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Understanding and managing the motives to initiate negotiations
Negotiation researchers have started to pay more attention to all the stages of the negotiation process, including the initial stage wherein individuals perceive situations as opportunities to negotiate and act on those perceptions. In this paper, we aim to identify and integrate different motives of individuals for engaging, making a suboptimal request, and/or optimizing a request. Thus, we demystify the landscape of negotiation initiation research and organize them into five sources of motivation: a) socialization/acculturation, b) role definition/responsibility, c) rationalization, d) vicarious inspiration, and e) personal characteristics/traits. We also highlight important, yet overlooked, issues, offer examples of the forms that these sources can take, discuss their impact on the three phases of initiation, and their interrelationships. Finally, we suggest practical ways to manage these motivations. This theoretical account will enrich our understanding about the beginning of a negotiation and will add to what we already know about the negotiation process.