Group Decision and Negotiation

, Volume 22, Issue 6, pp 1081–1101 | Cite as

Initiating Negotiations: The Role of Machiavellianism, Risk Propensity, and Bargaining Power

  • Ilias KapoutsisEmail author
  • Roger J. Volkema
  • Andreas G. Nikolopoulos


Initiation is an often-overlooked yet essential stage of the negotiation process. This study examined the effects of two measures of personality—Machiavellianism and risk propensity—and relative bargaining power (as based on multiple situational factors) on three phases of the initiation process—engaging a counterpart, making a request, and optimizing the request. Using a multi-scenario approach, one hundred fifteen participants indicated their initiation preferences for three distinct negotiations. The results of repeated measures ANOVAs indicate that bargaining power influences an individual’s decision to initiate negotiations. In addition, those high in Machiavellianism choose to initiate negotiations even when relative bargaining power is low, whereas those high in risk propensity tend to optimize their requests. The implications of these findings for practitioners and future research are discussed.


Negotiation Initiation behavior Machiavellianism Risk propensity Bargaining power 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • Ilias Kapoutsis
    • 1
    Email author
  • Roger J. Volkema
    • 2
  • Andreas G. Nikolopoulos
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Business AdministrationAthens University of Economics and BusinessAthensGreece
  2. 2.Kogod School of BusinessAmerican University and IAG/PUC-Rio de JaneiroRio de JaneiroBrazil

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