Relationships and Negotiations in Context
The hundreds of studies on relationships and negotiation encompass a broad range of definitions of relationships. The most common approach in social psychological research is to conceptualize and operationalize relationships as dichotomous, for example, friends are compared to strangers. Greenhalgh and Chapman (1998) criticize dichotomous operationalizations of relationships as inadequate tools for exploring fully the effects of relationships on negotiations. To capture the complexities of interpersonal relationships, they created a composite relationship index, comprised of 15 constructs, including scope, common interests, trust and openness/disclosure, aggregating to one overall relationship score. While Greenhalgh and Chapman’s multiattribute measure of relationships goes far beyond dichotomous, relationship/no-relationship distinctions, it collapses across types of relationships, and thereby misses the rules that come with the content of the tie, for example, friendship, peer, parent-child.