False Negotiations: The Art and Science of Not Reaching an Agreement

Edy Glozman, Netta Barak-Corren, Ilan Yaniv*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Scopus citations


The usual purpose of negotiations is to explore options and reach an agreement, if possible. We investigated a notable exception to this generalization, where a party negotiates without any intention of reaching an agreement. False negotiation occurs when a party gains more by stalling the negotiations until an external change takes place that improves its position considerably. While false negotiators aim to avoid agreement within the current frame of the negotiations, they also aim to keep the negotiation process alive, since walking away from the negotiation table could endanger their position. We report the results of a study that compared the actions of false and sincere negotiators. The false negotiators used competitive tactics that encumbered the negotiations, yet they concealed their intentions by maintaining a facade of cooperation. Our theoretical discussion is focused on the balancing act involved in false negotiations and the challenges it poses for actors in social, managerial, and political settings. We conclude our analysis with an example from the realm of international negotiations.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)671-697
Number of pages27
JournalJournal of Conflict Resolution
Issue number4
StatePublished - 5 Jun 2015

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© The Author(s) 2014


  • breakdown
  • deception
  • mixed motive
  • negotiations


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