Whatever we negotiate is not what I like: How value-driven conflicts impact negotiation behaviors, outcomes, and subjective evaluations

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Value conflicts have been shown to impair negotiation behaviors and outcomes (Harinck & Ellemers, 2014). The present studies aim to replicate and extend this finding in a paradigm where the parties' values were different, but not opposed. We hypothesized that activating values, rather than utilities, as motives in a negotiation would not only impair negotiation behavior and outcomes, but also subjective evaluations of the negotiated agreements. We further predicted that information provided about the counterparts' priorities would be a less effective facilitator of integrative negotiating in value-driven than in utility-driven conflicts. Two preregistered experiments (N = 176/310) confirm that a value motive leads to an increased aversion to trade-offs and to more compromise offers (Studies 1 and 2), and to lower individual and joint outcomes (Study 2). The results also show that the activation of value rather than utility motives in the parties trigger subjective perceptions of clashing values rather than conflicting interests, even though the values were not opposed. By triggering these perceptions, the value motives indirectly lead to worse subjective evaluations of the outcome, the process, the self, and (in Study 2) the relationship, even when controlling for objective outcomes. Providing information about the counterpart's underlying motives did not produce conclusive differential effects on negotiation behaviors and outcomes, possibly because the shared information did not increase the perceived discrepancy between counterparts. Theoretical and practical implications of the results for value-driven conflicts are discussed.
Original languageEnglish
Article number103993
JournalJournal of Experimental Social Psychology
Number of pages12
Publication statusPublished - 01.09.2020

    Research areas

  • Psychology - Value conflicts, Integrative negotiation, Subjective value, Information exchange