Bargaining Toughness: A Qualification of Level-of-Aspiration and Reciprocity Hypotheses
Lawler, Edward J.; MacMurray, Bruce K.
This research examined the interaction of initial bargaining stance and later concession strategy in dyadic bargaining. Experimental procedures pitted subjects against a programmed opponent and manipulated three variables: initial stance of the opponent across the first two bargaining rounds (tough vs. soft), deadlock vs. no deadlock, and subsequent concession strategy (tough, matching, soft). The results revealed that: (a) with a tough initial stance, a matching strategy produced greater yielding than tough or soft strategies; while in the context of a soft initial stance, a tough concession strategy produced more yielding than a matching or soft concession strategy; and (b) a prior deadlock reduced later concession making but did not specify or alter the effects of concession strategy. The research qualifies prior work based on level of aspiration and reciprocity theories by indicating that certain postures which mix toughness with softer stances are the most effective bargaining tactics.
bargaining stance; concession strategy; aspiration theory; reciprocity theory
Required Publisher Statement: © Wiley. Final version published as: Lawler, E. J., & MacMurray, B. K. (1980). Bargaining toughness: A qualification of level-of-aspiration and reciprocity hypotheses [Electronic version]. Journal of Applied Social Psychology, 10(5), 123-134. doi: 10.1111/j.1559-1816.1980.tb00720.x Reprinted with permission. All rights reserved.