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Some Like it Hot: The Case for the Emotional Negotiator


The classic analysis of the organization is based upon the information-processing agent whose decisions result from rational analysis (March, 1988). Similar analyses have been applied to virtually all micro-organizational activity, including individual decision making and interpersonal decision making, or negotiation. It is not too surprising that the study of negotiation has been "mentalized" given the cognitive revolution that preceded its development. With cognition as the dominant model of negotiation, the descriptive and prescriptive analysis of negotiation is largely divorced from considerations of affect and emotion. The negotiator is commonly depicted as a faulty information processor who uses judgmental heuristics that often lead to inefficient bargaining outcomes (cf. Neale & Bazerman, 1991; Thompson & Hastie, 1990). When the negotiator falls short, it is attributed to the fallibility of his or her information processing system. Affect, when it is examined, is viewed as a nuisance, obstacle, ploy, or byproduct of negotiation. Prescriptive analyses of negotiation behavior uniformly argue that negotiators should take the "high road" and focus on cognitive, decision-making principles as a way out of the information-processing quagmire. In contrast, we argue that the negotiator who behaves in a purely cognitive fashion will not be as effective in achieving his or her goals as the emotional negotiator. In this chapter, we challenge the view that emotion is a nuisance or hindrance in negotiation and argue that the effective negotiator is an emotional negotiator.


Book Chapter


Leigh Thompson, Janice Nadler, Peter H. Kim

Date Published



Thompson, Leigh, Janice Nadler, and Peter H. Kim. 1999. Some Like it Hot: The Case for the Emotional Negotiator.


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