Bounded benefits of representative cooperativeness in intergroup negotiations

Bounded benefits of representative cooperativeness in intergroup negotiations

By
Ozum Saygi, Lindred Leura Greer, Gerben Van Kleef, Carsten De Dreu
Group Decision & Negotiation.
2015, Vol. 24, Pages 993-1014

Although cooperation among representatives in intergroup negotiation can improve intergroup relations, when cooperation in such competitive settings is attributed to strategic goals of the outgroup, it may actually harm intergroup relations. Here we investigate the possibility that representative’s characteristics (prototypicality and competence) determine whether an outgroup representative’s cooperation (as opposed to competition) improves or harms intergroup relations. Study 1 showed that a cooperative outgroup representative (compared to a competitive representative) produced more favorable perceptions of the entire outgroup, and triggered constructive behavioral tendencies towards the outgroup when the outgroup representative was seen as prototypical, yet decreased such constructive tendencies when the representative was seen as peripheral. Study 2 showed that the outgroup representative’s cooperation triggered constructive behavioral tendencies only when the representative appeared as low in competence; when high in competence, the positive effect of representative cooperativeness on trust and constructive behavioral tendencies was mitigated. Implications for representative negotiation and intergroup relations are discussed.