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Acta Psychologica Sinica
Dual Motives of Harmony and Negotiation Outcomes in an Integrative Negotiation
ZHANG Zhixue;YAO Jingjing;HUANG Mingpeng
(Guanghua School of Management, Peking University, Beijing 100871, China)
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Abstract  Individuals may consider negotiation as either an interpersonal process with conflicts or an effective approach to resolve conflicts. How individuals consider negotiation and how they engage in the negotiation process are closely related to their internal motives, particularly, their harmony motives. Recent scholars have defined two kinds of harmony motives--harmony enhancement and disintegration avoidance. Individuals with the two kinds of harmony motives are found to resolve conflicts in different ways. The major purpose of this study was to examine the influences of the two harmony motives on negotiation outcomes. Negotiators with high harmony enhancement motive are likely to view their counterparts in a positive way and play a proactive role in initiating and facilitating information sharing with their negotiating partner. In contrast, negotiators with high disintegration avoidance motive consider harmony as a means to protect and obtain profits, thereby acting passively in sharing information with the negotiating partner. We predicted that negotiators’ harmony enhancement motive would positively relate to both their economic gain and the assessment of the relationship between the negotiating parties; in contrary, negotiators’ disintegration avoidance motive would negatively relate to the two negotiation outcomes. As an integrative negotiation consists of both integrative issues and distributive issues, we attempted to examine both individual gain at the individual level and the joint gain at the dyad level as the measures of economic gain. A simulated one-to-one negotiation was used to collect data, and 212 undergraduate students forming 106 negotiation dyads participated in the negotiation exercise. Four weeks before the negotiation, their harmony motives were measured. After the negotiation, participants were requested to fill out a questionnaire which measured the relationships between the negotiating parties. Data from both negotiating parties were used to create the variables at the dyadic level. The Actor-Partner Interdependence Model (APIM) was employed to test our hypotheses. The results supported most of our hypotheses. Individual negotiators’ harmony enhancement motives were positively related to their individual gains, whereas their disintegration avoidance motives were negatively related to their individual gains. We also found that, negotiators’ harmony enhancement motives were positively related to the assessments of the relationships between negotiation partners, but the disintegration avoidance motives were negatively related to the assessments of the relationships between negotiation partners. Finally, the dyadic harmony enhancement motives of negotiation pairs were positively related to the joint gains from the two negotiation partners, but the dyadic disintegration avoidance motives were not significantly related to the joint gain. Harmony and negotiation are two important areas in conflict resolution literatures. By incorporating these two areas of research, this study contributes to both harmony and negotiation literatures by: 1) showing how harmony motives affect the way individuals deal with conflicts in a negotiation context; 2) providing meaningful insights on how negotiator achieve both economic and relational gains in negotiations. In addition, this study also provides empirical evidence on the distinction between the two harmony motives which were theoretically conceptualized in recent research. In sum, the present study not only provides empirical evidence for the conceptual validity of the two harmony motives, but also suggests the mechanism of the relationship between harmony motives and negotiation process. The findings have practical implications for negotiators.
Keywords integrative negotiation      harmony enhancement      disintegration avoidance      economic gain      relationship evaluation     
Corresponding Authors: ZHANG Zhixue   
Issue Date: 25 September 2013
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ZHANG Zhixue
YAO Jingjing
HUANG Mingpeng
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ZHANG Zhixue,YAO Jingjing,HUANG Mingpeng. Dual Motives of Harmony and Negotiation Outcomes in an Integrative Negotiation[J]. Acta Psychologica Sinica, 10.3724/SP.J.1041.2013.01026
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