Negotiation: Destroying Value in Pursuit of Egality

I’m always looking for new creative examples of how people can destroy value in a negotiation – especially when in pursuit of the holy grail of egality.

You may laugh at this man, who literally took half the house in the divorce, but ask yourself honestly: how many times have you terminated a negotiation by walking away with something that was worthless to you, simply because you wanted to send your counterpart a message?

Egality and equity are powerful norms that, when violated, can push us to adopt a punative strategy. The problem is that this can pretty quickly lead to a downward spiral. More often then not, the result is a scorched earth policy where we would rather destroy value than allow our counterpart to recieve more than us.

It may feel good at the time, but then, I have to ask: what are you going to do with half a house?

[tags] negotiation [/tags]

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