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Article

Dan Kirk, Gabriele Oettingen and Peter M. Gollwitzer

This paper aims to test the impact of several self‐regulatory strategies on an integrative bargaining task.

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to test the impact of several self‐regulatory strategies on an integrative bargaining task.

Design/methodology/approach

Participants were randomly assigned to dyads and negotiated over the sale of a car. Before negotiating, participants were prompted to engage in one of three self‐regulation strategies, based upon fantasy realization theory (FRT): to mentally contrast a successful future agreement with the reality of bargaining, to exclusively elaborate on successful future agreement, or to exclusively elaborate on the reality of bargaining. Those in the control condition merely began the negotiation.

Findings

Mentally contrasting a successful future agreement with the reality of bargaining leads dyads to reach the largest and most equitable joint agreements, compared to dyads that elaborate only on successful future agreement, or on the reality of bargaining.

Research limitations/implications

Since it was found that mental contrasting promotes integrative agreement, it is important to learn more about the psychological processes that mediate and moderate this effect. Another related line of research would examine the application of the findings to other bargaining scenarios. One further future line of research should combine mental contrasting with planning strategies.

Originality/value

The findings of the paper have implications for both self‐regulation and negotiation research. The result that mental contrasting fosters integrative solutions reflects its potential to help negotiators effectively discriminate among feasible and unfeasible components of a multi‐faceted goal (integrative agreement). For negotiation research, the paper identifies an effective self‐regulatory strategy for producing high‐quality agreements.

Details

International Journal of Conflict Management, vol. 22 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1044-4068

Keywords

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Article

Dan Kirk, Gabriele Oettingen and Peter M. Gollwitzer

The present experiment aimed to test the impact of a self‐regulatory strategy of goal pursuit – called mental contrasting with implementation intentions (MCII) – on an…

Abstract

Purpose

The present experiment aimed to test the impact of a self‐regulatory strategy of goal pursuit – called mental contrasting with implementation intentions (MCII) – on an integrative bargaining task.

Design/methodology/approach

Participants were randomly assigned to dyads and negotiated over the sale of a car. Before negotiating, participants were prompted to engage in MCII, or one or the other of its two component strategies: to contrast mentally achieving success in the integrative bargaining task with the reality standing in the way of this success (MC), to form implementation intentions on how to bargain (i.e. if‐then plans) (II), or both to contrast mentally and form implementation intentions (MCII).

Findings

The strategy of mental contrasting with implementation intentions led dyads to reach the largest joint agreements, compared to dyads that only used mental contrasting or if‐then plans. Moreover, participants who mentally contrasted formed more cooperative implementation intentions than participants who did not mentally contrast, mediating the effect of condition on joint gain.

Research limitations/implications

The findings suggest that the self‐regulatory strategy of mental contrasting with implementation intentions (MCII) leads to higher joint gain, and that this effect is mediated by mental contrasting's promotion of cooperative planning. More research should be done to understand the specific negotiation behaviors engendered by MCII, as well as its applicability to other negotiation scenarios.

Originality/value

These findings have implications for both self‐regulation and negotiation research. The result that MCII fosters integrative solutions reflects its potential to help people form cooperative plans and reach high joint‐value agreements in integrative scenarios. For negotiation research, the paper identifies an effective self‐regulatory strategy for producing high‐quality agreements.

Details

International Journal of Conflict Management, vol. 24 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1044-4068

Keywords

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