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Why Are Integrative Agreements Better Than Compromise Agreements

This survey suggests that negotiators who defended bargaining issues in a more abstract manner would be more inclined to enter into integration agreements. In particular, participants, who were invited to examine their negotiating issues in a more abstract way by generating general descriptions of the topics and no longer more concrete on the negotiating issues, by providing specific descriptions of the subjects, made more multi-thematic offers and obtained a higher common benefit from the negotiations. The role of abstraction in negotiating and resolving conflicts is discussed. Whatever the difference between a person`s construction in a negotiation, the cross-cutting question that drives current research is whether changes in construction will influence the process and outcome of the negotiations. In particular, how does the constructive level of a party to the negotiations affect the type of offers (single edition versus multi) and the concessions it is prepared to make? If negotiators set out abstract and higher-level issues, two consequences should result. First, information on issues needs to be viewed more comprehensively and, therefore, negotiators with a more abstract framework should be more vulnerable to multi-thematic review. Second, information on the determinative and non-determinable characteristics of a negotiation should have more weight and, therefore, negotiators with a more abstract state of construction should be more concerned with their main issues and not concerned with their secondary issues. In particular, we assume that negotiators with a more abstract state of construction should be more willing to reach an agreement that requires a concession on their low-priority issue in order to gain what they want in their priority question (i.e. more important logrolling).

Together, we assume that a more abstract construction during the negotiations will be beneficial for achieving higher common results if the negotiated issues have the potential for integration (tradeoff). Current experience tests these assumptions. Each participant arrived alone, was assigned to a private space and was matched with another participant during the negotiation.


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