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Lambs Among Lions? The Impact of Ethical Ideology on Negotiation Behaviors and Outcomes

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image of International Negotiation

Relationships between individuals' ethical orientations (classified on dimensions of idealism and relativism), their negotiation strategies, their views of ethically ``marginal'' tactics, and their outcomes in dyadic negotiation are examined. Results indicate a relationship between ethical orientation and negotiation strategy. Specifically, absolutists (high on idealism, low on relativism) tended to employ more assertive negotiation strategies than did those of other ethical orientations. Individuals in no one category of ethical ideology outperformed those in any other category in terms of integrativeness of agreements or outcomes. Absolutists viewed ethically questionable tactics as less acceptable, whereas subjectivists found them more acceptable. We found that individuals less accepting of questionable tactics (``lambs''), who negotiated against those more accepting of such tactics (``lions''), were able to achieve better outcomes and a greater percentage of joint outcomes.

Affiliations: 1: Olin School of Business, Washington University at St. Louis, Campus Box 1133, One Brookings Drive, St. Louis, MO 63130, USA


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