Understanding customer reactions to brokered ultimatums: Applying negotiation and justice theory

Stephen E. Humphrey, Donald E. Conlon, Aleksander P.J. Ellis, Catherine H. Tinsley

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

17 Scopus citations


There has been little research examining customer reactions to brokered ultimatum game (BUG) contexts (i.e., exchanges in which 1 party offers an ultimatum price for a resource through an intermediary, and the ultimatum offer is accepted or rejected by the other party). In this study, the authors incorporated rational decision-making theory and justice theory to examine how customers' bids, recommendations, and repatronage behavior are affected by characteristics of BUG contexts (changing from an ultimatum to negotiation transaction, response timeliness, and offer acceptance or rejection). Results indicated that customers attempt to be economically efficient with their bidding behavior. However, negotiation structures, long waits for a response, and rejected bids create injustice perceptions (particularly informational and distributive injustice), negatively influencing customers' recommendations to others and their repatronage. The authors then discuss the practical and theoretical implications of their results.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)466-482
Number of pages17
JournalJournal of Applied Psychology
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jun 2004

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Applied Psychology


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