The Dark Side of Subjective Value in Sequential Negotiations: The Mediating Role of Pride and Anger

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Scholars who study negotiation increasingly recognize the importance of social context, seeing negotiations not merely as 1-shot interactions but as influenced by what came before. Under this longitudinal conceptualization of negotiation, a number of recent studies demonstrate that social psychological outcomes from prior negotiations are positively related to economic performance in subsequent negotiations when negotiating repeatedly with the same counterpart. In this report, we investigate a counterexample in the context of “sequential negotiations,” which we define as multiple negotiation sessions that occur within a short time frame but facing different counterparts in each session. We theorize, in sequential negotiations, that subjective value from 1 negotiation should be negatively related to objective outcomes in a subsequent negotiation because of spillover effects of incidental anger and pride. We test this model in 2 studies: a multiround lab study with a student sample and a longitudinal field study with employees negotiating as part of their jobs. Results from both studies support the hypothesized negative relationship between subjective value from an initial negotiation and the objective outcome from a subsequent negotiation with a different counterpart. The mediating role of pride is supported partially in Study 1 and fully in Study 2, whereas the mediating role of anger is not supported in either study. We discuss implications for negotiation theory and practice.

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