The Effects of Personality on Perceived Power and the Integrativeness of Negotiation Agreements
Marta Amaral Martins Cabral de Barbosa
Professor Pedro Fontes Falcão, Invited Assistant Professor
Department of Marketing, Operation and Management (IBS)
Dissertation submitted as partial requirement for the conferral of
Master of Science in Business Administration
To Professor Pedro Fontes Falcão, for introducing me to the subject of negotiation and for his guidance and availability.
To my brother for his insight in psychology as well as research methodology.
To my fellow Master colleagues for supporting each other and me through this journey.
Negotiation skills are of paramount importance, not only in business but in daily life, and even more so in an increasingly interconnected world. By understanding the psychological processes and the interpersonal dynamics governing negotiations, better outcomes can be achieved by all parties, whether greater economic benefits or healthier relationships or both.
With recourse to a simulated negotiation game and a sample of volunteering postgraduates, this study explored the impact of an individual’s personality on individual outcomes and perception of power, and also the interaction between different personality types within the negotiation dyad and its impact on joint gains.
Extroverts were found to report higher perceived power, to have higher aspirational values and to achieve better distributive outcomes than introverts. Dyads composed of only extroverts were able to reach the most integrative agreements. Surprisingly, extroverts negotiating with introverts achieved the lowest average joint gains, denoting some incompatibilities in the interrelation between the two personality types.
Keywords: Negotiation, power, integrativeness, extroversion
JEL Classification: M10, M12, M19
Num mundo cada vez mais interligado, fortes competências de negociação ganham uma importância primordial, não apenas num contexto empresarial mas também na vida pessoal. Ao estudarmos a dinâmica das relações interpessoais e os processos psicológicos que regem as negociações, melhores resultados podem ser alcançados por todos, quer isso se traduza em maiores benefícios económicos ou relacionamentos mais saudáveis.
Recorrendo a uma amostra de estudantes voluntários e a jogos de simulação de negociações em contexto de sala de aula, este estudo explora não só o impacto da personalidade dos participantes nos ganhos individuais e nas perceções individuais de poder, mas também a interação entre diferentes tipos de personalidade e o impacto dessas diferenças no potencial integrativo das negociações.
Verificou-se que os indivíduos mais extrovertidos, em média, se consideraram mais poderosos, reportaram maiores aspirações e obtiveram melhores resultados individuais do que os introvertidos. As duplas compostas por apenas indivíduos extrovertidos alcançaram os acordos mais integrativos. Surpreendentemente, as duplas compostas por um extrovertido e um introvertido obtiveram, em média, os piores resultados conjuntos, demonstrando algumas incompatibilidades na interação entre os dois tipos de personalidade.
Palavras-chave: Negociação, poder, potencial integrativo, extroversão
Classificação JEL: M10, M12, M19
TOC o “1-3” u List of Figures8
List of Tables PAGEREF _Toc525427036 h 9
1. Introduction PAGEREF _Toc525427037 h 11
2. Literature Review PAGEREF _Toc525427038 h 13
2.1. Negotiation PAGEREF _Toc525427039 h 13
2.2. Distributive and Integrative Strategies PAGEREF _Toc525427040 h 16
2.3. The role of power in negotiations PAGEREF _Toc525427041 h 18
2.4. Perceived power and integrativeness PAGEREF _Toc525427042 h 22
2.6. The role of personality in negotiations PAGEREF _Toc525427043 h 24
3. Research questions and hypothesis PAGEREF _Toc525427044 h 26
4. Method PAGEREF _Toc525427045 h 29
4.1. Participants and design PAGEREF _Toc525427046 h 29
4.2. Procedure PAGEREF _Toc525427047 h 30
4.3. Measures PAGEREF _Toc525427048 h 33
5. Results PAGEREF _Toc525427051 h 36
5.1. Individual-level outcomes PAGEREF _Toc525427053 h 36
5.2. Dyad-level outcomes PAGEREF _Toc525427054 h 40
6. Discussion PAGEREF _Toc525427055 h 44
6.1. Individual-level outcomes PAGEREF _Toc525427056 h 44
6.2. Dyad-level outcomes PAGEREF _Toc525427057 h 46
7. Conclusion, limitations and future research suggestions PAGEREF _Toc525427058 h 49
Bibliography PAGEREF _Toc525427059 h 52
Appendix A (Experiment handout materials) PAGEREF _Toc525427060 h 62
Appendix B (Statistical analysis supporting tables) PAGEREF _Toc525427081 h 68
List of Figures1Experiment scenarios matrix30
2a. TOC o “1-3”
h z u DiSC test: questionnaire sample62
b. DiSC test: presentation of results62
3Experiment scoring system32
6Case description example for the role of candidate (scenario A)64
7Case description example for the role of recruiter (scenario C)65
8Candidate point sheet66
9Recruiter point sheet67
10Mediating effects of aspirational value on extroversion and individual gains39
List of Tables1Descriptive mean statistics: individual-level variables.36
2a. TOC o “1-3”
h z u Extroversion effects on aspirational value37
b. Extroversion effects on perceived power37
3a. Regression model for Individual Gains: Model Summary38
b. Regression model for Individual Gains: ANOVA68
c. Regression model for Individual Gains: Coefficients38
4Descriptive mean statistics: dyad-level variables40
5ANOVA: Joint Aspirations / Dyad Personality68
ANOVA: Difference in Perceived Power / Dyad Personality68
6Tests of Between-Subjects Effects on Integrativeness69
7Scheffé a posteriori test: Integrativeness and Dyad Personality42
8a. Regression model for Integrativeness: Model Summary42
b. Regression model for Integrativeness: ANOVA69
c. Regression model for Integrativeness: Coefficients43
IntroductionNegotiation is a ubiquitous phenomenon, occurring on a daily basis and at all levels of society, whether between buyer and seller, manager and subordinate, or among friends and relatives (Pruitt, 1981; Thompson et al., 2010). It is thus relevant for anyone who must interact with other people in order to achieve individual goals and resources (Thompson, 1990).
Over the years, research on the topic of negotiation has been influenced primarily by social and cognitive psychology, organizational behavior, management, economics, and political science (Thompson et al., 2010). The complexity in the literature derives from the complexity of negotiations themselves, as they involve individuals’ psychological processes, such as personality, emotion and aspiration; multiple social processes, such as power, persuasion, and communication; and multiple social factors, including different kinds of relationships, temporal perspectives, or cultural differences (Gelfand et al., 2011).
This complexity has often led to contradictory research results. The focus of this dissertation will be to build on existing literature by exploring the effects that personality, specifically extroversion and introversion, has over negotiation outcomes, the perception of power and the integrativeness of agreements. We will be looking not only at the impact of an individual’s personality on individual outcomes and perceptions, but also at the interaction between different personality types within the negotiation dyad and its impact on joint gains.
This dissertation will follow the IMRaD structure, the most prominent norm for articles published in academic journals. As such, it is divided in seven parts:
1. This introduction, presenting this dissertation’s relevance and main goal;
2. The literature review, covering all the most relevant subjects in the field of negotiation and its interaction with power and personality, the concepts underlying the subsequent empirical analysis;
3. The research questions and hypothesis we propose for this study based on our understanding of existing gaps in research literature;
4. The methodology, detailing the experiment’s design, the procedure for data collection and the different measures utilized;
5. The results of the statistical analysis;
6. The discussion of those results articulated with the literature review and the hypotheses proposed;
7. And a final conclusion, connecting back to the introduction, and presenting possible limitations to this study and suggestions for future research.
Literature Review2.1. NegotiationNegotiation has been defined as a process whereby a joint decision is made by at least two parties, who first verbalize their perceived divergent interests and gradually move towards agreement, sequentially, through offers and counteroffers, settling what each shall give and take, or share, in the relationship (Rubin ; Brown, 1975; Pruitt, 1981; Thompson, 1990; De Dreu et al., 2007). Thompson (2000) simplified it as “an interpersonal decision-making process by which two or more people agree how to allocate scarce resources”. Therefore, for there to be a negotiation, the parties must have a conflict of interest, or at least perceive to have one, and some level of interdependence (Bacharach ; Lawler, 1981). Any negotiation can happen at the dyadic level (two parties involved), at the team level (two teams of two or more individuals) or at the multiparty level, where more than two parties are involved (Stoshikj, 2014). Whichever the level, the parties are thus voluntarily joined together, even if temporarily, and determine their outcomes jointly (Rubin ; Brown, 1975; Gelfand et al., 2011), seeking to do better together than they would without each other (Lax ; Sebenius, 1985).
Pruitt (1981) has identified three strategies for moving toward agreement in negotiation: contentious behavior, characterized by attempts at lowering the other party’s aspirations; yielding, which refers to lowering one’s own limits; and problem-solving behavior, which involves figuring out how to satisfy both parties’ aspirations. Pruitt (1983) adds that in the end there can be four different types of outcomes to the negotiation: compromise; win-lose; win-win; and no agreement.
