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Fairness and Emotions: Reactions to the Process and Outcomes of Negotiations

Karen A. Hegtvedt and Caitlin Killian
Social Forces
Vol. 78, No. 1 (Sep., 1999), pp. 269-302
Published by: Oxford University Press
DOI: 10.2307/3005797
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/3005797
Page Count: 34
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Fairness and Emotions: Reactions to the Process and Outcomes of Negotiations
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Abstract

This study examines how the negotiation context affects evaluations of procedural and distributive justice, which in turn influence emotional reactions to the bargaining process and the final outcome distribution. Data are from questionnaire responses provided by subjects in a computerized experiment who offered different group-pay allocations. Perceived procedural justice, which is affected by the conflict between initial pay divisions, enhances positive feelings about the negotiation and attenuates depression over outcomes. One's own final pay level influences positively fairness of the outcome to self and negatively fairness to others. Fairness to self decreases negative feelings about final pay and increases pay satisfaction, but also guilt. Fairness to others, in contrast, only negatively affects guilt. The discussion emphasizes the importance of differentiating types of justice and of emotions to understand reactions to negotiations.

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