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Ethicality in Negotiation: An Analysis of Attitudes, Intentions, and Outcomes

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The study reported in this article examines the prediction and use of invalid information (e.g., exaggerated offers, false promises, misrepresented facts) in a two-party, property leasing negotiation in which participants from different countries negotiated seven issues via electronic mail. Prior to negotiating, attitudes and intentions towards questionable or unethical tactics were measured, and perceived behavior was measured through a post-negotiation questionnaire and compared with actual behavior and negotiated outcomes (differential and joint). The results suggest that the pre-negotiation questionnaire was a modest predictor of actual behavior, with general attitudes effective in predicting general behavior. Ethical behavior of the negotiator, ethical behavior of the other party, and perceived honesty of the other party were the best predictors of performance (perceived and actual), while likely use of unethical tactics and perceived honesty of the other party predicted whether or not an agreement was reached.


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