A win-lose agreement is characterized by distributive structures and competitive strategies and happens when negotiators have diametrically opposed interests, being mainly concerned about their own economic outcomes and not the joint gains of all economic parties (Pruitt, 1981; Thompson et al., 2010; Gelfand et al., 2011). This tends to be most common if there is a high degree of conflict between the needs of both parties (Stoshikj, 2014). This situation is also known as a fixed-sum negotiation, which assumes that an increase in profits for party A leads to a decrease of the same amount for party B. Thus the so-called “negotiation dance” starts, a sequential process of offers and concessions, as the demanded values draw closer together (Raiffa, 1982). For an agreement to be possible, party A and party B’s reservation prices must overlap, forming the zone of agreement (Stoshikj, 2014). Otherwise, there will be no agreement.
There is a compromise when a mutually acceptable solution is found which partially satisfies both parties, after both make comparable concessions and reach a middle ground (Ben-Yoav ; Pruitt, 1984).
A win-win agreement requires both parties to collaborate and assume an integrative approach to the conflict, resulting in the best possible solution for both. This relates with Pareto optimality or efficiency, describing a state of allocation of resources which cannot be improved any further without hurting at least one of the parties involved (Pareto, 1935). The larger the integrative potential, the greater the joint benefit available from the agreement (Ben-Yoav ; Pruitt, 1984). When these high-quality agreements are achieved and both parties’ needs and aspirations are met, they tend to strengthen the relationship between the parties (Pruitt, 1983), reduce the probability of future conflict, increase feelings of self-efficacy, contribute to a broader community of which the two parties are members (Stern & El-Ansary, 1982; McAlister et al., 1986) and stimulate economic growth (Rubin et al., 1994).
However, negotiations always tend to be mixed motive, in that there may be motivation to cooperate, but also motivation to compete in order to get the best possible individual outcome (Schelling, 1960). Fisher and Ury (1981) reached similar conclusions about the relationship between strategy and joint benefit while observing and analysing real life negotiations, advising negotiators to be unyielding in regards to their interests and aspirations, but flexible and creative regarding the means for achieving those goals and to avoid exceedingly confrontational behavior.
One of the most important features of negotiation is the exchange of information, as only through exchanging information can there be integrative agreements (De Dreu & Kleef, 2004), as it contributes to a problem-solving atmosphere which allows both parties to identify areas for mutual gain, make tradeoffs and reconcile the two parties’ underlying interests (Ben-Yoav ; Pruitt, 1984; Weingart et al., 1990). Research has shown that new markets and inexperienced negotiators more often arrive at distributive agreements, but, as the market develops and negotiators acquire information and experience, integrative agreements become more common (Bazerman et al., 1985). Nonetheless, withholding or manipulating information can work as a way of increasing bargaining power (Olekalns ; Smith, 2009), while sharing truthful information can be perilous. Despite improving the chances of a win-win agreement, the more information negotiators share about themselves the more they lend themselves to exploitation by the other party (Olekalns ; Smith, 2009). However, in Weingart et al.’s (1990) study, the distribution of resources was not impacted by the amount of information provided by each party, suggesting that negotiators should not be unduly concerned about being placed at a disadvantage.
The difference between distributive and integrative negotiations, as well as the importance of information exchange, is perfectly illustrated by Follet’s (1940) story about two sisters negotiating over an orange. In the story, the two sisters decide to compromise, splitting the orange in half. However, had they shared their respective needs, they would have found out that they had different motivations for the orange: one needed the peel and the other needed the juice. This would have allowed for an integrative solution where one sister would get the entirety of the peel, and the other the entirety of the juice, rather than only half of it from compromising. The sisters would be creating value and no longer a gain for one sister would represent a loss for the other. From the aforementioned example, one can infer that although negotiations are about one or more issues, there are underlying interests for the negotiators. Likewise, it is conceivable that one issue may have several underlying interests and that several issues may derive from the same underlying need (Giacomantonio et al., 2010). If there are multiple issues, although negotiators’ interests may be opposed, the degree of importance of each issue may vary and allow for the possibility of tradeoffs over several issues (Pruitt, 1981; Walton & McKersie, 1965), which can still produce more joint benefits than compromises on individual issues (Neale & Bazerman, 1991). As the number of issues increases, the likelihood of parties disagreeing on every one, seeing all as equally important, or having the same priorities, decreases (De Dreu et al., 2007). Research has found that when negotiators have a low construal level, meaning they have greater psychological proximity and focus on the present, their strategy is based on negotiation issues; whereas those with high construal levels, who have a more distinct big-picture approach, find interests more relevant (Giacomantonio et al., 2010). Still, not every negotiation conflict has the potential to be solved with an integrative approach; for example, a one-time relation between a buyer and seller may be a simple one-issue negotiation with no available alternatives for the joint benefit to be bigger (Stoshikj, 2014). There need to be multiple issues or interests for there to be integrative potential.
It is also worth mentioning that the concept of value and what is valuable to each party can be very subjective. Negotiations can be about increasing value but also about cutting costs (Larrick & Blount, 1997). Moreover, one must take into account both material and nonmaterial factors. Often value is material and tangible, but considerations like relationship quality, as in between long-term commercial partners, can be just as important (De Dreu & Beersma, 2005). Finally, value can be realized immediately or it can be delayed. Okhuysen et al. (2003) found that longer temporal distances to the consequences of agreements led to an increase in the efficiency of those agreements.
2.2. Distributive and Integrative StrategiesPruitt (1981) defines distributive behavior as “efforts to elicit unilateral concessions from the other party”. Specifically, competitive negotiators move psychologically against their opponents, try to maximize their own gains, are insincere and untrusting, resort to threats and manipulation, minimize disclosure of information, are less realistic and more extreme regarding their opening offers and make minimal concessions (Craver, 2003). Competitive tactics include imposing deadlines, positional commitments (“take it or leave it” statements), and threats of punishment (Pruitt, 1981). When the competitive behavior leads the other party to make concessions, it is considered to be successful (Stoshikj, 2014). This success is dependent on the credibility of the negotiator employing them. If one issues a threat, one must have, or be believed to have, the means to follow through with the punishment for noncompliance (Pruitt, 1981). Likewise, employing such tactics as ultimatums is hazardous, as one runs the risk of antagonizing the other party or being caught bluffing.
Integrative bargaining occurs when bargainers work together in search of a mutually acceptable agreement (Pruitt, 1981). When parties cooperate, they bargain in ways that potentially advance each other’s interests (Chérine ; Antheaume, 2016), make realistic first offers, maximize disclosure of information, are willing to make unilateral concessions and behave courteously and sincerely (Craver, 2003). Past studies suggest that cooperation is associated with increased transactional efficiency and aligned processes, more frequent achievement of shared goals, and higher levels of motivation in the relationship (Daugherty et al., 2006; Min et al., 2005; Nyaga et al., 2013). Tying in with our previous assessment that value can be delayed or realized immediately, Rokkan et al. (2003) argued that parties in cooperative relationships expect future gains to be considerably higher than short-term gains from opportunistic coercion. In other words, cooperative behavior often focuses on the maintenance of the relationship even when it would be economically more beneficial to act on pure self-interest, at least in the short-term (Bercovitz et al., 2006). This principle of reciprocity, whereby people are more likely to give benefits to those who benefit them, is especially inherent in cooperative relationships, but present in most social interactions. Cialdini et al. (1975) led several experiments which invariably indicated that making an extreme offer that is outright rejected, followed by a smaller counter offer, increased compliance with that smaller request significantly.
It has been previously discussed that parties in a negotiation are interdependent in the sense that they need each other to achieve positive outcomes and/or to avoid negative outcomes. On the one hand, they get involved in negotiations because the prospect of an agreement is potentially more attractive than no agreement, therefore there is incentive to cooperate. On the other hand, they simultaneously have an incentive to be competitive for personal gain and to avoid exploitation (De Dreu et al., 2007). Therefore, there is a constant tension between creating value and claiming value (Chérine ; Antheaume, 2016). This is illustrated exemplary by the Negotiator’s Dilemma (Lax & Sebenius, 1992). Ideally, both parties in a negotiation are better off cooperating, as they are creating value for both (enlarging the “pie”) and no one is losing. However, faced with uncertainty about the opponent’s strategy, the best strategy is to compete in order to avoid being unreciprocated and exploited – if party A chooses to cooperate while party B chooses to compete, party A will come away with a much worse outcome. Craver (2003) found that when cooperative negotiators interact with cooperative negotiators, their negotiations tend to be cooperative; similarly, when both are competitive, their negotiations tend to be competitive. However, when cooperative negotiators interact with more competitive parties, their encounters tend to be mostly competitive, suggesting that cooperative parties wind up having to protect themselves from exploitation by being less open. The author also found that these cross-style interactions resulted in less efficient agreements and increased the likelihood of there being no agreement. However, in general, studies have provided no clear evidence of either competitive or cooperative tactics being superior (Fisher ; Ury, 1982; Lax ; Sebenius, 1992; Chérine ; Antheaume, 2016).
