Is it sometimes better to receive than to give? Preferences for receiver roles over proposer roles in consumer behavior ultimatums

Donald E. Conlon, Catherine H. Tinsley, Samuel J. Birk, Stephen E. Humphrey, Aleksander P.J. Ellis

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

3 Scopus citations

Abstract

In the context of purchasing ultimatums, consumers may dislike the freedom of choice that comes with proposing offers due to their awareness that the other party may have better information than they do and the fact that the attractiveness of outside alternatives is uncertain. Indeed, across three studies, we find that people prefer to receive rather than propose offers. In Study 1, proposers reached fewer agreements and experienced less favorable attitudes (e.g., satisfaction, fairness, recommendation intentions), particularly when their offers were rejected. In Study 2, proposers experienced more uncertainty and cognitive depletion as compared to receivers, again particularly if the proposed offer was rejected. In Study 3, role preferences were explained by the existence of higher regret in the proposer role, particularly if the proposed offer was rejected. We conclude with a consideration of the theoretical and practical implications of our research for scholars, customers, and service providers.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)64-77
Number of pages14
JournalOrganizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes
Volume119
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Sep 1 2012

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Applied Psychology
  • Organizational Behavior and Human Resource Management

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