Date of Award

5-10-2013

Degree Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Department

Managerial Sciences

First Advisor

Todd J. Maurer

Second Advisor

Edward W. Miles

Third Advisor

Bennett J. Tepper

Fourth Advisor

Nikolaos Dimotakis

Fifth Advisor

David G. Allen

Abstract

The need to negotiate is pervasive, but the ability to do so effectively is not so commonplace and is an often assumed or taken-for-granted skill. Despite the fact that people negotiate something nearly every day, be it in their personal or professional lives, very few people undergo formal negotiation skill training. In fact, most people overestimate their negotiating abilities, primarily because they never receive feedback on their skills. Consequently, this overestimation of negotiating ability often leads people to unknowingly negotiate suboptimal agreements. In other words, they can do better. In an organizational setting, many employees have to negotiate as a normal and customary part of their job; however, unlike other essential skills, such as technical skills or general communication skills, negotiation skills are not as widely taught and are frequently assumed to be mastered. Furthermore, organizations will place great emphasis on the outcomes of employee negotiations rather than the skills that lead to those outcomes. Similarly, scholarly research on negotiation seems to mimic this focus, where there are many studies related to negotiation outcomes and even general tactics (e.g., making the first offer, setting target and resistance points, etc.) prescribed to obtain outcomes. However, there is a large gap in understanding how people acquire and why they exhibit particular negotiation skills. Furthermore, the relationship between specific negotiation skills and specific negotiated outcomes has been inferred or tested indirectly in previous research. Studies in this dissertation directly examine if acquiring a particular negotiation skill set does lead to particular negotiated outcomes. This dissertation aims to set forth an initial framework for employee negotiation skill development and test key relationships to support the idea that not everyone acquires the same set of negotiation skills or are effective in every negotiation situation. This overall argument will be presented via three essays, the first proposes a theoretical framework and the second and third empirically test relationships set forth in the theory paper.

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