2.3. The role of power in negotiationsHaving established that negotiations involve some level of interdependence between the parties, naturally power differences between the parties will have a significant impact on the way negotiations unfold, affecting negotiator performance, setting aspirations and goals, and influencing processes and results (Bacharach ; Lawler, 1981; Zetik ; Stuhlmacher, 2002; De Dreu et al., 2007). Both the mutuality of dependence (how much the negotiators depend on each other equally) and the level of dependence (how much negotiators rely on the other party to obtain success) are important dimensions of the relationship (Rusbult ; Van Lange, 2003). For example, a negotiator with several alternatives, and thus low dependence on the other party, can more readily exit the relationship.
Moreover, much like negotiations, power permeates virtually all social relationships (Georgesen ; Harris, 2000) and can derive from several sources, such as formal authority, reputation, exclusive access to resources, network access, professional expertise, or even personal traits like charisma and attractiveness (Pfeffer, 1992). Later, Adler ; Silverstein (2000) added morality as an important source of power, referring to instances where negotiators recourse to appeals of fairness and empathy, which in many cases is the only leverage available to weaker parties against very powerful negotiators (Larson, 2003). Additionally, being willing to adapt one’s processes to suit the other party’s can work as a way to receive benefits in the future and to create higher switching costs for the other party (Griffith et al., 2006; Crook ; Combs, 2007).
Thibaut and Kelley (1959) first defined power as the range of outcomes, both positive and negative, through which one person can be moved by another. Fiske (1993) proposed a slightly different definition, describing power as the amount of unshared control possessed by one member of a dyad over the other member. The concept has since been refined as an individual’s relative capacity to influence another party and alter other people’s outcomes, by administering punishments or rewards and providing or withholding resources (Raven ; Kruglanski, 1970; Pruitt, 1976; Keltner et al., 2003; Gelfand et al., 2011). Resources and punishments can be both material, such as food, money, or physical harm; and social, such as knowledge, affection, or career opportunities; where the value of those resources is based on other the other party’s dependence on them (Keltner et al., 2003). Nonetheless, all definitions put a strong emphasis on the change of outcome, and not mere influence and status (Georgesen, 2000). In the context of negotiations, the capacity to make successful demands and elicit unilateral concessions from the other party is therefore a sign of superior power (Pruitt, 1981), whereby the negotiator’s power is often a critical determinant in the allocation of rewards in the agreement (Kim et al., 2005). Pfetsch (2011), however, stresses that the weaker party is not always at the mercy of the stronger party; while being more resourceful contributes to achieving the intended negotiation goals, it does not necessarily result in a successful agreement. Several studies show that negotiations between parties of unequal power fail more often than negotiations with power symmetry, most likely because high-power parties often resort to coercion rather than persuasion, alienating others and jeopardizing negotiation efforts (Rubin ; Brown, 1975; Adler ; Silverstein, 2000). Dwyer ; Walker (1981) found that negotiations in asymmetrical power structures were more efficient, with initial offers closer to the final agreement and fewer bids before reaching agreement. However, in the same study, it was more difficult to predict what the final terms of the agreement between unequal partners would be, and some weak parties failed to obtain important resources. Similarly, Lawler ; Yoon (1993) found that equal power resulted in less satisfaction regarding the final agreement, unless sufficient similar concessions were made by both parties. Still, almost invariably, parties in negotiations attempt to gather greater power, before or during the negotiation, in order to improve their own outcome (Adler ; Silverstein, 2000). Therefore, power is complex and situational, varying with the situation and parties involved, and can change dynamically at any point during the relationship (Fisher, 1983; Barnhizer, 2005).
It is worth noting that power is not necessarily or inherently good or bad. Although power has been associated with recourse to hostile tactics, vaingloriousness and denigration of the less powerful (Kipnis, 1972; Fiske, 1993; Georgesen ; Harris, 1998), Chen et al. (2001) found that power actually enhances existing personal traits and beliefs. According to the study, individuals who are exchange-oriented – that is, they are governed by a principle of reciprocity and are primarily concerned with getting their fair share – when given power, behave in a more self-serving way and find it fair not to give much to those who have relatively less to offer back. Contrastingly, communals, that is, individuals mainly concerned with others’ needs, acted more altruistically when given superior power. This supports the proposition that the ability to do good may require the use of power just as much as the ability to do bad (Adler & Silverstein, 2000).
Furthermore, research has found interactions between power asymmetry and the degree of information exchange, the choice of negotiation tactics, the efficiency of the process, the integrativeness of agreements, and the level of cooperation or competition between the parties. For example, Tenbrunsel & Messick’s (2001) study reported that, when power is asymmetrically distributed, negotiators offer more accurate information. De Dreu ; Van Kleef (2004) add that less powerful negotiators tend to ask more diagnostic questions, expressing more of an interest in the other party’s underlying interests. Low-power negotiators have also been found to concede more to angry opponents than to happy ones, whereas high-power negotiators were unaffected by the other party’s expressed emotions (Van Kleef et al., 2006).
Along these lines, French and Raven (1959) notably proposed five main types of power: reward, coercive, legitimate, referent, and expert, to which Raven (1965) later added a sixth, informational power. Reward and coercive power are essentially two sides of the same coin, deriving from one’s ability to compensate or punish another for compliance or noncompliance, respectively. Failure to administer either would tend to decrease the power. Legitimate power comes from one’s formal right to make demands or prescribe behavior, as is the case of police, while expert power is based on one’s superior skill and knowledge. Referent power is related with one’s attractiveness and prestige; if party A wants to become closely associated with party B because B is attractive, whatever the reason, A will likely assume B’s beliefs and preferences. Finally, informational power results from one’s ability to access and control information not readily available to others. Nyaga et al. (2013) complement this model by proposing that power advantages sometimes balance out, as one party may have a coercive power advantage, while the other may have superior expert power, such that their interdependence becomes neutral.
In addition, research has identified other power sources, such as the possibility to form coalitions or gather support (as is the case of labor unions) and the existence of alternatives to the current negotiation (Van Kleef et al., 2006). In fact, the existence of a BATNA (best alternative to a negotiated agreement) is one of the main indicators of a negotiator’s relative power used in literature, invariably pointing to a strong, causal relationship between the attractiveness of a party’s BATNA and that party’s ability to claim resources (Galinsky & Mussweiler, 2001; Magee et al., 2007). Even if party A has control over resources, and thus seemingly higher power, party A’s power then depends on whether party B is able to get those resources somewhere else (Emerson, 1962). Therefore, the parties’ BATNAs determine the limits to the agreement, where the negotiation will only move forward if the proposed agreement offers higher subjective worth relative to the alternatives (Lax & Sebenius, 1985). In this sense, power stems not from what each party is capable of compared to one another, but what each party is able to do for and to each other. It is “a property of the social relation, not an attribute of the actor” (Emerson, 1962). This power-dependence theory determines that, in dyadic negotiations, A’s dependence on B varies directly with the value that A attributes to the resources B can provide for A, and inversely with B’s access to a BATNA (Emerson, 1962; De Dreu et al., 2007).
More recently, Kim et al. (2005) makes a further distinction, decoupling power into four distinct components: potential power, perceived power, power tactics, and realized power. Potential power refers to one’s inherent capacity to exert power, whereas realized power refers to the actual exertion of power, or the extent to which negotiators extract benefits. Negotiators sometimes refrain from capitalizing on their power advantage, usually because they perceive that the other party may have more strategic value in the future (Luthy ; Ryan, 2004). This may also signal greater benevolence and reliability, increasing future compliance from the weaker party (Crook ; Combs, 2007). Additionally, several researchers have concluded that extracting benefits from a relationship leads to the reduction of one’s potential power in future interactions (Emerson, 1962; Lawler, 1992). Power tactics concern negotiators’ efforts to translate potential power into specific actions. Negotiators have been found to employ more hostile tactics when relative power is unequal than when it is symmetrical (Bacharach ; Lawler, 1981; Kim et al., 2005). Lastly, perceived power is defined as negotiators’ assessments of each other’s potential power in the relationship. This type is arguably the most volatile, changing more often and more easily throughout the negotiation (Kim et al., 2005), while playing a key role in power dynamics: having and creating perceptions of power is almost as crucial as possessing potential power (Adler et al., 2000; Moreira, 2010). Individuals’ beliefs about their power can shape their behavior in ways that increase their actual power, above and beyond the effects of their sociostructural position (Bandura, 1999; Bugental & Lewis, 1999). Georgesen & Harris’s (2000) study on the matter found that participants, when told they were the powerful side, rated themselves more positively while derogating the other party’s performance, and had less propensity for teamwork. Conversely, parents who had a low sense of power in their relationship with their children were found to feel and behave as low-power individuals, even though their potential power was nominally higher (Bugental & Lewis, 1999).
