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What is negotiation?
1. Negotiation is a “process in which two or more parties exchange goods or services and
attempt to agree upon the exchange rate for them.” We use the terms negotiation and
2. Negotiation permeates the interactions of almost everyone in groups and organizations. For
example, labor bargains with management. \
3. Not so obvious, however,
a. Managers negotiate with employees, peers, and bosses.
b. Salespeople negotiate with customers.
c. Purchasing agents negotiate with suppliers.
A worker agrees to answer a colleague’s phone for a few minutes in exchange for some past or
Negotiation - a joint process of finding a mutually acceptable solution to a complex conflict
Useful under these conditions
–Two or more parties
–Conflict of interest between the parties
–Parties are willing to negotiate
–Parties prefer to work together rather than to fight openly, give in, break off contact, or
take the dispute to a higher authority
Approaches to Negotiation
1. There are two general approaches to negotiation: distributive bargaining and integrative
2. Distributive bargaining
• An example of distributive bargaining is buying a car:
a. You go out to see the car. It is great and you want it.
b. The owner tells you the asking price. You do not want to pay that much.
c. The two of you then negotiate over the price.
• Its most identifying feature is that it operates under zero-sum conditions. Any gain I
make is at your expense, and vice versa.
• The most widely cited example of distributive bargaining is in labor-management
negotiations over wages.
a. Parties A and B represent two negotiators.
b. Each has a target point that defines what he or she would like to achieve.
c. Each also has a resistance point, which marks the lowest outcome that is acceptable.
d. The area between these two points makes up each one’s aspiration range.
• As long as there is some overlap between A and B’s aspiration ranges, there exists a
settlement range where each one’s aspirations can be met.
• When engaged in distributive bargaining, one’s tactics focus on trying to get one’s
opponent to agree to one’s specific target point or to get as close to it as possible.
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