotiator deception," Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, Elsevier, vol. 125(2), pages 61-72.
    2. Denise Fleck & Roger J. Volkema & Sergio Pereira, 2016. "Dancing on the Slippery Slope: The Effects of Appropriate Versus Inappropriate Competitive Tactics on Negotiation Process and Outcome," Group Decision and Negotiation, Springer, vol. 25(5), pages 873-899, September.
    3. Kevin Tasa & Chris M. Bell, 2017. "Effects of Implicit Negotiation Beliefs and Moral Disengagement on Negotiator Attitudes and Deceptive Behavior," Journal of Business Ethics, Springer, vol. 142(1), pages 169-183, April.

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    Keywords

    Negotiation; Gender stereotypes; Trust; Deception;

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