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Dancing on the Slippery Slope: The Effects of Appropriate Versus Inappropriate Competitive Tactics on Negotiation Process and Outcome

Author

Listed:
  • Denise Fleck

    () (Federal University of Rio de Janeiro – UFRJ)

  • Roger J. Volkema

    () (IAG/PUC-Rio)

  • Sergio Pereira

    () (IAG/PUC-Rio)

Abstract

Abstract As negotiation is critical to all forms of organizational decision-making, researchers have shown an interest in understanding how the flow of information (valid and otherwise) influences this process. Often, competitive, questionable, and unethical tactics have been treated as interchangeable in these studies, despite presumed differences in appropriateness. The purpose of this study was to examine the similarities and differences in negotiators’ use and efficacy of appropriate competitive tactics (e.g., exaggerated offers) versus inappropriate competitive tactics (e.g., factual misrepresentations), primarily through a negotiation simulation. The study found that although these two categories of tactics were correlated in terms of overall use, appropriate competitive behaviors were used more frequently, especially early in negotiations, and these behaviors often resulted in comparable responses from counterparts. While ultimately increasing the likelihood of a negotiation impasse, the use of appropriate competitive tactics improved an individual’s substantive outcome where agreements could be reached. Inappropriate competitive tactics were likely to increase in number the sooner they were first employed in negotiations, with a response of inappropriate competitive tactics to the first use of competitive tactics increasing the likelihood of subsequent use of inappropriate tactics. The implications of these and other findings for both practitioners and future research are discussed.

Suggested Citation

  • 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.
  • Handle: RePEc:spr:grdene:v:25:y:2016:i:5:d:10.1007_s10726-016-9469-7
    DOI: 10.1007/s10726-016-9469-7
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Keywords

    Competition; Ethics; Negotiation; Outcome; Process; Tactics;

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