2.4. Perceived power and integrativenessThere is no consensus in literature regarding the effects of power on the integrativeness of agreements. There is strong evidence that equal power leads to greater joint gains (Mannix & Neale, 1993; McAlister et al., 1986). However, several studies have found the opposite (Komorita et al., 1968; Sondak and Bazerman, 1991) and some have even found no differences in the integrativeness of agreements, whether negotiated in symmetrical or asymmetrical power structures (Pinkley et al., 1994).
Several studies using the negotiator’s dilemma game found that negotiation partners with equal power tend to behave more cooperatively than they do when power is unequal (Rekosh ; Feigenbaum, 1966; Deignan, 1970; Faley ; Tedeschi, 1971; Baranowski ; Summers, 1972; McClintock et al., 1973; Tjosvold et al., 1984; Giebels et al., 2000). Faley ; Tedeschi (1971), specifically, report that cooperation is higher when partners have equally high power than when both have equally low power. A tentative explanation is put forward by McAlister et al. (1986), who propose that a situation of unequal power diverts the attention of stronger parties from problem solving to trying to benefit from the power imbalance. Interestingly, over several studies performed in North America, Tjosvold (1981; 1984) found that unequal power only undermined negotiations when behavior and tactics were competitive. In cooperative contexts, whether parties had equal or unequal power, both were able to influence each other, both received desired resources, and there were high levels of trust and relationship satisfaction. For example, in competitive settings, both the powerful and the weak parties chose to give only 40 to 50 percent of the resources the other party required; in the cooperative condition, over 75 percent of resources were provided. These findings show that weaker parties, when victims of hostile tactics by the powerful party, may be less willing to comply with demands. In the case of supply chain networks, where negotiations tend to be recurrent and relationships longer-term, the powerful party tends to use competitive tactics only when cooperation fails to produce satisfactory results (Frazier ; Summers, 1996). Past studies indicate that the use of coercive power invariably has a negative effect on relationships; legal and legitimate power show a negative or no effect; reward power can have both a negative or positive effect, whether perceived as encouragement or as an implicit form of coercion; and expert and referent power tend to have positive effects (Nyaga et al., 2013). In this type of setup, power asymmetry may actually foster more stability and harmony, as the powerful party plays an important role of coordinating other parties (Belaya et al., 2009). Nyaga et al. (2013) found that the greater the collaboration of negotiating partners in supply chains, the higher the satisfaction of all parties with operational performance. Furthermore, this relationship quality appears to minimize some of the effects of power asymmetry by reducing the level of uncertainty and vulnerability of weaker parties (Nyaga et al., 2013). This shows that the time horizon of asymmetrical negotiations and relationships also needs to be considered.
In an attempt to further explore the subject, Wolfe ; McGinn (2005) questioned whether the mixed results from these previous studies were a function of potential power, usually reflected in the BATNA, or a function of individual-level anchors and perceptions of power. In this study, the authors found that higher BATNAs affected the distribution of resources positively, meaning parties with higher power generally achieved better individual outcomes, but it had no significant effect on the integrativeness of agreements – relative perceived power did. Greater integrativeness (higher joint gains) was achieved in dyads who perceived a smaller difference in power between the two parties, whereas pairs who perceived themselves as more unequal achieved less integrative outcomes.
2.6. The role of personality in negotiationsPersonality has been defined as sets of characteristics (in thought, behavior or feelings) that show relatively consistent patterns over time and across different situations (Funder, 2012). The relationship between personality and negotiation has been studied for several decades, but often with inconclusive results. However, for the past twenty years, research precision and theoretical robustness has been increasing and revamping the field (Olekalns ; Adair, 2013). Several characteristics have been found to be effective predictors of negotiation outcomes: cognitive ability (Barry ; Friedman, 1998; Fulmer ; Barry, 2004), emotional intelligence (Fulmer ; Barry, 2004), positive and negative affect (Barry, Fulmer ; van Kleef, 2004), extroversion (Anderson et al., 2008; Anderson et al., 2011), and other personality traits. Sharma et al. (2013) offer a thorough literature review on the role of personality in predicting negotiation outcomes.
Fulmer ; Barry (2004), for example, found that as the complexity of negotiations increased, the individual differences in personality between the negotiators became more important. Other studies have shown that cognitive ability does not play a role in distributive negotiations but is strongly related with better joint outcomes in integrative negotiations (Barry ; Friedman, 1998). In addition, individuals who experience positive emotions more frequently (individuals with high positive affect) employ cooperative strategies more often, set higher goals, and elicit greater trust and exchange of information (Barry, Fulmer ; van Kleef, 2004). And individuals with higher emotional intelligence tend to more easily keep their composure, read others’ body language and successfully manipulate emotions, which may help them in negotiations (Fulmer & Barry, 2004). Interestingly, in distributive structures, extroverts have been found to be a liability (Barry & Friedman, 1998), while aggressive people have been found to achieve better outcomes in that type of scenario (Ma & Jaeger, 2005).
Finally, several studies have established interactions between power and the personal traits of negotiators. The powerful are more likely to be overconfident, thinking they have more control than they actually do (Sivanathan, 2006; Fast & Gruenfeld, 2007); less likely to pay attention to and consider the perspectives of the other party (Fiske, 1993; Keltner et al., 2003) and thus more likely to stereotype others (Fiske, 1993; Goodwin et al., 2000); more likely to display anger (2000); and, in general, notice more rewards and less threat in the environment (Anderson & Berdahl, 2002). Additionally, they tend to demand more and to concede less (De Dreu, 1995); to use threats more often (Lawler, 1992) and to express their true opinions more (Anderson & Berdahl, 2002). Higher power has also been found to be related with increased social skills and charisma (Anderson et al., 2001; Keltner et al., 2003); physical characteristics such as height and physical attractiveness (Anderson et al., 2001); higher aspirations (Pinkley, 1995; Zetik & Stuhlmacher, 2002); reduced inhibitions (Galinsky et al., 2003); greater predisposition to act and make the first move (Gelfand et al., 2011); and extroversion (Keltner et, al, 2003).
In the next chapter, where this study’s research question is presented, we will further discuss the links that have been found between integrative negotiation and personality traits, namely extroversion.
Research questions and hypothesisIn the literature review, we have covered some of the key research findings surrounding the concept of negotiation. Then, we analyzed the benefits of adopting an integrative approach while negotiating, focused on creating as much joint value as possible, while acknowledging its constant tension with distributive strategies, focused on claiming value for oneself. This tension has been found to be strongly affected by power, but the complexity of negotiations and all the different dimensions of power we analyzed have meant that the results from several different studies have often been contradictory. Wolfe and McGinn (2005), specifically, found that the level of integrativeness in negotiations was significantly affected by perceived relative power (the perception of one’s power in relation to the other party’s), and not by the quality of one’s BATNA, the indicator that is used most often to quantify a negotiator’s power.
With this in mind, we attempted to build upon Wolfe and McGinn’s study by testing whether and how personality traits such as extroversion and introversion mediate perceived relative power and, in turn, affect the integrativeness of negotiated agreements. We will not only analyse the personality of individuals and its effect on individual measures, but also the combined personalities of the dyad, which is a critical step forward from other studies. Olekalns & Adair (2013) stress how important this is, as one’s personality traits influence one’s own performance, but also have an impact on the performance that is evoked in one’s counterpart.
Are extroverts likely to achieve better individual outcomes in negotiations? Are introverts and extroverts able to achieve the same level of integrativeness? These questions and the literature review form the basis for the hypotheses of this research, presented below.
Hypothesis 1: Extroverts are likely to report higher perceived power and higher aspirations.
Anderson et al. (2012) found that individuals with similar levels of power who differed in their perception of power did so in part because of their personality characteristics, and not only their social context. One of the characteristics that was positively correlated with a higher sense of power was extroversion. Therefore, we hypothesize that extroverts will tend to report higher aspirations and higher perceived power.
Hypothesis 2: As objective power, aspirations and extroversion increase, individual gains increase.
In addition, extroversion has been linked with power-relevant traits such as dominance, assertiveness, and sociability, as well as with status and resource control (John ; Srivastava, 1999; Anderson et al., 2008). Therefore, extroverts should have a greater ability to in?uence outcomes. Wolfe and McGinn’s study (2005) established that, as aspirations and perceived power increased, individual gains increased. Personality, namely extroversion, is expected to improve this model.
Hypothesis 3: Dyads composed of only extroverts or only introverts are likely to perceive lower differences in perceived relative power.
Since perceived power has been found to positively affect the integrativeness of agreements (Wolfe & McGinn, 2005) – whereby the pairs who achieved more integrative outcomes were the pairs who perceived themselves as more equal – we will test whether our assessment that same-personality dyads achieve higher integrativeness also applies to the perception of relative power.
Hypothesis 4: Dyads composed of only extroverts are likely to achieve higher integrativeness.
