The more (complex), the better? The influence of epistemic motivation on integrative bargaining in complex negotiation

Job van der Schalk*, Bianca Beersma, Gerben A. Van Kleef, Carsten K W De Dreu

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to JournalArticleAcademicpeer-review

    Abstract

    Negotiating about a larger number of issues is often argued to enhance the potential for integrative bargaining. However, the enhanced complexity may also make negotiators more susceptible to bias, making it less likely for them to reach win-win agreements. We argue that epistemic motivation, the motivation to hold accurate perceptions of the world, provides a key to solve this paradox. In a negotiation experiment we manipulated complexity by having participants negotiate about 6 or 18 issues and we manipulated epistemic motivation by making participants process-accountable or not. Under low complexity, there was no effect of epistemic motivation on created value. Under high complexity, however, negotiators with high epistemic motivation created more value than negotiators with low epistemic motivation. Thus, negotiating about larger numbers of issues was only beneficial for negotiators if they were motivated to think deeply and thoroughly.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)355-365
    Number of pages11
    JournalEuropean Journal of Social Psychology
    Volume40
    Issue number2
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - Mar 2010

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