From Claiming to Creating Value: The Psychology of Negotiations on Common Resource Dilemmas

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Current sustainability challenges often reflect common resource dilemmas where peoples’ short-term self-interests are at odds with collective interests in the present and future. In this article, we highlight the key role of joint decision-making processes in negotiations to facilitate the management of common resource dilemmas and to promote the transition toward sustainability. By reflecting on psychological drivers and barriers, we argue that the limited availability, the restricted accessibility, and the dynamic alterability of resources in negotiations on common resource dilemmas may cause a myopic mindset that fosters value claiming strategies and, ultimately, results in distributive-consumptive negotiation outcomes. To promote value creation in negotiations on common resource dilemmas, we argue that agents must perform a mindset shift with an inclusive social identity on a superordinate group level, an embracive prosocial motivation for other parties’ interests at and beyond the table, and a forward-looking cognitive orientation towards long-term consequences of their joint decisions. By shifting their mindset from a myopic towards a holistic cognitive orientation, agents may explore negotiation strategies to create value through increasing the availability, improving the accessibility, and using the alterability of resources. Applying these value creation strategies may help achieve integrative-transformative negotiation outcomes and promote sustainable agreements aimed at intersectional, interlocal, and intergenerational justice. We conclude by discussing additional psychological factors that play a pivotal role in negotiations on common resource dilemmas as well as further developments for future research.
Original languageEnglish
Article number5257
Issue number9
Number of pages26
Publication statusPublished - 01.05.2022

Bibliographical note

The development of this framework was supported by a research grant from the Volkswagen-Foundation awarded to Roman Trötschel, Johann Majer, and Hong Zhang.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2022 by the authors. Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland.

    Research areas

  • Psychology - negotiation, common resource dilemma, sustainability, creating calue, claiming, value, problem-solving, social justice, mindset, strategies