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How to align your team: Preference Awareness in the negotiation preparation of teams for fostering joint team priorities

Working group Knowledge Exchange Lab
Duration 05/2013 - 12/2016
Funding Leibniz Association as part of the Leibniz Competition
Project description

Individuals, who work together as a team, often have different preferences and objectives. This also applies to members of negotiation teams. Yet, diverse preferences of the team members are often insufficiently exchanged and aligned to joint priorities prior to a negotiation, which impairs the negotiation performance. My PhD project examines how joint priorities within the team can be fostered, in order to derive recommendations for the management of teams.

I investigate, if the alignment of team members' preferences can be fostered by computer-supported graphical awareness about the different preferences of the team members (Preference Awareness). Additionally, I examine further effects of my concept Preference Awareness, for example on social factors, satisfaction measures and also if it enables the team members to recognize which profitable trade-offs with the other negotiation party in favor of the team could be made.

Findings of my PhD project have an important impact on numerous situations in which negotiations occur and more than one person is part of the negotiation party, like for example in many political or organizational contexts in which failure or success of a negotiation can have crucial financial and political consequences. But they can also be applied to numerous situations in which team work in general plays a role and team members need to coordinate their diverse preferences and skills, for example in order to get to a team decision, solve a complex problem or reach a collective learning target. The findings are also particularly valuable for team/project managers in order to optimize the leadership of heterogeneous teams.

First promising results show that the availability of Preference Awareness in the negotiation preparation leads to more similar priorities within the team. Additionally, the team members can judge the importance of negotiation issues for the team more accurately – an important indicator of negotiation success.


PD Dr. Tanja Engelmann, Praxis für Hochbegabung und Hochleistungspotenzial in Stuttgart