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Political skill in job negotiations: a two-study constructive replication

Marc Solga (Faculty of Psychology, Ruhr-University of Bochum, Bochum, Germany)
Jaqueline Betz (Faculty of Psychology, Ruhr-University of Bochum, Bochum, Germany)
Moritz Düsenberg (Faculty of Psychology, Ruhr-University of Bochum, Bochum, Germany)
Helen Ostermann (Faculty of Psychology, Ruhr-University of Bochum, Bochum, Germany)

International Journal of Conflict Management

ISSN: 1044-4068

Article publication date: 9 February 2015




This paper aims to investigate the effects of political skill in a specific workplace setting – the job negotiation. The authors expected negotiator political skill to be positively related to distributive negotiation outcome, problem-solving as a negotiation strategy to mediate this relationship and political skill to also moderate – that is amplify – the link between problem-solving and negotiation outcome.


In Study 1, a laboratory-based negotiation simulation was conducted with 88 participants; the authors obtained self-reports of political skill prior to the negotiation and – to account for non-independence of negotiating partners’ outcome – used the Actor–Partner Interdependence Model for data analysis. Study 2 was carried out as a real-life negotiation study with 100 managers of a multinational corporation who were given the opportunity to re-negotiate their salary package prior to a longer-term foreign assignment. Here, the authors drew on two objective measures of negotiation success, increase of annual gross salary and additional annual net benefits.


In Study 1, the initial hypothesis – political skill will be positively related to negotiator success – was fully supported. In Study 2, all three hypotheses (see above) were fully supported for additional annual net benefits and partly supported for increase of annual gross salary.


To the authors' best knowledge, this paper presents the first study to examine political skill as a focal predictor variable in the negotiation context. Furthermore, the studies also broaden the emotion-centered approach to social effectiveness that is prevalent in current negotiation research.



The authors would like to thank Stefan Diestel for his valuable comments on an earlier version of this paper. This research was partly supported by a grant from the Rectorate of the Ruhr-University of Bochum, Germany.


Solga, M., Betz, J., Düsenberg, M. and Ostermann, H. (2015), "Political skill in job negotiations: a two-study constructive replication", International Journal of Conflict Management, Vol. 26 No. 1, pp. 2-24.



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