Chapter 7: Beyond valence: Effects of group emotional tone on group negotiation behaviors and outcomes

Meagan K. Peters, Naomi B. Rothman, Gregory B Northcraft

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Purpose - Past research on emotions in negotiation has focused primarily on the impact of the emotional state of one negotiator in a negotiation. We focus instead on the group emotional tone of the negotiation, defined as the joint emotional experience of all negotiators in the negotiation. Past research also has focused only on one dimension of emotions in negotiation: valence. We focus instead on two additional dimensions of emotions: uncertainty and action tendencies. Examining emotions at the group level, and taking a multidimensional perspective on emotions in negotiation, provides a more nuanced examination of the effects of emotions in negotiation, and also highlights the possibility of emotional ambivalence (and its effects) both within and across negotiators within a negotiation. Approach - We examine emotions at the group level, and take a multidimensional approach to understanding the impact of group-level emotions within the context of a negotiation. Findings - We propose that groups characterized by certain versus uncertain emotional tone will have different perceptions of risk in the environment, which can prompt different behavioral outcomes that affect group negotiation processes and outcomes. Furthermore, we propose that groups characterized by different action tendencies will display differences in willingness to engage others during negotiation, which can significantly influence group negotiation processes and outcomes. Evaluating these additional dimensions should provide a more comprehensive perspective on the effects of group-level emotions on negotiation processes and outcomes. Value - This review is intended to illuminate the powerful role that negotiation-level emotional tone might play in group negotiation behaviors and outcomes. Part of the importance of understanding the impact of group emotional tone is for group leaders to anticipate - and possibly proactively manage - its impact. This can provide managers a reference point to better understand - and effectively manage - negotiations among group members.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)163-185
Number of pages23
JournalResearch on Managing Groups and Teams
StatePublished - 2011

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Business, Management and Accounting (miscellaneous)
  • Organizational Behavior and Human Resource Management


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