Ethics in Negotiations

Our final lesson on conflict and negotiation will address the role of ethical negotiations. Why would someone lie during a negotiation? What are the arguments for behaving ethically?

Ethics -Moral Compass

Definition: Ethics

What is ethics?

Branch of philosophy that deals with issues of right and wrong in human affairs.


How do we judge the reputation/ethics of us/others as negotiators?

Questionable Strategies

  • Lying
  • Traditional Competitive Bargaining
  • Bluffing
  • Falsification (i.e. lies of commission)
  • Deception (i.e. lies of omission)

  • People who engage in negotiations with strangers are more likely to use unethical behavior.
  • Men are more unethical in negotiations than women.
  • People who attend religious services on a regular basis are considered more ethical during negotiations.
  • In a study done with MBA students, engineers seemed most likely to engage in unethical behavior, while those in environmental science were least likely to engage in unethical behavior.
  • The older a person is, the less likely that he/she will engage in unethical behavior.
  • Is there ever a time that you would have to lie during a negotiation?

People lie when

  • Lie for a lie
  • One shot deal
  • Won't get caught
  • Life or death

Self-Perception & Lies

  • People think they are behaving ethically.
  • Illusion of Superiority
    • Similar to confirmation bias
  • Illusion of Control
  • Overconfidence

Tests of Ethics

  • Front Page Test
  • Reverse Golden Rule
  • Role Modeling
  • Getting Advice

Source: Saylor Academy,
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Last modified: Tuesday, December 7, 2021, 5:26 PM