Get access

Bounded Ethicality in Negotiations


  • This invited paper is a brief summary of the Keynote address at the June, 2010 IACM conference in Boston, MA, USA.

Max H. Bazerman, Harvard Business School, Soldiers Field, Boston, 02163, MA, U.S.A.; e-mail:


Most negotiators think of themselves as good people, and most negotiators act in ethically questionable ways at times. How can these two descriptions be reconciled? This paper follows Bazerman and Tenbrunsel (2011) in arguing that good people often engage in unethical acts without their own awareness of doing so. This paper specifically explores how negotiators may be prejudiced, favor in-groups, and overclaim in negotiation, without knowing that they are doing anything wrong.