A Decision-making Perspective to Negotiation: A Review of the Past and a Look into the Future


A Decision-making Perspective to Negotiation: A Review of the Past and a Look into the Future

Chia-Jung Tsay AND Max H. Bazerman

Working Paper



Through the decision-analytic approach to negotiations, the past quarter century has seen the development of a better dialog between the descriptive and the prescriptive, as well as a burgeoning interest in the field for both academics and practitioners. Researchers have built upon the work in behavioral decision theory, examining the ways in which negotiators may deviate from rationality. The 1990s brought a renewed interest in social factors, as work on social relationships, egocentrism, attribution and construal processes, and motivated illusions was incorporated into our understanding of negotiations. Several promising areas of research have emerged in recent years, drawing from other disciplines and informing the field of negotiations,including work on the influence of ethics, emotions,
intuition, and training.


In the early 1980s, Cambridge, Massachusetts, was a hotspot on the negotiations front. Scholars from different disciplines started Interacting with each other to explore exciting new concepts, and the field took a big leap forward with the creation of the Program on Negotiation, an interdisciplinary, multi-college research center based at Harvard University. Very quickly, Roger
Fisher and William Ury’s (1981) popular book Getting to Yes had a pronounced impact on how practitioners think about negotiations. On a more scholarly front, a related, yet profoundly different change was occurring. Howard Raiffa’s (1982) book The Art and Science of
Negotiation was transforming how researchers would think about and conduct empirical researchfor the next quarter century.

A Decision-making Perspective to Negotiation A Review of the Past and a Look in the Future

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