Phases, deadlines, and the bargaining process

Stephen Ghee Soon Lim, J. Keith Murnighan*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

86 Scopus citations


Gersick′s (1988, 1989) punctuated equilibrium model of group performance posits that project groups move through two distinct work phases. Almost all of the groups she observed showed a distinct shift in their activities exactly at the midpoint of their task time. Our research broadens the definition of group performance to include individualistically oriented two-party negotiations and explores the generality of Gersick′s model in a completely different group environment. We mapped the temporal activities of bargaining pairs facing short but reasonable deadlines and compared their negotiation process to the predictions of Gersick′s model, as well as approaches stressing the effects of the deadline (a variation of the two-phase model), constant action, or increasing action. Results indicate that the negotiations exhibited temporal pacing that reflected increasing action and the deadline more than a first half-second half, two-phase pattern. We conclude by discussing the potential effects of cooperative and individualistic orientations in group tasks.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)153-171
Number of pages19
JournalOrganizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes
Issue number2
StatePublished - May 1994

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Applied Psychology
  • Organizational Behavior and Human Resource Management


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