Ethical Trade-offs in Negotiations and the Aristotle-Nash Dilemma of the Negotiator

Ethical Trade-offs in Negotiations and the Aristotle-Nash Dilemma of the Negotiator

Tilman Eichstädt

Tilman Eichstädt "Ethical Trade-offs in Negotiations and the Aristotle-Nash Dilemma of the Negotiator" Published in International Journal of Trend in Research and Development (IJTRD), ISSN: 2394-9333, Special Issue | ICTIMESH-18 , December 2018, URL:

A recent article in the Academy of Management Perspectives has revived the important question as to what extent ethical behavior is appropriate, intentional and effective in negotiations, especially professional or business negotiations. We will show that a serious ethical conflict is immanent in any negotiation that entails a significant distributive share or a competitive setting. This conflict results from the fact that misrepresentation isgenerally a dominant strategy in any of the above-mentioned negotiation settings. Truthful revelation of one’s preferences and limits is instead reducing the individual direct outcomein a distributive negotiation with comparable levels of negotiation power. However, misrepresentation also comes with a long-term cost of losing ethos and credibility as a negotiator. Obviously and repeatedlyviolating the ethical standards of honesty raises distrust among negotiation counterparties and limits the future effectiveness of the individual negotiator to reach agreements in general as well as achievesuperior win-win outcomes in more integrative negotiation settings.We argue that this dilemma should be labeled according to the researchers who first analyzed these cornerstones of negotiations with Aristotle’s fundamental work on persuasion and rhetoric and John Nash’s bargaining theory–the Aristotle-Nash Dilemma.Negotiators have to understand that there is no biunique set of effective negotiation tactics and general ethical rules that can be applied uniformly. In contrast to this, ethical rules applied by a negotiator today will shape their solution space in future negotiation rounds.

Negotiation; Ethics; Conflict Management; Persuasion and influencing; Buyer-Seller-Relationships

Special Issue | ICTIMESH-18 , December 2018


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