American Society of Civil Engineers

Application of Bandura’s Self-Efficacy Theory to Examining the Choice of Tactics in Construction Dispute Negotiation

by Tak Wing Yiu, (corresponding author), (Senior Lecturer, Dept. of Civil and Environmental Engineering, Faculty of Engineering, The Univ. of Auckland, Private Bag 92019, Auckland 1142, New Zealand. E-mail:, Sai On Cheung, A.M.ASCE, (Professor, Dept. of Civil and Architectural Engineering, City Univ. of Hong Kong, Tat Chee Ave., Hong Kong.), and Lai Ying Siu, (Project Student, Dept. of Civil and Architectural Engineering, City Univ. of Hong Kong, Tat Chee Ave., Hong Kong.)

Journal of Construction Engineering and Management, Vol. 138, No. 3, March 2012, pp. 331-340, (doi:

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Document type: Journal Paper
Section Heading: Contracting and Project Delivery Systems
Abstract: The appropriate use of tactics can have a significant effect on dispute negotiation. This study aimed to investigate the confidence of negotiators in their own ability to successfully use tactics to achieve desired outcomes—a concept defined as negotiation-efficacy that underpins Bandura’s self-efficacy theory. A questionnaire survey was used to measure the frequency of and confidence with which negotiators used negotiating tactics and the achievement of negotiation outcomes. With the collected data, confidence indices were created to reflect the strength of negotiation-efficacy for each negotiating tactic. Relationships of negotiation-efficacy and the achievement of negotiation outcomes were then examined by multiple regression analyses. The findings show that the strength of negotiation-efficacy is significantly related to the achievement of certain negotiation outcomes. In general, for negotiators who have negotiation-efficacy in executing distributive (integrative) tactics, negative (positive) negotiation outcomes are likely. One of the key implications of these findings is that the study of negotiation-efficacy can serve as a test of reality to prevent negotiators from under-or overestimating the entire negotiation situation and, most importantly, to increase the prospect of negotiation success.

ASCE Subject Headings:
Construction management
Dispute resolution

Author Keywords:
Construction negotiation
Negotiating tactics
Self-efficacy theory
Negotiation outcomes