Research: When You Don’t Have an Alternative in a Negotiation, Try Imagining One by HBR.org [Leadership]

Earlier research has found that alternatives not only make negotiators feel more powerful, they can also serve as high or low reference points, helping to frame the negotiation. Researchers wondered whether negotiators needed actual alternatives to get these benefits, or whether simply imagining one would be sufficient. Across seven studies, using samples of over 2,500 MBA students, online participants, and working professionals, they hypothesized that imagining an attractive alternative offer would give them a reference point and motivate them to demand more from their opponents. Their findings suggest that, under the right circumstances, mentally simulating a realistic but ambitious alternative can help them reach more advantageous outcomes. READ THE FULL ARTICLE...

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