If you are buying or selling something, how much do you expect the other party to offer? Research by Professor Ramirez and her research team shows that interpersonal relationships may influence negotiators’ expectations of the counterparts’ offers, and this can further affect negotiation processes and outcomes.
In this article, they reported findings based on three studies on the influence of close relationships on the expected offers. They found that negotiators expect more generous negotiation offers from people who are close to them. Furthermore, when these higher expectations are not met, negative emotions can arise, leading to negative negotiation outcomes for both sides.
Is it possible to lower close ones’ expectations? Perspective taking may provide an answer here. Perspective taking is the cognitive capacity to consider the world from the viewpoint of others. It serves as a key component of successful conflict resolution and win-win negotiation, allowing negotiators to understand the priorities and interests of the counterpart better. In the research, they demonstrated that perspective taking allowed the participants to expect less from those counterparts with close relationships.
What can practitioners, such as managers and negotiators, learn from this research? Some managers have to focus on building relationships with their teammates across departments, with their suppliers, and so on. For example, this is at the core of key account managers’ job. Managers should be aware that the closer those relationships are, the more they will expect from their counterparts, and vice versa. When expectations are high, expectancy violation is likely and it can in turn greatly hurt the relationship they worked so hard to build.
To read the original article:
Ramirez-Fernandez, J., Ramirez-Marin, J. Y., & Munduate, L. (2018). I Expected More from You: The Influence of Close Relationships and Perspective Taking on Negotiation Offers. Group Decision and Negotiation, 27(1), 85-105.
Professor Ramirez is one member of ICoN. You can find more information about ICoN team members here: