Psychological Influence in Negotiation: An Introduction Long Overdue

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This article begins with an analysis of the limited extent to which social influence research has penetrated the field of negotiation. The authors argue that one barrier has been that research on social influence focuses almost exclusively on economic or structural levers of influence. With this background, the article seeks to do the following: (a) define the domain of psychological influence as consisting of tactics that do not require the influencer to change the economic or structural aspects of the bargaining situation, (b) review prior decision research to identify ideas that may be relevant to psychological influence, (c) provide numerous examples of how decision research can be leveraged to create psychological influence tactics for negotiators, (d) consider how targets of influence might defend against the tactics herein considered, and (e) consider some of the ethical issues surrounding the use of psychological influence in negotiation.

About the authors:

Deepak Malhotra is an associate professor at the Harvard Business School, where he teaches negotiation in the MBA program, the Advanced Management Program, and the Owner/President Management Program, in addition to providing negotiation consulting and training for businesses worldwide.

Max H. Bazerman is the Jesse Isidor Straus Professor of Business Administration at the Harvard Business School and the author of Negotiating Rationally and Judgment in Managerial Decision Making. He is also a member of the Program on Negotiation’s Executive Committee.

Purchase the article from the Journal of Management or view the HBS Working Paper.

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