, Volume 117, Issue 2, pp 281-296
Date: 16 Oct 2012

Ethically Questionable Negotiating: The Interactive Effects of Trust, Competitiveness, and Situation Favorability on Ethical Decision Making

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Abstract

This study explores the direct and interactive effects of individual differences in interpersonal trust and negotiation style on ethical decision-making processes across commonly faced negotiation situations. Individual differences influence basic ideas about legitimate negotiating behaviors, affect behavioral intentions directly, and interact with the favorability of negotiating situations, resulting in direct, indirect, and interactive effects on ethical decision-making processes. Using a sample of 298 participants in executive education workshops, the study analyzes the relationship between interpersonal trust, competitiveness, moral judgment, and behavioral intentions in different negotiating conditions through a series of structural equation models and regression analyses. Our results suggest that individual difference variables exert a significant influence not only on how managers assess the morality of ethically ambiguous negotiation practices but also directly on their behavioral intentions, and that this effect changed across specific negotiation situations. We discuss these results in terms of their usefulness in explaining ethical decision-making processes in negotiations.