In a simulated organizational conflict, concession behavior by a negotiator's opponent was manipulated to examine how subsequent third party intervention would influence negotiator perceptions of process control, decision control, distributive justice, and the third party. Negotiators whose opponents made large concessions reciprocated by also making large concessions, suggesting a high level of movement toward agreement by the disputants. Subjects whose opponents made few concessions reciprocated in kind, resulting in little movement toward agreement.
As part of the experimental manipulation, third parties imposed outcomes
on all negotiators prior to any negotiated agreements. Perceptions
of decision control, distributive justice, and the necessity of third party
intervention were influenced by whether disputants were close to reaching
an agreement on their own or not. Outcomes imposed by the third party
influenced almost all measures. The study suggests that behavior
by the disputants (in the form of movement toward agreement), and not just
behavior by the third party, can influence ratings of both procedures and
Abstract and cover image copyright (c) 1992 by the International Journal for Conflict Management and the journal's current owners.