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Groups and solos in context: the effects of accountability on team negotiation


Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes


Organisational Behaviour

Publishing details

Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes 1997 Vol 72:3 p 384-407

Authors / Editors

O'Connor K M

Publication Year



This study examines whether and how accountability to constituents affects the cognitions, performance, and outcomes of team and solo negotiators. Previous findings for solos were replicated here: solo negotiators respond competitively when they are accountable to constituents. For teams, however, accountability pressures were distributed across the members resulting in each team member experiencing little responsibility for outcomes. As a consequence, teams did not respond to accountability pressures by behaving contentiously as solos did. Analysis of negotiators' perceptions of advantage reveals that solos who negotiate under conditions of high accountability consider themselves to be at a disadvantage in the negotiation even before the negotiation begins. These perceptions may underlie the accountability/competitive relation that characterizes solo negotiation. Implications for negotiation research as well as the study of groups in organizations are discussed.

Available on ECCH


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