Cooperation and Competition in Public-Sector Negotiations: A Laboratory Experiment

Robin Bouwman, Sandra van Thiel, A van Deemen, E Rouwette

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

9 Citations (Scopus)
79 Downloads (Pure)


Negotiating is a core activity in the public and private sector. Because of varying public service motivation (PSM) between public- and private-sector employees, we expect them to behave differently in negotiations. Moreover, one-shot negoti- ation settings are often studied even as many real-world negotiations are repeated exchanges. We apply a repeated lin- ear public goods game in a laboratory experiment to test the link between PSM and the level of cooperation by using a sample of graduate and undergraduate students. The results show that high-PSM participants, indeed, contributed more over the entire experiment, and therefore, acted more cooperatively in a repeated negotiation. Matching negotiators to opponents with high-PSM, low-PSM did not alter the level of cooperation in negotiation. Based on this, we conclude that cooperation in repeated negotiations is not conditional on the PSM of opponents. We conclude with implications for theory and practice.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1164-1184
Number of pages21
JournalPublic Performance and Management Review
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 21 Jan 2019
Externally publishedYes


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