Setting the stage for negotiations: How superordinate goal dialogues promote trust and joint gain in negotiations between teams

Roderick I. Swaab, Robert B. Lount, Seunghoo Chung, Jeanne M. Brett

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review


Although negotiations between teams can result in informational advantages resulting in higher joint gain, the presence of teams can also undermine trust, fuel competition, and impair joint gain. This research addresses this challenge by using structured dialogues to develop trust that helps to establish cooperative interdependence between teams. Building upon prior research in negotiations and intergroup relations, we propose that superordinate goal dialogues can increase trust and facilitate strategy to generate high quality outcomes. Across four face-to-face negotiation studies, we document that structured dialogues about superordinate goals increase trust and teams’ use of negotiation strategy to ultimately improve joint gain. We identify the boundary conditions that shape when superordinate goal dialogues are most likely to increase joint gain, as well as when they will not be effective.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)157-169
Number of pages13
JournalOrganizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2021


  • Communication
  • Goals
  • Negotiation
  • Teams
  • Trust

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Applied Psychology
  • Organizational Behavior and Human Resource Management

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