Best Foot Forward or Waiting Game: First Mover Effects in a Distributive Negotiation

John M. Oesch
University of Toronto – Rotman School of Management

Glen Whyte
University of Toronto – Rotman School of Management

IACM 15th Annual Conference

Abstract:

This study reports the results of an experiment designed to test the premise of a first mover advantage in distributive bargaining. Dyads negotiated the price of an advance for a newly published book in the absence of market information. The experiment explored the effects of advice to make an initial offer before your opponent or to wait until your opponent reveals their initial offer. A first mover advantage was evident across all conditions. Sellers in dyads in which one of the negotiators was instructed to move first benefited from making the first offer. If the first mover landed their initial offer in the bargaining zone, the first mover advantage became a liability. Implications for theory and negotiation practice are discussed.

Best Foot Forward or Waiting Game- First Mover Effects in a Distributive Negotiation

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