When Do People Initiate a Negotiation? The Role of Discrepancy, Satisfaction and Implicit Negotiation Beliefs

Julia Reif

Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich

Felix Brodbeck

Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich

IACM 23rd Annual Conference Paper

Abstract:

Most studies on the topic of negotiation examine negotiation processes, strategies and results without considering the initiation of negotiation. But isn’t it important for a deeper understanding of the negotiation process to know what makes people initiate a negotiation (or not) in the first place? Building on a Theory of Complaining (Kowalski, 1996), we argue that a perceived negative discrepancy between a current state and an individual’s standard leads to the perception of dissatisfaction which in turn leads to a motivation to reduce the discrepancy in the form of initiating a negotiation on the topic. We furthermore propose that in situations with no perceived discrepancy, the intention to initiate a negotiation is influenced by one’s implicit negotiation beliefs (Kray & Haselhuhn, 2007) and that this influence is moderated by subjective negotiation ability. Using an online survey, N = 272 student participants at the LMU Munich worked on a scenario experiment. Results show that negative discrepancy increases the intention to initiate a negotiation and that this effect is mediated by satisfaction. In situations with no perceived discrepancy, incremental implicit negotiation beliefs increase the tendency to initiate a negotiation in low ability persons. Our study contains first evidence for the applicability of the Theory of Complaining (Kowalski, 1996) to the initiation of negotiation and provides important insights in the origin of initiating negotiation behavior, taking also into account individual differences in perceived negotiation ability and implicit negotiation beliefs.

When Do People Initiate a Negotiation? The Role of Discrepancy, Satisfaction and Implicit Negotiation Beliefs

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