Negotiating with yourself and losing: Making decisions with competing internal preferences

Journal Article (Journal Article)

The field of organizational behc vior includes the study of how individuals organize and manage conflict among themselves. Less visible has been the study of conflicts occurring within individuals. We propose that one form of intrapersonal conflict is the result of tension between what people want to do versus what they think they should do. We argue that this want/should distinction helps to explain the "multiple-selves" phenomenon and a recently discovered group of preference reversals noted in behavioral decision and organizational behavior research. We develop a history of knowledge on intrapersonal conflict, discuss how conflicts between what one wants to do and what one should do result in inconsistent behavior, connect this pattern of inconsistency to recent literature on joint versus separate preference reversals, and outline prescriptions for the management of intrapersonal conflict.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Bazerman, MH; Tenbrunsel, AE; Wade-Benzoni, K

Published Date

  • January 1, 1998

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 23 / 2

Start / End Page

  • 225 - 241

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 0363-7425

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.5465/AMR.1998.533224

Citation Source

  • Scopus