Lies, Damn Lies, and Negotiation: An Interdisciplinary Analysis of the Nature and Consequences of Deception at the Bargaining Table

Bruce Barry
Vanderbilt University – Owen Graduate School of Management

Erin M. Rehel
Vanderbilt University

March 1, 2013

Handbook of Research in Conflict Management (Elgar, 2014)
Vanderbilt Owen Graduate School of Management Research Paper No. 2321783

Abstract:

This chapter considers what ethicists say normatively about acts of deception in negotiation, and what psychologists and organizational behaviorists report empirically about the causes, forms, and consequences of deceptive behavior. After brief attention to definitions of lying and deception, we describe normative approaches found mainly in the business ethics literature that address negotiator bluffing. We then summarize empirical social science research on deception, highlighting work in social psychology and communication theory on lying and its detection. A discussion of (mainly) empirical work on deceptive behavior in negotiation follows, including informational forms of deceptions as well as strategic simulation or suppression of emotions. In a concluding section we highlight research gaps and fruitful directions for future inquiry.

Lies, Damn Lies, and Negotiation- An Interdisciplinary Analysis of the Nature and Consequences of Deception at the Bargaining Table

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