Intergroup Negotiations

Cite this article as:"Intergroup Negotiations," in The Business Professor, updated October 22, 2017, last accessed August 3, 2020,


What are intergroup negotiations, and how do they affect a negotiation?

Intergroup negotiation is where parties identify with their organization and interact with the other party in terms of his or her membership in other organizations. Challenges of intergroup negotiations include:

  • Stereotyping – This is a bias in which one team assumes that all individuals in a group think or will act in conformity with a preconceived notion.
  • Changing identities – Groups are often not static. New members may join and existing members may leave. It is important to address new members in the same manner as old.
  • In-group bias – Positive evaluations of one’s own group relative to an out-group;  and downward social comparison – downward social comparison. Situations in which people compare themselves to someone (or a group) who is less fortunate, able, accomplished, or lower in status.
  • Extremism and naïve realism A principle in which people expect others to hold views of the world similar to their own.

Tactics for optimizing intergroup negotiations include:

  • Conflict separation – Separate conflict of interest from symbolic conflict. The GRIT model (Graduated and Reciprocal Initiative in Tension Reduction) – Unilateral conciliatory actions designed to de-escalate a conflict.
  • Common Identity – Search for common identity between groups.
  • Seek Diverse Input – Avoid the out-group homogeneity bias.

Was this article helpful?