Initiation of negotiation and its role in negotiation research: Foundations of a theoretical model

Abstract

Most psychological studies about negotiation examine processes, strategies, and outcomes by providing a context with given
roles, issues, and resources to the parties involved. We argue that this research is incomplete as psychological variables
and processes, antecedent to the initiation of negotiation, are excluded. A theoretical model is developed which explains the initiation of negotiation by the key motivational
process of discrepancy reduction, which arouses an emotional reaction. It integrates valence, expectancy and instrumentality
considerations as moderating variables. The model serves as a research agenda for the psychological study of the prenegotiation
phase, and for answering the questions of when and why people initiate (or suppress) negotiations, thereby offering grounds
for probing how subsequent negotiations might be affected by characteristics of the prenegotiation phase. The overall aim
is to foster our understanding about the psychological origins of negotiations to complement what is already known about the
negotiation process.

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