The social effects of anger in international negotiations: The role of self-regulation and bargaining power
This thesis addresses recent calls to investigate the influence of individual differences in a negotiation context. Specifically, I investigate the impact of the personality difference, action orientation versus state orientation, on concessionary behaviour in international negotiations. This personality difference was chosen because it measures a negotiator’s capacity to self-regulate (control their behaviour) in a cognitively demanding situation like an international negotiation. I propose that action oriented negotiators will display superior self-regulation ability, compared to state oriented negotiators. Specifically, action oriented negotiators will be able to adapt their response and concede less than state oriented negotiators, when a foreign counterpart displays anger. In two online studies, I measure how action oriented and state oriented negotiators respond to a display of anger from a foreign counterpart in an international negotiation. The first study of 159 negotiators showed that action oriented individuals conceded fewer points than state oriented individuals, regardless of whether the counterpart displayed anger. The second study of 260 negotiators showed that action oriented individuals can adapt their behaviour according to their level of power in an international negotiation when facing an angry counterpart. As far as I am aware, this research is one of the first to propose and test the salience of action orientation versus state orientation on displays of anger in international negotiations. My findings highlight the value of incorporating individual differences in negotiation studies and I propose their inclusion into the dominant theoretical framework of how negotiators respond to anger. In addition to extending the model, I discuss how understanding these personality differences can be useful for multinational companies and their international negotiators.