Peters (1993) reports that extroverts have been found to have a higher propensity for spontaneity, for open information exchange and for problem-solving strategies. This tendency could be disadvantageous in a highly competitive context, by making them more susceptible to exploitation ((Olekalns & Smith, 2009). However, it should be an asset in integrative negotiation, as open communication and a problem-solving rather than resource-claiming approach are significant determinants of integrative agreements (Craver, 2003; De Dreu & Kleef, 2004; Barry & Friedman, 1998).
On the other hand, the social anxiety felt by introverts may result in them making larger concessions and exiting earlier from the distressing situation (Sharma et al., 2013). Therefore, we expect dyads composed of only extroverts to achieve a higher level of integrativeness in their final negotiation agreements than other dyads.
Method4.1. Participants and designA total of 138 postgraduates, aged 21 to 30, from different nationalities studying in several Portuguese schools were involved in this experiment. Convenience sampling was used as the sampling technique due to budget and time constraints. Sessions were run between May and July 2018 in a classroom environment.
The experiment was an economic game which simulated a dyadic negotiation between a job recruiter and a candidate as they discussed several issues: salary, vacation time, annual bonus, insurance coverage and moving expense coverage. Economic games are structured decision-making exercises simulating real-life interpersonal interactions, in which one individual’s decisions also affect the other’s outcomes (Zhao & Smillie, 2014). These were the most common choice in the psychological science articles mentioned in our literature review, as they are relatively easy to manipulate and control. This simulation in particular had characteristics of social dilemmas and bargaining games, as there were incentives to act in self-interest (the goal was to win as many points as possible) but also to cooperate (the only way to achieve better overall outcomes), revealing whether participants’ had more selfish or more prosocial tendencies.
The structure and handouts of our experiment closely replicated Wolfe ; McGinn’s (2005), whose study examined the difference between the effects of objective and perceived power on the integrativeness of agreements. Besides attempting to provide greater assurance, in case we reached similar conclusions, that the results from Wolfe & McGinn’s study could be generalized to the larger population, we combined previous findings from related studies and incorporated an additional discrete variable: extroversion; namely, the tendency to be sociable, talkative and bold, maintain positive relations with others, and exhibit prosocial behaviors (Zhao ; Smillie, 2014).
Participants were tested in an experimental between-group design, using four different scenarios, whereby two of the scenarios dealt with equal objective power, and two scenarios dealt with unequal objective power, as presented in Figure 1. Participants were randomly assigned to one of the scenarios, although an equal distribution among scenarios was attempted. In the end, scenario A had 36 participants and scenarios B, C and D had 34 participants each.
Figure 1. Experiment scenarios matrix.
4.2. ProcedurePrior to the negotiation, every participant was asked to complete a DiSC personality test, assessing four different behavioral traits: dominance, influence, steadiness, and compliance. These personality types were initially introduced by Marston (1928), who argued that behavior stemmed from people’s perceptions of themselves in relation to their environment, whether favorable or unfavorable. This theory was further built upon by other psychologists to create the DiSC assessment tool, which is widely used to study group dynamics and assess how people solve conflicts of interest – and therefore, by definition, how they negotiate.
The DiSC test was comprised of twenty-eight groups of statements describing traits, attitudes and behaviors. Each group included four statements and participants had to select which of those four statements most applied to them, and which one applied the least. A sample of the test’s questions is presented in Appendix A, figure 2. Having completed the test, a personalized report was generated, which participants were advised to bring to the experimental session.
Then, participants were assembled in a classroom, briefed and given the session materials. Having read through the scenarios, everyone was given the opportunity to clarify any doubts or concerns with the moderator. The participants then received a pre-negotiation questionnaire to validate their understanding of the experiment and to test whether the study’s conditions were manipulated correctly, namely:
Their objective individual power: “What is your BATNA (your best alternative in case you do not reach an agreement)?”
Their aspirational value: “How many points do you hope to achieve?”
Their perceived relative power: “On a scale from 0 to 100, what is your bargaining power in this situation? (where 0 was labeled “My counterpart has all the power”; 50 was labeled “We have equal power”; and 100 was labeled “I have all the power”)
The responses of all participants who failed to answer all the questions or indicated their BATNA incorrectly were discarded. Similarly, the responses of all participants whose aspirational value was incongruent with their BATNA (logically, the aspirational value could not be lower than the BATNA) were also excluded. In total, 18 individual responses were not included in the analyses, leaving us with 120 viable answers (30 for scenario A; 30 for scenario B; 28 for scenario C; and 32 for scenario D).
The issues to be negotiated were assigned varying amounts of points and limited to five possible discrete outcomes. Since the recruiter and the candidate placed different values on each of the issues, all scenarios allowed for integrative solutions. The full scoring system is presented in Figure 3 below.
Figure 3. Experiment scoring system.
Once each pair reached an agreement, they recorded their results on a post-negotiation scoreboard. Besides the final points achieved, participants were also asked to write down the options chosen for each issue and respective points obtained for redundancy, so that we could make sure that calculations were being done correctly.
All handout materials used in the experiment are presented in the Appendix A (figures 4 to 9), including the pre-negotiation and post-negotiation sheets, as well as the case descriptions and individual point sheets.
4.3. MeasuresIndividual-level measuresObjective Power
The objective power condition was manipulated by varying the BATNA (best alternative to a negotiated agreement), so that the powerful negotiator was less dependent on the negotiation at hand, having a higher reservation point and a smaller zone of possible agreement. This has been the choice in the majority of studies analyzed in the literature review. Accordingly, high power individuals were told they had an alternative worth 9500 points and low power individuals were given an alternative worth 5000 points. The “objective power” variable can thus assume one of two values: 9500 or 5000, according to the values of the participants’ alternatives.
Perceived Relative Power
Perceived relative power was varied by manipulating the knowledge participants had of their counterpart and how their counterpart viewed them. Individuals with a high-power counterpart were told their counterpart had a very attractive alternative that would be difficult to beat. Individuals with a low-power counterpart were told the other party was unhappy with their alternative and thought of them as their top choice. Participants were asked to write down in the pre-negotiation questionnaire how they felt about their power in relation to their counterpart’s on a scale from 0 to 100. The variable “perceived relative power” thus assumes values ranging anywhere between 0 and 100.
Aspirations were measured through the pre-negotiation questionnaire. For the individual-level analysis, the monetary value of the aspirational value recorded by each participant was used. This is therefore a continuous issue.
Dominance and inducement are closely related to extroversion, while submission and compliance are closely related to introversion (Jones & Hartley, 2013). To simplify our study, and due to the size of our sample, participants who scored the highest in dominance or in inducement were grouped as extroverts and participants who scored highly in submission or in compliance were grouped as introverts. For our individual-level analysis, participants were thus classified as either “Extrovert” or “Introvert”.
Individual gains are the individual outcomes of the negotiation recorded by each participant on the post-negotiation sheet at the end of the negotiation. This is a continuous variable, varying between 5000 (the lowest possible alternative) and 17600 (the highest possible points in any scenario).
Dyad-level measuresPower Equality
For the dyadic measure of objective power, the difference between the parties’ alternatives was considered. In type A and type D scenarios, the difference between alternatives is 0, therefore dyads that negotiated under these types of scenario are considered as having equal objective power. Dyads negotiating in type B and type C scenarios were classified as having unequal power. “Power Equality” is thus a dichotomous qualitative variable assuming the values of “equal” or “unequal”.
The sum of the parties’ reported aspirational values will be used as the dyadic measure “joint aspirations”, making this also a continuous issue.
Difference in Perceived Power
This variable will be used to analyze the degree of perceived power balance or imbalance in the dyads. It will thus be the difference between the perceived power reported by each member of the dyad (between 0 and 100).
Dyad Personality / Personality Uniformity
For our dyad-level analysis, our personality variable could take on one of three values: “Extrovert-Extrovert”, “Introvert-Introvert”, or “Extrover-Introvert”, according to the personality type found for each of the members composing the dyad.
During the statistical analysis, since the only significant effect found for Dyad Personality was the presence of an extrovert, the Dyad Personality variable was replaced by the Personality Uniformity variable, reflecting whether dyads were composed of only extroverts or not.
All scenarios offered the possibility of integrative solutions, as there were several issues with different degrees of importance for each party. The higher the joint gains, the more integrative the agreement (Ben-Yoav & Pruitt, 1984). Therefore, the sum of the parties’ individual gains will be the measure for the integrativeness of the agreements reached.
ResultsA total of 18 participants failed to answer all questions, or answered the manipulation checks incorrectly, and were excluded from the analyses. This study thus comprises 120 individual participants and 60 dyads. The results of the respective analyses follow. SPSS 25 and Microsoft Excel were used to run the statistical tests.5.1. Individual-level outcomesOut of the 120 participants, 66 (55%) were categorized as “extroverts” and 54 (45%) were categorized as “introverts”. Extroverts reported, on average, individual gains of 10372.73 (SD = 1322.23), which is considerably higher than the average individual gains achieved by introverts, at 9507.41 (SD = 1259.39). Moreover, extroverts reported higher aspirations and perceived power than introverts, although they had slightly higher alternatives to the negotiation than introverts (the extroverts’ Objective Power mean was 0.6% higher). Table 1 summarizes these results below.
