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Keywords:

  • negotiation;
  • emotional intelligence;
  • rapport;
  • mediation effect;
  • structural equation modeling

Although early research on negotiation focused on cognition and decision-making processes, recently, negotiation scholars have started to pay attention to the importance of emotion in negotiation and have suggested that emotional intelligence is likely to improve negotiation performance. Few studies, however, have tested the relationship between emotional intelligence and negotiation outcomes. This study contributes by empirically testing the influence of emotional intelligence on specific negotiation outcomes (joint gain, trust between parties, and the desire of parties to work together again) and also examines the mediating effects of rapport.

We used a laboratory experimental design with 202 participants to test the hypotheses. We found that a negotiator's emotional intelligence was correlated with his or her counterpart's trust level and desire to work again but had no effect on joint gain. In addition, rapport fully mediated the relationship between emotional intelligence and desire to work again, and between emotional intelligence and trust.