Conflicting Social Motives in Negotiating Groups

Northwestern University, Evanston, Illinois, United States
Journal of Personality and Social Psychology (Impact Factor: 5.08). 01/2008; 93(6):994-1010. DOI: 10.1037/0022-3514.93.6.994
Source: PubMed


Negotiators' social motives (cooperative vs. individualistic) influence their strategic behaviors. In this study, the authors used multilevel modeling and analyses of strategy sequences to test hypotheses regarding how negotiators' social motives and the composition of the group influence group members' negotiation strategies. Four-person groups negotiating a 5-issue mixed-motive decision-making task were videotaped, and the tapes were transcribed and coded. Group composition included 2 homogeneous conditions (all cooperators and all individualists) and 3 heterogeneous conditions (3 cooperators and 1 individualist, 2 cooperators and 2 individualists, 1 cooperator and 3 individualists). Results showed that cooperative negotiators adjusted their use of integrative and distributive strategies in response to the social-motive composition of the group, but individualistic negotiators did not. Results from analyses of strategy sequences showed that cooperators responded more systematically to others' behaviors than did individualists. They also redirected the negotiation depending on group composition.

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