Table 1. Descriptive mean and frequency statistics for all individual-level variables.
Total Extroverts Introverts
Mean (SD) Mean (SD) Mean (SD)
Objective Power 7212.50 (2259.12) 7254.55 (2257.85) 7116.67 (2246.07)
Aspirational Value 10260.00 (2336.39) 10762.12 (2392.34) 9646.30 (2130.61)
Perceived Power 58.07 (14.08) 60.33 (14.10) 55.30 (13.67)
Individual Gains 9983.33 (1322.23) 10372.73 (1251.16) 9507.41 (1259.36)
Frequency (%) Frequency (%) Frequency (%)
Extroversion 120 (100.00) 66 (55.00) 54 (45.00)
N = 120
In order to test whether the mean differences presented were statistically significant, two univariate analyses of variance (one-way ANOVAs) were run for aspirational value and perceived power and are detailed in Tables 2a and 2b. There was statistical significance in both tests to conclude that, in general, extroverts report higher aspirations, F(1, 118) = 7.12, p = .01, and higher perceived power, F(1, 118) = 3.90, p = .05. However, the effect size for either is generally considered low, as the proportion of variance in aspirational value that can be explained by the independent variable extroversion is 5.7% (R²= .057) and the proportion of variance in perceived power that can be explained by extroversion is 3.2% (R² = .032).
Table 2a. Extroversion effects on aspirational value
Source Type III Sum of Squares df Mean Square F Sig. Partial Eta Squared
Corrected Model 36978437.710a 1 36978437.71 7.12 .009 .057
Intercept 12370154104.38 1 12370154104.38 2382.72 .000 .953
Extroversion 36978437.71 1 36978437.71 7.12 .009 .057
Error 612609562.29 118 5191606.46 Total 13281700000.00 120 Corrected Total 649588000.000 119 a. R Squared = .057 (Adjusted R Squared = .049)
b. Computed using alpha = .05
Table 2b. Extroversion effects on perceived power
Source Type III Sum of Squares df Mean Square F Sig. Partial Eta Squared
Corrected Model 753.54a 1 753.54 3.90 .051 0.032
Intercept 397095.27 1 397095.27 2052.63 .000 0.946
Extroversion 753.54 1 753.54 3.90 .051 0.032
Error 22827.93 118 193.46 Total 428190.00 120 Corrected Total 23581.47 119 a. R Squared = .032 (Adjusted R Squared = .024)
b. Computed using alpha = .05
In order to analyze whether extroversion impacts individual gains, we built upon Wolfe and McGinn’s (2005) regression model by introducing it as an additional variable. No statistically signi?cant main or interaction effects were found for gender or role of the participant. Similarly to the authors’ findings, individual perceptions of power did not have a statistically significant effect on individual gains in the first model (p = .19). As such, excluding perceived power from the model effectively maintained the model’s predictive power. The second model shows that there is statistical significance to conclude that 29.3% (adjusted R²= .293) of the variation in individual gains can be explained by objective power (p = .000), aspirational value (p = .020) and extroversion (p = .004), F(4, 115) = 13.59, p ; .001.
Table 3a. Regression model for Individual Gains: Model Summary.
Model R R Squared Adjusted R Squared Std. Error of the Estimate R Squared Change F Change df1 df2 Sig. F Change
1 .567a .321 .297 1108.29 .321 13.59 4 115 .000
2 .557b .311 .293 1111.91 -.010 1.76 1 115 .187
a. Predictors: (Constant), Perceived Power, Objective Power, Extroversion, Aspirational Value
b. Predictors: (Constant), Objective Power, Extroversion, Aspirational Value
Table 3c. Regression model for Individual Gains: Coefficients.
Model Unstandardized Coefficients Standardized Coefficients t Sig.
B Std. Error Beta 1 (Constant) 7484.04 570.83 13.11 .000
Extroversion 586.54 211.21 0.222 2.78 .006
Objective Power 829.30 221.81 0.315 3.74 .000
Aspirational Value 0.12 0.05 0.205 2.35 .020
Perceived Power 9.96 7.51 0.106 1.33 .187
2 (Constant) 7921.19 467.63 16.94 .000
Extroversion 622.36 210.16 0.235 2.96 .004
Objective Power 846.48 222.16 0.321 3.81 .000
Aspirational Value 0.13 0.05 0.225 2.60 .010
Because extroversion had previously been found to have a significant effect on aspirational value, we briefly explored the possibility of mediation effects of aspirational value on the relationship between extroversion and individual gains. The tests were statistically significant (p = .024; Sobel z-value = 2.25), indicating that aspirational value acted as a partial mediator between extroversion and individual gains. Figure 10, presented below, represents the dynamic interplay found for these variables, where c is the total effect of extroversion on individual gains ignoring aspirational value (R2 = .327); c-primed is the direct effect of extroversion on individual gains while adjusting for aspirational value (R2 = .243); a measures the strength of the effect of extroversion on aspirational value (R2 = .239); and b is the effect of aspirational value on individual gains (R2 = .353). As such, the estimated proportion of the total effect of extroversion on individual gains due to the mediator aspirational value is about 25.8% (a ×b / c). Further explorations would have to be undertaken in order to understand the full effects on the regression model we initially proposed.
Figure 10. Mediating effects of aspirational value on the relationship between extroversion and individual gains.
5.2. Dyad-level outcomesOut of the 60 dyads, 17 were categorized as “Extrovert-Extrovert” (28.33%), 11 as “Introvert-Introvert” (18.33%), and 32 as “Extrovert-Introvert” (53%). On average, extroverts negotiating with other extroverts achieved above-average integrativeness of 20670.59 (SD = 1256.86); introverts negotiating with other introverts achieved joint gains of 19836.36 (SD = 870.95); and extroverts negotiating with introverts achieved the lowest average integrativeness (M = 19637.50; SD = 1307.48). Extroverts negotiating with extroverts also reported, on average, higher joint aspirations than mixed-personality dyads; but at the same time higher average differences in perceived power than other dyad personality types. Table 4 summarizes the results, whose statistical significant will be tested in the subsequent paragraphs.
Table 4. Descriptive mean statistics for all dyad-level variables used in research.
Total Extrovert-Extrovert Introvert-Introvert Extrovert-Introvert
Joint Aspirations* 20520.00
Difference in Perceived Power* 13.63
Power Equality (Equal/Unequal)** 31 (51.67) /
29 (48.33) 8 (13.33) /
9 (15.00) 5 (8.33) /
6 (10.00) 18 (30.00) /
Dyad Personality** 60 (100.00) 17 (28.33) 11 (18.33) 32 (53.00)
N = 60 (9 impasses are omitted)
*Mean (SD); **Frequency (%)
Two separate one-way between-subjects ANOVA tests were conducted to compare the effects of dyad personality on joint aspirations and on differences in perceived power, in extrovert-extrovert, introvert-introvert and extrovert-introvert conditions (Table 5 in the Appendix B). In both tests, for all conditions, the null hypothesis was not rejected (p ; .05), indicating that neither joint aspirations nor difference in perceived power differ by dyad personality type.
An additional factorial analysis of variance was run in order to test the interaction effects of dyad personality and power equality on integrativeness (presented in Table 6 in the Appendix B).
Results show statistical significance in the main effects of both dyad personality, F(2, 54) = 5.11, p = .01, and power equality, F(1, 54) = 7.10, p = .01, so it is possible to conclude that the difference between at least some of the factor level means previously presented have significant effects on the integrativeness of agreements. It may also be worth noting that, according to Cohen’s rules of thumb, the partial eta squared indicated that dyad personality had a strong effect (?p2 = .159) and power equality had a medium effect (?p2 = .116).
Moreover, the interaction between the two independent variables was not statistically significant (p = .972), so the relationship between either factor and the dependent variable “integrativeness” does not differ by the level of the other factor. Therefore, the main effects of both variables on integrativeness may be interpreted without considering the interaction effect.
Since the null hypothesis was rejected in the two-way ANOVA test, indicating that there are differences among dyad personality types on the integrativeness of agreements, an a posteriori test was applied to isolate where those differences lie. The Scheffé test was chosen over the Tukey test because the sample sizes are different.
The results presented in table 7 indicated that only the mean difference between “extrovert-extrovert” and “extrovert-introvert” was statistically significant (p = .018; M = 1033.09). All other mean differences were not significant at the .05 level, meaning the introvert-introvert condition did not significantly differ from the extrovert-extrovert and extrovert-introvert conditions.
Table 7. Results of the Scheffé a posteriori test between Integrativeness and Dyad Personality
Dyad Personality (I) Dyad Personality (J) Mean Difference (I-J) Std. Error Sig.
