Negotiation in Triads: Communication Constraints and Tradeoff Structure

  • Palmer L
  • Thompson L
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Researchers examined the impact of communication constraints and tradeoff structures on negotiations within 3-member groups in a simulated architectural firm. Groups were faced with the task of designing a house to meet a client's needs and budget constraints. Groups restricted to dyadic-only communication (between 2 members at any given time) perceived other group members and themselves to be more competitive than groups that engaged in full-group communication (3 members present). When groups were allowed to communicate in full, they were more likely to discover circular tradeoffs than reciprocal tradeoffs; however, when communication was restricted to dyadic interactions, reciprocal tradeoffs were more likely than circular tradeoffs. Joint profit was greater for tasks requiring reciprocal rather than circular tradeoffs. Furthermore, reciprocal tradeoff structures led to a more equal division of profits among group members than did circular tradeoffs. ((c) 1997 APA/PsycINFO, all rights reserved)

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  • Linda Gary Palmer

  • Leigh Thompson

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