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Negotiation by Leaders in the Presence of Their Delegates and by Delegates in the Presence of Their Leaders

Kogan, Nathan; Lamm, Helmut; Trommsdorff, Gisela
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Report Number:
ETS Research Bulletin
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Page Count:
Subject/Key Words:
Advanced Research Projects Agency, Behavioral Science Research, Decision Making, Group Dynamics, Leadership, Risk


Following a preliminary testing session for assessing individual risk preferences on the choice-dilemmas task, subjects (8 at a time) were constituted as 4 leader-delegate dyads with status randomly assigned. Dyads reached joint decisions on half of the choice-dilemmas items. Subjects were then recombined as all-leader and all-delegate groups. For half of these combinations, leaders were discussants and delegates were observers; roles were reversed for the other half. The discussants' task was to negotiate a consensus on all of the choice-dilemmas items. Delegate discussants relative to leader discussants consulted more with their former dyadic partner and more often failed to achieve consensus (deadlock). Magnitude of risky shift did not differ significantly between leader and delegate discussants. However, delegate observers advocated higher risk levels than their leader discussants, whereas delegate discussants and leader observers did not differ in risk preferences. Discussant-observer discrepancies in risk preference were consistent with differences in decision satisfaction. On the whole, the presence of observers seems to increase "loss of face" motivation in leaders and fears of sanction for deviation in delegates.

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