Extrovert-Extrovert Introvert-Introvert 834.22 450.99 .190
Extrovert-Introvert 1033.09 349.79 .018
Introvert-Introvert Extrovert-Extrovert -834.22 450.99 .190
Extrovert-Introvert 198.86 407.36 .888
Extrovert-Introvert Extrovert-Extrovert -1033.09 349.79 .018
Introvert-Introvert -198.86 407.36 .888
A final multiple regression analysis was used to test whether the different variables significantly predicted the integrativeness of agreements. Since the only significant effect found for Dyad Personality was the presence of an extrovert, the Dyad Personality variable was replaced by the Personality Uniformity variable, reflecting whether dyads were composed of only extroverts or not.
In the first model, there was statistical significance from the sample to conclude that the variation of the explanatory variables Personality Uniformity (? = 0.31, p = .008), Power Equality (? = 0.30, p = .033) and Joint Aspirations (? = 0.31, p = .012) can be used to predict the variation of Integrativeness. However, the difference in perceived power was not found to be a significant predictor (? = 0.10, p = .439).
The results indicated that the second multiple regression model, after excluding “Difference in Perceived Power”, was a better model (adjusted R squared = .292 > .287). It explained 29.2% of the variation and was a significant predictor of the integrativeness of negotiated agreements, F(3, 56) = 8.77, p < .001.
Table 8a. Regression Model for Integrativeness: Model Summary.
Model R R
Squared Adjusted R Squared Std. Error
of the Estimate R Squared Change F Change df1 df2 Sig. F
1 .579a 0.335 0.287 1087.83 0.335 6.742 4 55 0.000
2 .573b 0.328 0.292 1084.01 -0.007 0.771 1 55 0.384
a. Predictors: (Constant), Difference in Perceived Power, Personality Uniformity, Joint Aspirations, Power Equality
b. Predictors: (Constant), Personality Uniformity, Joint Aspirations, Power Equality
Table 8c. Regression Model for Integrativeness: Coefficients.
Model Unstandardized Coefficients Standardized Coefficients t Sig.
B Std. Error Beta 1 (Constant) 16735.26 1293.04 12.94 .000
Personality Uniformity 870.73 318.23 0.31 2.74 .008
Power Equality 777.79 355.52 0.30 2.19 .033
Joint Aspirations 0.16 0.06 0.31 2.59 .012
Difference in Perceived Power 9.62 12.34 0.10 0.78 .439
2 (Constant) 16718.50 1288.32 12.98 .000
Personality Uniformity 877.80 316.98 0.31 2.77 .008
Power Equality 628.21 298.16 0.25 2.11 .040
Joint Aspirations 0.16 0.06 0.31 2.67 0.010
DiscussionThe aim of this thesis was to advance previous studies on personality and negotiation, by focusing on the impact of extroversion on individual perceptions of power and the integrativeness of negotiated agreements.
6.1. Individual-level outcomesHypothesis 1 – that extroverts are likely to report higher perceived power and higher aspirations – was supported by the results. Extroverts reported, on average, 10% higher perceived power and 12% higher aspirations than introverts. This mean difference was shown to be statistically significant, even after controlling for objective power differences, and thus corroborates previous research findings.
Individual perceptions of power had been found to be affected by personality traits and not just the social context in which individuals were (Anderson et al., 2012). Our research adds that, in negotiation settings, both the perception of power and the reported aspirational value were affected by extroversion, regardless of whether participants had equal, better or worse alternatives to the negotiation (the chosen measure of objective power).
Therefore, participants’ aspirations and individual perceptions of power did not always necessarily coincide with the given structural indicators of their bargaining power, namely their control over resources or their dependence on their counterpart; and were, to a small but significant extent, mediated by extroversion. A possible explanation is the fact that extroverts have been found to have a more positive mindset, judging neutral events more positively than introverts, as well as a propensity for risk-taking (Anderson et al, 2012). This could translate into extroverts judging their power more positively than introverts and being predisposed to set higher goals (aspirations) for themselves.
Hypothesis 2 – “As objective power, aspirations and extroversion increase, individual gains increase” – was also confirmed. The regression model proposed by Wolfe and McGinn (2005), which showed objective power and aspirations as significant predictors of individual gains, was improved by the addition of the independent variable extroversion. Since extroversion had been found to influence aspirations on our previous hypothesis, we briefly examined whether aspirations were a mediator in the observed relationship between extroversion and individual gains. In other words, whether extroversion was affecting individual gains directly, or if extroversion was affecting aspirations which were in turn affecting individual gains. The test results showed that there was only a partial mediating effect, meaning that, while approximately 25% of the effect of extroversion on individual gains was mediated by aspirational value, extroversion did affect the variation in individual gains directly.
Besides being more optimistic than introverts, extroverts are also more assertive, and more confident (Sharma et al, 2013). Assertiveness helps negotiators be resolute and unyielding, while introverts may have a tendency to make faster concessions in order to end the social encounter sooner, which could help explain the differences in individual gains.
Furthermore, drawing on French and Raven’s (1959) five main types of power, the objective power manipulations that were performed in our experiment granted participants reward and coercive power, that is, the ability to compensate or punish their counterparts. Take scenario B in our experiment: the recruiter has an alternative to the agreement worth 9500 while the candidate has an alternative worth 5000 – the recruiter can punish the candidate by walking away from the negotiation and still be better off. However, French and Raven also propose another type of power, which is referent power, associated with one’s interpersonal relationship skills and charisma. From this perspective, a portion of the participants’ power was effectively manipulated by the experiment design, but there is a portion associated with referent power that emerges from one’s personality. This could thus also explain why extroverts, being more socially adept, achieved on average better individual outcomes.
6.2. Dyad-level outcomesMoving on to the dyad analysis discussion, in Hypothesis 3 it was proposed that “dyads composed of only extroverts or only introverts are likely to perceive lower differences in perceived relative power”. There was no statistical significance in the results to support this hypothesis. While individual differences in extroversion mediated individual perceptions of power, there was insufficient evidence to conclude the same for the composition of dyads. However, the proportion of variance in individual perceived power that could be explained by extroversion was only 3.2%. This effect could be so low at the individual level that it did not carry over to the dyad.
On the other hand, our fourth and final hypothesis, that “dyads composed of only extroverts are likely to achieve higher integrativeness”, was fully supported by the analyses. The results showed that there are indeed significant differences among dyad personality types regarding the integrativeness of agreements, but the post-hoc tests indicated that only the mean difference between extrovert-only dyads and mixed-personality dyads was statistically significant.
Extrovert-only dyads achieved, on average, the highest joint gains (M = 20670.59); introvert-only dyads achieved, although not shown to be statistically significant, an average of 19836 in joint gains; and dyads composed of one extrovert and one introvert achieved the smallest average joint gains (M = 19637), indicating that integrativeness is higher in dyads composed of only extroverts. It is possible that the sample sizes were merely not big enough to draw significant conclusions for introvert-only dyads, as the general trend of the results corroborates existing research literature.
This experiment presented participants with a multi-issue negotiation, meaning it was possible to establish mutually beneficial tradeoffs. The most integrative agreements were only possible if participants shared with their counterpart which issues were the most and least important to them, much like in the orange anecdote described earlier in the literature review. Therefore, extrovert-only dyads achieving the highest joint gains was the expected result, as extroverts have been found to have a higher propensity for open information exchange and for a problem-solving approach to conflict resolution (Peters, 1993), arguably the most crucial determinants of successful integrative agreements (De Dreu ; Kleef, 2004). Introverts, on the other hand, tend to engage less in conversation and to withhold information.
Nonetheless, the most surprising finding in our experiment was the fact that the lowest average integrativeness was not registered for introvert-only dyads, but for mixed-personality dyads. Although these dyads were composed of one extrovert who would typically encourage a cooperative problem-solving environment leading to higher integrativeness, the presence of an introvert seemed to negate that effect. In fact, in past research, extroverts communicating with introverts have reported becoming frustrated and resorting to more competitive styles of communication (Peters, 1993). Another study found that, when extroverts’ cooperative initiatives, such as information sharing, were not reciprocated by the other party, they were also more likely to revert back to a competitive style (Ma & Jaeger, 2005). At the same time, introverted types may find their extrovert counterpart’s energy and sociability overpowering, aggravating or difficult to tolerate.
The final regression model showed that joint aspirations, power equality and personality uniformity were the best predictors of the integrativeness of agreements. This means that, according to this model, joint gains are higher when the sum of the aspirational value reported by each member of the dyad is higher; when the dyad members have equal power; and when dyads are composed of only extroverts.
