Sweet Little Lies: Social Context and the Use of Deception in Negotiation

TitleSweet Little Lies: Social Context and the Use of Deception in Negotiation
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2014
AuthorsOlekalns M., Kulik C.T, Chew L.
JournalJournal of Business Ethics
Volume120
Issue1
Pagination13-26
Date PublishedMar
Type of ArticleArticle
ISBN Number0167-4544
Accession NumberCCC:000331657700002
Keywordsethical decision-making, gender-differences, turning-points, thin, misrepresentation, Negotiation, Gender stereotypes, Trust, Deception, slices, trust, organizations, behavior, consequences, climate,
Abstract

Social context shapes negotiators' actions, including their willingness to act unethically. We use a simulated negotiation to test how three dimensions of social context-dyadic gender composition, negotiation strategy, and trust-interact to influence one micro-ethical decision, the use of deception. Deception in all-male dyads was relatively unaffected by trust or the other negotiator's strategy. In mixed-sex dyads, negotiators consistently increased their use of deception when three forms of trust (identity, benevolent, deterrent) were low and opponents used an accommodating strategy. However, in all-female dyads, negotiators appeared to use multiple and shifting reference points in deciding when to deceive the other party. In these dyads, the use of deception increased when a competitive strategy combined with low benevolence-based trust or an accommodating strategy combined with high identity-based trust. Deception in all-female dyads decreased when a competitive strategy was used in the context of low deterrence-based trust.