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Title: Beyond Dyads: Decision support for online multiparty negotiation, coalition formation and negotiation outcomes
Keywords: decision support, multiparty negotiation, inter-team negotiation, group negotiation, coalition formation, negotiation outcome
Issue Date: 21-Jan-2010
Citation: GUO XIAOJIA (2010-01-21). Beyond Dyads: Decision support for online multiparty negotiation, coalition formation and negotiation outcomes. ScholarBank@NUS Repository.
Abstract: Negotiations are important and prevalent social processes. The complex and evolving nature of negotiation makes computer support in general and decision support in particular an appealing idea to researchers. The effort of designing and implementing such support dates from the 1970s. Much of the effort however has been focused almost exclusively on the dyadic negotiation setting, which leaves the support for multiparty negotiation greatly underexplored. Multiparty negotiation features higher degree of complexity than dyadic negotiation and researchers contend that the translation from the findings in the latter setting to the former is problematic. Decision support for multiparty negotiation hence warrants separate investigation. On the other hand, negotiations are increasingly being conducted over computer networks. This is partly due to the efficiency boost offered by the online environment. The rising phenomenon of electronic commerce has also been making it an imperative reality to negotiate online. This thesis then motivates the design and implementation of decision support for online multiparty negotiation, the efficacy of which is subsequently addressed through empirical studies. While multiparty negotiation in general features higher degree of complexity than the dyadic setting, a spectrum of complexity is evident within the scope of multiparty negotiation per se. For example, some multiparty negotiations may be reduced to two sides (i.e., bilateral) whereas others may take the form of multiple sides interacting across the negotiation table (i.e., multilateral). In the former case, there can be multiple parties negotiating within a side and we label such interaction as level-2 negotiation and the negotiation across the negotiation table as level-1 negotiation. Whereas level-1 negotiation involves conflict of interest, level-2 negotiation concerns cognitive conflict between negotiators in terms of how best to satisfy their common interest. It is envisioned that a multiparty negotiation setting with may well involve both levels of negotiation with multiple parties interacting at each level. Notwithstanding that our ultimate objective is to shed light on such setting, we devised a divide-and-conquer strategy for the research endeavor. Specifically, we conducted two empirical studies to examine the settings of bilateral inter-team negotiation and group negotiation, with a focus on level-2 negotiation in the former and level-1 negotiation in the latter. The findings from both studies are then to collectively inform the more complex settings, e.g., multilateral inter-team negotiation. When there are three or more parties in a negotiation, coalition is deemed a major variable in understanding and explaining the negotiation. In this light, coalition formation is examined as a central process mechanism in our investigation of the efficacy of the proposed decision support. Conceptualizing coalition formation as a strategy to simplify multiparty negotiation, we argue that the availability of decision support that addresses the complexity of the negotiation will demotivate negotiators from coalition formation attempts. Coalition formation is defective and distributive in nature, a lowered extent of which can therefore be expected to associate with better negotiation outcomes. Laboratory experiment is the dominant research method adopted for the verification of these propositions. Both theoretical and practical implications are drawn from this thesis.
Appears in Collections:Ph.D Theses (Open)

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