Full Program »
Relational Costs of Unexpected Cooperation In Distributive Negotiation
A positive relationship between negotiating parties is instrumental to reducing uncertainty in future encounters and successful implementation of deals. The conventional wisdom is that in a distributive negotiation the counterpart’s cooperative behavior, by facilitating fair exchange of resources between parties, enhances relationship satisfaction. In this article, we revisit this idea to identify the conditions under which the counterpart’s cooperative behavior is more or less likely to lead to a negotiator’s positive perceptions of the counterpart and relationship satisfaction. We argue and find that a negotiator’s pre-negotiation expectancies about the counterpart’s behavior play a critical role in altering the effect of the counterpart’s cooperation on relationship satisfaction. In two experiments we find that the counterpart’s (un)expected cooperation (decreases) increases perceived integrity of the counterpart, which in turn leads to lower (higher) relationship satisfaction in the negotiator. The implication of these findings for relationship building in negotiations is discussed.