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How- and Why-Mindsets in Negotiations: How Asking “How” Versus Asking “Why” Impacts Negotiators’ Behaviors and Outcomes
Keywords: negotiations, how-mindset, why-mindset, divisible resources, integrative potential
Abstract: The present research investigates negotiators’ how- and why-mindsets as determinants for the achievement of integrative agreements in negotiation with divisible resources. We seek to demonstrate that asking “how” and “why” are both indispensable to discover integrative potential across sub-resources. Specifically, it is predicted that negotiators adopting both how- and why-mindsets will succeed to systematically use the trade-off opportunities among sub-resources, thereby increasing their joint profits. Three experiments were conducted to test these predictions. Parties having both how- and why-mindsets reached higher joint profits than parties only adopting a how-mindset or a why-mindset—both in face-to-face (Experiment 1) and computer-mediated negotiations (Experiment 2). Experiment 3 demonstrates that the beneficial effect of how- and why-mindset were also effective when they were induced by an implicit mindset priming procedure. Mediation analyses reveal that the integrative use of sub-resources accounted for the effect of how- and why-mindsets.