These results corroborated most of Wolfe ; McGinn’s (2005) findings, but not all. In the study which we attempted to replicate, the authors concluded that dyads who perceived a smaller difference in power reached agreements of greater integrativeness than pairs who perceived a greater power difference. In our analysis, differences in perceived power did not have a statistically significant effect on the integrativeness of agreements; instead, the integrativeness of agreements was mediated by the objective measure of power (the quality of the negotiator’s alternatives to the agreement). In other words, according to the present study’s findings, the more equal the dyad’s objective power, the higher the joint gains, regardless of the perception each participant had about their own power relative to their counterpart’s. This could mean that the original result was an unreliable false positive; that perhaps this study failed to notice some of the original authors’ choices or procedures, or these were unreported; or it may be that there were significant differences in the sample (for instance, level of education or cultural differences), although this would nonetheless indicate that the original findings could not be generalized to the population.
The effects of the equality or inequality of objective power on the integrativeness of negotiations have long been a source of dispute, with some studies finding no differences in the integrativeness of agreements, whether negotiated in symmetrical or asymmetrical power structures (Pinkley et al., 1994), others finding evidence that higher integrativeness is most associated with unequal power structures (Komorita et al., 1968; Sondak ; Bazerman, 1991), but most finding the opposite. This study hopefully adds strength to the prevailing argument that equal objective power tends to lead to greater joint gains, as parties with equal power are more likely to reciprocate each other’s actions (Lawler & Yoon, 1993) and exchange information (Giebels et al., 2000).
Conclusion, limitations and future research suggestionsGoing back to the introduction, it was discussed how complex negotiations are and, in turn, how complex studying them is. Negotiations involve multiple psychological processes (such as personality), multiple social processes (such as power), and multiple social factors (such as relationships). Studying negotiations thus requires dissecting and isolating some of these variables and analyzing the interplay between them.
However, because of this complexity, research results have often been contradictory. Wolfe and McGinn (2005) attempted to clarify how power mediates negotiation outcomes by separating objective measures of power (the existence and quality of alternatives to the negotiated agreement) from individual perceptions of power, arguing that it is perceived power that mediates the integrativeness of agreements. The present study attempted to not only validate Wolfe and McGinn’s study, but to build upon it by analyzing how personality, specifically extroversion, mediates perceptions of power and individual and joint outcomes.
Our individual-level analysis corroborated Wolfe and McGinn’s findings: higher individual gains were achieved by participants with higher alternatives to the agreement and higher aspirations; and added that extroverts achieved, on average, higher individual gains than introverts, notwithstanding the experiment scenario (recruiter or candidate, with high or low power).
Our dyad-level analysis, on the other hand, did not reach all of the same conclusions as Wolfe and McGinn. While higher joint aspirations also generally led to higher joint gains, in our analysis, differences in perceived power did not have a statistically significant effect on the integrativeness of agreements. Instead, the more equal the dyad’s alternatives to the agreement, the higher the joint gains, regardless of the perception each participant reported about their own power relative to their counterpart’s.
We also found that dyads composed of only extroverts generally achieved the most integrative agreements. This was the expected result in our hypothesis, as our literature review revealed extroverts have been found to have a higher propensity for open information exchange and for a problem-solving approach to conflict resolution than introverts. More surprisingly, and perhaps our most important finding, dyads composed of one extrovert and one introvert had the lowest average joint gains, indicating mutual frustrations and incompatibilities in the relationship between the two personality types.
We chose to focus our study not only on individual variables, as was often the case in the literature reviewed, but also on the interactions between the combined personalities of the dyad, which is a critical step forward from other studies. Individual personality traits, behaviors and decisions influence one’s own performance, but also have an impact on the performance that is evoked in the other party.
In the end, integrative negotiations allow for win-win solutions by focusing on the underlying reasons why there is a conflict: the needs, wants and concerns that are important to each party. Because distributive negotiations are based on fixed, opposing viewpoints allowing very little wiggle room, often agreements are not met and relationships suffer. While there will always be a tension between the two, as ultimately all parties want to claim as much value for themselves as possible, in a corporate context, it is important that businesses and managers, clients and suppliers, have an integrative approach to negotiation. Hopefully this study and other studies continue to shed light on this important topic.
Possible research limitations and future research suggestions
The main limitations of this study are related with our sample. Due to time and budget constraints, the size of our sample (N = 120) is not as large as might be desirable given the complexity of the study and diversity of variables. Sample size was also the reason behind the decision of reducing the four DiSC test categories (dominance, influence, steadiness and compliance) down to two (extroversion and introversion). In retrospect, it might have been preferable to test extroversion directly rather than extrapolate from the DiSC test results. One way to do this would be to perform a Big Five-based personality test, such as the Eysenck Personality Inventory (EPI) or the Eysenck Personality Questionnaire (EPQ), and gather the scores on the scale for the extroversion personality type. Nonetheless, it remains unclear whether this would result in any meaningful differences.
Secondly, as did many other studies in the field of negotiation, this research used solely postgraduate students as participants. Despite their business orientation, acquired knowledge and everyday negotiation experiences in their personal life, some postgraduate students may lack professional experience and appear as only surrogates for actual negotiators, meaning their bargaining ability may be better or worse than reality. It would be important that future studies involve participants from more diverse samples, in terms of their ages and experiences. Although inevitable, the choice of a convenience sampling method means inferences about the population may not be as trustworthy as if a random sample was used.
In addition, our samples were composed of participants from diverse cultural and ethnic backgrounds, although all were living in Portugal. There could nonetheless be significant cultural and ideological differences with respect to power and negotiation that were generalized in this experiment and could be worth analyzing in more detail.
Finally, this study has limitations common to most laboratory experiments in the field. The fact that the experiment was conducted in a controlled artificial environment may have resulted in behavior that does not necessarily reflect what would happen in real life. Although efforts were undertaken to avoid pairing up participants who knew each other, in order to minimize external factors, it is also possible that any past interactions between participants could in some way influence their interaction during the simulated negotiation. Nonetheless, this is something that also happens in real life situations and a different approach would become a very demanding challenge for a variety of reasons including logistics. It was also important to guarantee a face-to-face rather than a less resource-intensive computerized simulation, as negotiations are a social phenomenon where body language, voice intonation and emotional expressions are important manifestations of one’s personality and influence the negotiation process. All negotiation simulations followed the exact same script to guarantee replicability and a more precise control of independent variables.
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Appendix AExperiment handout materialsFigure 2a. DiSC test: questionnaire sampleFigure 2b. DiSC test: presentation of results.
Figure 4. Pre-negotiation questionnaire.Figure 5. Post-negotiation scoreboard..
Figure 6. Case description example for the role of candidate (scenario A).
Figure 7. Case description example for the role of recruiter (scenario C).Figure 8. Candidate point sheet.
Figure 9. Recruiter point sheet.Appendix BStatistical analysis supporting tablesTable 3b. Regression model for Individual Gains: ANOVA.
Model Sum of Squares df Mean Square F Sig.
1 Regression 66791110.00 4 16697777.50 13.59 .000a
Residual 141255556.67 115 1228309.19 Total 208046666.67 119 2 Regression 64629537.47 3 21543179.16 17.43 .000b
Residual 143417129.20 116 1236354.56 Total 208046666.67 119 a. Predictors: (Constant), Perceived Power, Objective Power, Extroversion, Aspirational Value
b. Predictors: (Constant), Objective Power, Extroversion, Aspirational Value
Table 5. Analysis of Variance (ANOVA) between Joint Aspirations and Dyad Personality, and between Difference in Perceived Power and Dyad Personality.
Source Type III Sum of Squares gl Mean Square F Sig.
Joint Aspirations 9860358.29a 2 4930179.14 0.772 .467
Difference in Perceived Power 224.154b 2 112.08 0.582 .562
a. R Squared = .026 (Adjusted R Squared = .008)
b. R Squared = .020 (Adjusted R Squared = .014)
Table 6. Tests of Between-Subjects Effects (Dyad Personality and Power Equality) on Integrativeness.
Source Type III
Sum of Squares df Mean Square F Sig. Partial Eta Squared
Corrected Model 24579857.14a 5 4915971.43 3.62 .007 0.251
Intercept 19828187589.60 1 19828187589.61 14596.75 .000 0.996
Dyad Personality 13889542.23 2 6944771.12 5.11 .009 0.159
Power Equality 9642032.23 1 9642032.24 7.10 .010 0.116
Dyad Personality * Power Equality 76043.11 2 38021.56 0.03 .972 0.001
Error 73353476.19 54 1358397.71 Total 24018000000.00 60 Corrected Total 97933333.33 59 a. R Squared = .251 (Adjusted R Squared = .182)
b. ? = .05
Table 8b. Regression Model for Integrativeness: ANOVA.
Model Sum of Squares df Mean Square F Sig.
1 Regression 32221220.545 4 8055305.136 6.74 .000a
Residual 65712112.788 55 1194765.687 Total 97933333.333 59 2 Regression 31300565.081 3 10433521.694 8.77 .000b
Residual 66632768.252 56 1189870.862 Total 97933333.333 59 a. Predictors: (Constant), Difference in Perceived Power, Personality Uniformity, Joint Aspirations, Power Equality
b. Predictors: (Constant), Personality Uniformity, Joint Aspirations, Power Equality