Ethics in Negotiation
Why Do Ethics Apply to
Negotiation?
“Ethics are broadly applied social standards
for what is right or wrong in a particular
situation or a process for setting those
standards”
– Not morals: individual and personal beliefs
about right and wrong
Standards for Evaluating
Strategies and Tactics
Make decision based on:
 Expected results, what would give the greatest
return on investment
– End-result ethics
 What the law says, the legality
– Rule ethics
 Strategy and values of my organization
– Social contract ethics
 My own person convictions and what my
conscience told me to do
– Personalistic ethics
Types of Deceptive Tactics
 Misrepresent one’s position to another party
– Lie about preferred settlement or resistance point
 Bluffing
– Say will do something they don’t intend to do.
 Falsification
– Factually erroneous information. (fraud)
 Deception
– Collection of true and/or untrue arguments that leads the
other to wrong conclusion. (fraud)
 Selective disclosure or misrepresentation to
constituencies
– Not accurately tell what has transpired. Omission.
SINS Scale
 Traditional
competitive
bargaining
 Manipulation of
opponent’s network
 False promises
 Misrepresentation of
information
 Inappropriate
information
gathering
Bluffing, Lying, & Deception
 Excuses people use to justify
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Tactic was unavoidable
Tactic was harmless
Tactic will help avoid negative consequences
Tactic will produce good consequences, or
altruistically motivated.
– They had it coming
– They were going to do it, so I did it first
– Tactic is fair or appropriate to situation
Consequences of Unethical
Tactics
 Impact of tactic. Does it
work?
– Rewards vs. punishments
 Feedback and reaction
from other negotiator,
constituencies, and
audiences
– Anger, retaliation, revenge
– Short term success, create an
adversary
 Evaluate own use
of tactic—
discomfort,
personal stress,
guilt vs. no
problem using
tactic again.
Detecting Deception
 Intimidation
 A chink in the defense
 Futility portrayal
 Self-disclosure
 Discomfort and relief  Point of deception cues
 Bluffing
 Concern
 Gentle prods
 Keeping the status quo
 Minimization
 Direct approach
 Contradiction
 Silence
 Altered information
Dealing with Deception
Ask probing questions
– Uncovers acts of omission at least
– Most buyers do not ask enough questions
Recognize the tactic
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Ignore the tactic
Call the tactic
Respond in kind
Discuss what you see and offer to help the
other party change to more honest behaviors
– “You wish…”