Negotiation; Integrative Value Generation; Financial Vulnerability; Low-Income Workers;
Integrative value generation through negotiated business deals is a fundamental way in which organizations and economic systems attain economic benefits. It is also an important way in which individuals can improve their financial situation.The authors propose that individuals most in need of improving their financial standing, those in a financially vulnerable situation, are least likely to reap the benefits of integrative value generation.The authors theorize that financial vulnerability induces a more zero-sum construal of success, or a view that success for one person must come at another person’s success. A more zero-sum construal of success, in turn, hampers negotiators’ ability to realize integrative potential in negotiations.In a large archival dataset (N = 191,648), the authors found evidence that various proxies of financial vulnerability are associated with a more zero-sum construal of success. In two subsequent face-to-face negotiation studies, the authors found that financial vulnerability, whether measured or induced experimentally, undermined integrative value generation.The final two-part study found evidence of the hypothesized psychological process. Taken together, the authors' studies uncover a fundamental pathway through which the disadvantage of financially vulnerable people is reproduced through economic exchanges.