Social Identity and Self-Presentational Concerns in Bargaining: Evidence of Bounded Individuality

Social Identity and Self-Presentational Concerns in Bargaining: Evidence of Bounded Individuality

By Roderick M. Kramer, Elizabeth Newton, Pamela Pommerenke
1991Working Paper No. 1179

Research on negotiations has flourished over the past several years. Much of this work has focused on cognitive biases in negotiations. However, the role social processes play in negotiations has received surprisingly little attention from researchers. Using a framework derived from social identity theory, the present study investigates the effects of group identification and self-presentational concerns on negotiators' preferences. We hypothesize that when group identification and self-presentational concerns are high, individuals will have a stronger preference for equality of outcomes compared to when group identification and self- presentational concerns are low. To test these hypotheses, one hundred and four MBA students participated in a multi-issue dyadic negotiation. Two levels of social identification (personal versus group) were factorially crossed with two levels of self-presentational concern (low versus high). The major hypotheses were supported. Implications of these findings for conceptualizing organizational negotiations as social rather than economic transactions are discussed.