Friendly Threats? The Linking of Threats and Promises in Negotiation

Anne L. Lytle

Melbourne Business School – University of Melbourne

Shirli Kopelman

University of Michigan, Stephen M. Ross School of Business

June 1, 2005

IACM 18th Annual Conference

Abstract:

The strategic use of threats in negotiations does not always result in the intended outcome for the threatener. While the threatener may seek to highlight his or her power for the purpose of influencing the behaviour of the target, and subsequently improving his or her negotiated outcome, threats may backfire. If threats incite anger or contentious tactics, potentially resulting in a conflict spiral, or simply reduce cooperativeness and increase competitiveness, threats can result in increased impasse rates and decreased joint outcomes (Neale and Northcraft, 1991; Schelling, 1960). The purpose of this study is to explore two types of threat characteristics, emotional style of threat delivery and the linking of specific positive consequences to threat content, and their impact on negotiation outcomes and perceptions of fairness and satisfaction.

Friendly Threats? The Linking of Threats and Promises in Negotiation

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