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Consistency of Exchange Signals Matters In Managerial Decision To Grant I-Deals: A Cognitive Dissonance Perspective

Idiosyncratic deals (i-deals) are motivational tools used by organizations to retain key talent. Little research has been done to understand the nuances of negotiating i-deal requests to the granting managers, and this research draws on cognitive dissonance theory to investigate the nuances of an i-deal request. We propose and test the act of an i-deal request as a function of two i-deal types (financial versus task-related) and two framing styles (gain versus loss) that signal different levels of socio-economic exchanges. Further, we propose that (in)consistency of exchange signals from the i-deal type and framing will predict managers’ willingness to grant the i-deal. We also investigate the mediating role of dissonance. In two experiments, we found an inverted-U-shape relationship between exchange signal inconsistency and managers’ willingness to grant the i-deal. In a third experiment, using managers and manipulating dissonance, we show that dissonance predicts managerial granting. Research implications are discussed.

Maria Tomprou
Carnegie Mellon University
United States

Violet Ho
University of Richmond
United States

Amanuel Tekleab
Wayne State University
United States


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