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An Exploration of a Model of Social Networks and Multilateral Negotiations

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Multilateral (many-party) negotiations are much more complex than traditional two-party negotiations. In this article, we explore a model of social network activity, especially clique formation, among parties engaged in multilateral negotiation and the implications that such networks might have on the negotiation process and outcome. Using data collected from 375 subjects participating in a negotiation simulation, our results reveal that, primarily, the negotiator's perspectives of clique formation (coalition building) — both his or her own and the other party's — have unique effects on the integrative, problem-solving approaches used in the process and on the negotiator's satisfaction with outcomes. Secondarily, centrality (manifest as emergent power) has a positive effect on both problem solving and satisfaction. Interestingly, we found that those players who emerged as the most dominant and powerful were not as satisfied (in relative levels) as those who were less powerful.

Keywords: centrality; coalition building; integrative negotiation; multilateral negotiation; negotiation; social network theory

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: 2009-07-01

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