Joint Effects of Assigned Goals and Training on Negotiator Performance

Gregory B. Northcraft, Margaret A. Neale, P. Christopher Earley

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This study examined the joint effects of assigned goals and training on negotiator performance. Undergraduate business students participated in two sessions of a competitive market simulation and were assigned to one of three levels of goals: do-your-best, specific/easy, or specific/difficult. In the training condition, an introductory lecture on bargaining strategies was presented between the two market sessions; subjects in the control conditions did not attend the lecture. In the first market session, specific/difficult goals improved mean profit per agreement but at the expense of number of agreements negotiated and total profit. In the market session after training, negotiators who were assigned specific goals (whether difficult or easy) negotiated agreements of higher joint value, thereby enhancing both mean personal profit per agreement and total profit. There were no differences between the two market sessions in the control group. The implications of these findings and future research directions are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)257-272
Number of pages16
JournalHuman Performance
Issue number4
StatePublished - Dec 1 1994
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Applied Psychology
  • Psychology(all)
  • Organizational Behavior and Human Resource Management


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