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Engineer Your Story for the Glory: Design Parameters of Storytelling and How They Affect Negotiation Outcomes
By now, companies have realized that negotiations have a determining influence on their success. To improve their business performance, they look for approaches to optimize their negotiation performance. Storytelling is one approach to enhance communication, which is the currency of every negotiation. Academics have proven that storytelling leads to better negotiation outcomes than factual communication. However, there are countless possible ways to design a story. It is still unclear how negotiators have to engineer stories to maximize their effectiveness. Narratology and other disciplines provide general information on story characteristics but negotiation-specific considerations are missing in the literature. To design particularly effective stories, negotiators need to know which parameters have the largest impacts. Our study combined expert interviews and a negotiation experiment to identify and examine the key parameters. One finding is that private stories gain a better individual negotiation outcome for the storyteller and even increase the recipient’s negotiation satisfaction.