Choice and Achievement at the Bargaining Table: The Distributive, Integrative, and Interpersonal Advantages of Making Multiple Equivalent Simultaneous Offers

Victoria Husted Medvec
Northwestern University – Kellogg School of Management

Geoffrey J. Leonardelli
University of Toronto

Adam D. Galinsky
Northwestern University – Kellogg School of Management

Aletha Claussen-Schulz
affiliation not provided to SSRN

June 1, 2005

IACM 18th Annual Conference

Abstract:

We propose that in dyadic negotiations simultaneously offering multiple package proposals that are of the same value to the proposer (what we refer to as multiple equivalent simultaneous offers, or MESOs), affords a distributive and integrative advantage to that negotiator. Making MESOs has a number of advantages over simply making a single package offer. MESOs are beneficial because they allow negotiators to collect information while being persistent and aggressive at the bargaining table, but also to be perceived as being flexible and accommodating. Four experiments demonstrate the distributive, integrative, and interpersonal benefits of making MESOs. In Experiment 1, respondents receiving multiple offers were likely to accept an offer and more satisfied with the offer than respondents receiving a single offer of the same value. In Experiment 2, negotiators who made MESOs achieved better distributive outcomes and were perceived as being more flexible. In Experiment 3, when both negotiators made MESOs, they achieved more efficient outcomes. In Experiment 4, when both negotiators made MESOs, they were more likely to reach an agreement in a dispute.

Choice and Achievement at the Bargaining Table- The Distributive, Integrative, and Interpersonal Advantages of Making Multiple Equivalent Simultaneous Offers

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