This study aims to examine how the fear of appearing incompetent (FAI) and competency pressure relates to negotiation tactics and subjective perceptions in a negotiation.
Using a dyadic buyer/seller negotiation simulation and pre- and post-negotiation questionnaires, we assessed FAI, competency pressure, tactics and subjective perceptions of the negotiation. Mediation models were tested using path analysis adapted from Hayes (2013) PROCESS procedures. MPlus “complex” multi-level function was used to account for non-independence of observations.
Results indicated that those with a higher FAI perceive more competency pressure, which is associated with greater use of competitive tactics (e.g. misrepresenting own interest, holding back information, making unreasonable offers) and lesser use of cooperative tactics (e.g. sharing helpful information, making reasonable offers, compromising). Tactics used in the negotiation mediated the relationship between competency pressure and subjective perception of the negotiation, such that competitive tactics were negatively related, and cooperative tactics were significantly positively related to subjective perception of the negotiation.
Reliability on the cooperative tactics measure was only minimally acceptable and all measures were self-report and collected during a single lab simulation session.
The findings suggest that relieving competency pressure in negotiation settings could open avenues for cooperation. Gaining expertise through formal negotiation training may be one way to accomplish this.
This is the first known study to investigate FAI and competency pressure in a negotiation setting. We draw on an emotion–cognition–behavior framework to show that FAI is associated with competency pressure thoughts, which predict negotiation behaviors. Further, this research lends support to the notion that competitive tactics are fundamental to the mental model of a negotiation.
Parlamis, J., Badawy, R., Haber, J. and Brouer, R. (2020), "Exploring fear of appearing incompetent, competency pressure, tactics and perceptions in negotiations", International Journal of Conflict Management, Vol. ahead-of-print No. ahead-of-print. https://doi.org/10.1108/IJCMA-06-2019-0094Download as .RIS
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