Emotional Intelligence and Deception: A Theoretical Model and Propositions

Journal of Business Ethics 177 (3):567-584 (2022)
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Abstract

Deception is pervasive in negotiations and organizations, and emotions are critical to using, detecting, and responding to deception. In this article, we introduce a theoretical model to explore the interplay between emotional intelligence (the ability to perceive and express, understand, regulate, and use emotions) and deception in negotiations. In our model, we propose that emotional intelligence influences the decision to use deception, the effectiveness of deception, the ability to detect deception, and the consequences of deception (specifically, trust repair and retaliation). We consider the emotional intelligence of both deceivers and targets, and we consider characteristics of negotiators, their interaction, and the negotiation context that moderate these relationships. Our model offers a theoretical foundation for research on emotions, emotional intelligence, and deception and identifies a potential disadvantage of negotiating with an emotionally intelligent counterpart. Though prior work has focused on the advantages of being and interacting with people high in emotional intelligence, we assert that those most likely to deceive us may also be those highest in emotional intelligence.

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