Multi-party systems (MPS) comprise interdependent stakeholders (teams, organizations) that engage in complex interactions and negotiations. Building on the approach/inhibition theory of power, the self-enhancement strategy and on social interdependence theory, this study aims to understand the mediating role of attributions (i.e. perception of who/what is responsible for a certain outcome) in the relation between perceptions of the stakeholders’ power (i.e. self-perceptions of power, power ascribed to others and others’ perception of one’s own power) and their perceptions of intergroup climate and future collaborative intentions.
Data were collected from 30 groups (113 participants) that took part in five multi-party simulations concerning the negotiation of funds allocation among six stakeholders. The authors have evaluated attributions, intergroup climate and future collaborative intentions using questionnaires and different facets of systemic power were derived from a round-robin procedure.
Mixed models and multi-level mediation analyses were carried out, and the results show that self-attributed power and power attributed by others predict internal attributions, while power attributed to others predicts external attributions. Moreover, attributions mediate the relationship between perceived power and future collaborative intention, as well as between power and perceptions of intergroup climate.
Managing the multi-party systems is a complex endeavor, and the results point toward ways in which power dynamics in multi-party systems can be addressed.
To the best of authors’ knowledge, this study is among the first empirical attempts to explore the association between the perceptions of power and attributions in multi-party systems engaged in negotiation tasks.
This paper was supported by a grant by the Executive Unit for Financing Higher Education, Research, Development and Innovation (UEFISCDI), project number PN-III-P1-1.1-TE-2016-0778. The funders had no role in study design, data collection and analysis, decision to publish or preparation of the manuscript.
Trif, S., Curseu, P.L., Fodor, O.C. and Flestea, A.M. (2020), "An attributional account of power in multi-party negotiations", International Journal of Conflict Management, Vol. 31 No. 5, pp. 821-842. https://doi.org/10.1108/IJCMA-10-2019-0189Download as .RIS
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