Conflicting Social Motives in Negotiating Groups

Laurie R. Weingart*, Jeanne M. Brett, Mara Olekalns, Philip L. Smith

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

97 Scopus citations


Negotiators' social motives (cooperative vs. individualistic) influence their strategic behaviors. In this study, the authors used multilevel modeling and analyses of strategy sequences to test hypotheses regarding how negotiators' social motives and the composition of the group influence group members' negotiation strategies. Four-person groups negotiating a 5-issue mixed-motive decision-making task were videotaped, and the tapes were transcribed and coded. Group composition included 2 homogeneous conditions (all cooperators and all individualists) and 3 heterogeneous conditions (3 cooperators and 1 individualist, 2 cooperators and 2 individualists, 1 cooperator and 3 individualists). Results showed that cooperative negotiators adjusted their use of integrative and distributive strategies in response to the social-motive composition of the group, but individualistic negotiators did not. Results from analyses of strategy sequences showed that cooperators responded more systematically to others' behaviors than did individualists. They also redirected the negotiation depending on group composition.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)994-1010
Number of pages17
JournalJournal of personality and social psychology
Issue number6
StatePublished - Dec 1 2007


  • group processes
  • negotiation
  • social motives

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology
  • Sociology and Political Science


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