Article

When Does Taking a Break Help in Negotiations? The Influence of Breaks and Social Motivation on Negotiation Processes and Outcomes

Authors
  • Fieke Harinck
  • Carsten K. W. De Dreu

Abstract

Most negotiations are interrupted from time to time to reflect on the negotiation or to do other pressing tasks. This study investigated how these breaks and the thoughts during these breaks influence subsequent negotiation behavior. Prosocially motivated dyads, with a tendency to think cooperatively, and proself‐motivated dyads, with a tendency to think competitively, engaged in a negotiation in which there was a 3‐min break. During this break, either they could reflect upon the negotiation or they did a distraction task. After the reflect break, but not after the distract break, prosocial dyads displayed more concern for other, engaged in more cooperative negotiation, and reached more agreements than proself dyads. We conclude that breaks are constructive if, and only if, negotiators reflect on their negotiation when having a prosocial orientation.

Keywords: experimental research, negotiation

How to Cite:

Harinck, F. & De Dreu, C., (2011) “When Does Taking a Break Help in Negotiations? The Influence of Breaks and Social Motivation on Negotiation Processes and Outcomes”, Negotiation and Conflict Management Research 4(1), 33-46. doi: https://doi.org/10.34891/b72q-9x28

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Published on
07 Jan 2011
Peer Reviewed