The influence of organizational and negotiators’ individual factors on outcomes of dyadic intra-organizational negotiations

  • Der Einfluss von organisationalen und individuellen Faktoren auf Ergebnisse von dyadischen intra-organisationalen Verhandlungen

Bogacki, Julia Andrea; Letmathe, Peter (Thesis advisor); Harbring, Christine (Thesis advisor)

Aachen (2018)
Dissertation / PhD Thesis

Dissertation, Rheinisch-Westfälische Technische Hochschule Aachen, 2018


Intra-organizational negotiation is a major type of social interaction which serves to resolve conflicts within organizations. It occurs when at least two organizational members have conflicting interests and cannot pursue their goals without the cooperation of others. Intra-organizational negotiations can have a crucial impact on organizations’ long-term performance because the presence of conflicts can entail dysfunctional behavior and psychological illnesses, which are related to increased organizational costs. As such negotiations are diverse and complex, organizations need to understand the effects of different negotiation settings. Therefore, two primary types of factors have to be focused on: contextual characteristics and the negotiators involved. The present dissertation considers contextual characteristics in the form of organizational factors that shape the negotiation situation. With regard to the negotiators involved, it deals with negotiation dyads and covers negotiators’ individual factors in terms of perceptions and personality traits. By doing this, the present dissertation aims at experimentally analyzing the influence of the interplay between organizational factors and negotiators’ individual factors on outcomes of dyadic negotiations within the intra-organizational context. The derivation of the organizational and negotiators’ individual factors considered in this dissertation is structured by two types of intra-organizational negotiations which yield outcomes with different consequences in temporal terms: outcomes with short-term consequences and outcomes with long-term consequences. The interplay between the derived organizational and negotiators’ individual factors is captured by an overarching research model. This model is split into three research questions which are covered by three individual research papers. The present dissertation consists of two parts. The first part constitutes a comprehensive overview of the dissertation, which outlines the motivation and topic, the underlying theoretical concepts, the methodology applied, the summary of the research papers, and the conclusion. The second part comprises the three research papers. Research Paper 1 focusses on work teams jointly producing a surplus which has to be distributed by negotiation. It analyzes how two organizational factors, i.e. relative performance information and unequal distribution of power due to different assignment procedures of hierarchical roles, influence negotiators’ individual factors in the form of subjective entitlements, and in turn negotiators’ individual payoffs and their relation. The results show that performance-specific subjective entitlements are stronger when relative performance information is provided. These subjective entitlements lead agreements to favor better performers. Furthermore, the assignment of hierarchical roles engenders role-specific subjective entitlements and agreements favoring superiors. Comparing the assignment of hierarchical roles based on relative performance information and the provision of relative performance information, agreements favor better performers in the role of the superior more than better performers without a hierarchical role. Comparing the random role assignment and the provision of performance information, agreements favor randomly assigned superiors and better performers in a similar way. Research Paper 2 examines the effect of another organizational factor, i.e. corporate guidelines in the form of a code of conduct and information on realizations compatible with the code from the organization’s perspective, on negotiations shaped by an unequal distribution of power due to the assignment of hierarchical roles. Negotiation outcomes in terms of negotiators’ individual payoffs and their relation, as well as deviations from the communicated company optimum are analyzed. The study reveals that the presence of corporate guidelines only has a regulatory effect if transmitted via the more powerful employee (i.e. the superior). In this case, corporate guidelines presented to the superior translate into substantially more favorable negotiation outcomes for the less powerful employee (i.e. the subordinate) by mitigating inequality of payoffs between superiors and subordinates. Focusing on negotiation outcomes with long-term consequence, Research Paper 3 investigates the impact of appointing a representative of future generations and this person’s incentive system on negotiation outcomes that will affect future generations. Furthermore, it studies whether and how negotiators’ personality traits in the form of future orientation and social value orientation affect these outcomes. Therefore, negotiation outcomes in terms of investments in intergenerational justice are analyzed. The findings show that assigning the role of a representative of future generations to one of two negotiation partners yields negotiation results which are more favorable toward future generations. Even though this outcome is more pronounced when aligned with individual incentives, it still holds for a representative who is financially penalized for advocating future generations’ interests. In this latter situation, the representative’s individual factors in the form of future orientation and social value orientation impact negotiation outcomes. In summary, the present dissertation deepens and extends existing negotiation research, and provides theoretical implications as well as directions for future research. Furthermore, it fosters organizations’ understanding of the impact of organizational and negotiators’ individual factors on outcomes of dyadic intra-organizational negotiations, and offers practical implications for the management of such negotiations.