Ethics in Negotiation: Meaning, Need, Ethically Ambiguous Negotiation Tactics

15/03/2021 0 By indiafreenotes

Ethics are broadly applied social standards for what is right or wrong in a particular situation, or a process for setting those standards.

Ethics grow out of particular philosophies, which purport to:

Define the nature of the world in which we live in

Prescribe rules for living together

Four standards for evaluating strategies and tactics in business negotiation:

  • End result ethics: Choose a course of action on the basis of results I expect to achieve
  • Duty ethics: Choose a course of action on the basis of my duty to uphold appropriate rules and principles
  • Social contract: Choose a course of action on the basis of the norms, values, and strategy of my organization or community
  • Personalistic ethics: Choose a course of action on the basis of my personal convictions

Ethically ambiguous negotiation tactics:

  • Traditional competitive bargaining
  • Emotional manipulation
  • Misrepresentation
  • Misrepresentation to opponent’s networks
  • Inappropriate information gathering
  • Bluffing

Deception by Omission versus Commision

A negotiator using this tactic deceives the other party about what she wants on the common-value issue and then (grudgingly) agrees to accept the other party’s preferences, which in reality matches her own.

Researchers discovered that negotiators used 2 forms of deception in misrepresenting the common-value issue:

Misrepresentation by omission: failing to disclose information that would benefit the other

Misrepresentation by commission: Actually, lying about the common-value issue

Consequences of Unethical Conduct

Based on 3 aspects of the situation:

  1. Effectiveness

If using the tactic allows a negotiator to attain rewarding outcomes that would be unavailable if he had behaved ethically, and if the unethical conduct is not punished by others, the frequency of unethical conduct is likely to increase because the negotiator believes he can get away with it

  1. Reaction of others

Arises from judgments and evaluations by the person who was the “target” of the tactic

Depending on whether these parties recognize the tactic and whether they evaluate it as proper or improper to use, the negotiator may receive a great deal of feedback.

People who discover that they have been deceived or exploited are typically angry and unlikely to trust the unethical negotiator again, may seek revenge from the negotiator in future dealings, and may also generalize this experience to negotiations with others.

  1. Reactions of self

Under some conditions; such as when the other party has truly suffered a negotiator may feel some discomfort, stress, guilt or remorse

On one hand, while the use of these tactics may have strong consequences for the negotiator’s reputation and trustworthiness, parties seldom appear to take these outcomes into consideration in the short term

On the other hand, particularly if the tactic had worked, the negotiator may be able to rationalize and justify the use of the tactic

Some explanations and justifications are as follows:

  • The tactic was unavoidable
  • The tactic was harmless
  • The tactic will help to avoid negative consequences
  • The tactic will produce good consequences, or the tactic is altruistically motivated
  • “They had it coming” or “They deserve it” or “I’m just getting my due”
  • “They were going to do it anyway, so I will do it first”
  • “He started it”
  • The tactic is fair or appropriate to the situation

These explanations and justifications help people to rationalize the behavior to themselves as well as allow the negotiator to convince others that the conduct that would ordinarily be wrong in a given situation is acceptable.

Why Use Deceptive Tactics?

  1. The Power Motive
  • To increase the negotiator’s power in the bargaining environment
  • Because negotiation is often primarily an exchange of facts, arguments, and logic between two wholly rational information-processing entities, whoever has better information, or uses it more persuasively, stands to “win” the negotiation
  • Individuals are more willing to use deceptive tactics when the other party is perceived to be uninformed or unknowledgeable about the situation under negotiation, particularly when the stakes are high.
  1. Other Motives
  • Individualistic vs Cooperative orientations
  • Individualistic: those looking to maximize their own outcome, regardless of the consequences for the other: more likely to use misrepresentation as a strategy.
  • Cultural Differences à Motivational differences
  • Individuals in a more individualistic culture (like the U.S.) are more likely to use deception for personal gain than those in a more collectivist culture (Israel).
  • Personal motivational orientation: Cooperative vs Competitive