How communication links influence coalition bargaining: A laboratory investigation

Gary E. Bolton, Kalyan Chatterjee, Kathleen L. McGinn

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

46 Scopus citations


Complexity of communication is one of the important factors that distinguishes multi-lateral negotiation from its bilateral cousin. We investigate how the communication configuration affects a three-person coalition negotiation. Restricting who can communicate with whom strongly influences outcomes, and not always in ways that current theory anticipates. Competitive frictions, including a tendency to communicate offers privately, appear to shape much of what we observe. Our results suggest that parties with weaker alternatives would benefit from a more constrained structure, especially if they can be the conduit of communication, while those endowed with stronger alternatives would do well to work within a more public communication structure that promotes competitive bidding.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)583-598
Number of pages16
JournalManagement Science
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 2003

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Strategy and Management
  • Management Science and Operations Research


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