Handbook of Research on Negotiation
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Handbook of Research on Negotiation

Edited by Mara Olekalns and Wendi L. Adair

Leading international scholars give insight into both the factors known to shape negotiation and the questions that we need to answer as we strive to deepen our understanding of the negotiation process. This Handbook provides analyses of the negotiation process from four distinct perspectives: negotiators’ cognition and emotion, social processes and social inferences, communication processes, and complex negotiations, covering trade, peace, environment, and crisis negotiations.
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Chapter 8: Fairness and ethics in bargaining and negotiation

Kristina A. Diekmann, Andrew T. Soderberg and Ann E. Tenbrunsel


Fairness and ethics. At a macro level, they are fundamental building blocks of our society. Translated to a more micro-level, they are essential ingredients in our interpersonal interactions. Essential? Yes. Understood? Often not. This chapter seeks to shed light on research on these topics in one of the most fundamental of human exchanges: bargaining and negotiations. In doing so, we aspire to uncover and expose what we have learned and, at the same time, direct scholars to fruitful areas for future investigations. We organize this chapter broadly along three dimensions: construct, roles, and context. Our first dimension, construct, incorporates both fairness and ethics. Fairness and ethics are inevitably entwined (Cropanzano and Stein, 2009; Skitka et al., 2008), with the instrumental use of fairness, for example, asserted to have a dark connotation, one that could be described as unethical (Van Dijk et al., 2012). Although they are linked, they are not synonymous (Folger et al., 2005). Our second dimension focuses on roles and here we follow the distinction in reviews of the fairness literature (e.g., Brockner et al., 2009) between the focal actor enacting (un)fair behavior and the recipient who receives the (un)fair behavior by the interaction partner.

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