Negotiation, 3rd edition, Roy J. Lewicki, David M. Saunders, and John W. Minton, (Boston: Irwin McGraw-Hill, 1999).
Readers will find this textbook on negotiations to be broadly accessible and very informative. The third edition has been substantially updated and revised to reflect current negotiations research. Thirteen chapters are presented in four parts. The first chapters focus on the basic elements of conflict and negotiation. Part Two examines the processes of communication, persuasion, and ethical judgment. Part Three explores external influences on negotiations, including the social context, coalition or group participation, individual personality differences, and cultural factors. The final chapters discuss ways for parties and third-parties to address breakdowns in the negotiation process. The text includes a bibliography and a comprehensive index.
Pre-negotiation planning is the key to successful negotiations. Before opening negotiations, parties need to frame the problem at hand, define their goals, select a negotiating strategy, and develop a plan for implementing that strategy. Specific planning steps include defining and prioritizing the issues and interests, developing supporting arguments, analyzing the other party, assessing the other side's priorities, and setting targets and limits, How parties frame (understand, view or define) the conflict has a significant impact on what goals they adopt, and on the possibility of achieving a mutually beneficial outcome. Understanding the phases that negotiation processes typically go through will help negotiators plan more effectively.
Generally, negotiations come in two forms. In distributive (win-lose, competitive) bargaining, each party tries to secure the most benefit for themselves, without regard for the other side's outcome. In integrative (win-win, collaborative) bargaining, both parties work together to achieve maximum mutual gains. Distributive bargaining is more appropriate when resources are fixed and the parties' interests are directly opposed. Distributive negotiations are defined by each party's opening, resistance and target points, that is, their initial offers, their lowest acceptable bid, and their desired bid. Each party's goal is to close a deal as near to the other's resistance point as possible. Distributive negotiation strategies seek to conceal the party's resistance point, uncover the other side's resistance point, or to influence their views of what is possible.
Integrative negotiation is possible when the parties share concern for each other's positive outcome. The presence of shared goals, trust, and clear communication between the parties will facilitate effective integrative negotiation. Often, seemingly distributive situations may be reframed to permit integrative solutions. To be successful, integrative negotiators must focus on their commonalties and engage in a free flow of information. They must understand each other's interests and needs, and must seek solutions which satisfy both sides.
Leverage refers to the use of power to gain a temporary advantage over the other party. Power in negotiations typically comes from having information and expertise, from having control over resources, or from one's position within an organization. Leverage tools fall into four categories: ways of enhancing the effectiveness of messages, ways of enhancing the sender's credibility or attractiveness, ways that receivers can elicit or resist messages, and ways of arranging the larger context to reinforce one's messages. The text describes a number of specific techniques for exercising leverage.
Sometimes negotiators may resort to ethically questionable tactics. Negotiators resort to unethical tactics in order to gain a power advantage. Research has shown the women, older people, more experienced negotiators, and people with training in the liberal arts or ethics are less predisposed to use questionably ethical tactics. Research has also found that negotiators are more likely to use unethical tactics in the context of short term or hostile relationships, when they are the more powerful party ("power corrupts"), when they are representing others, or when pressured by organizational or cultural norms. When confronted with another's unethical behavior, negotiators may ignore it, respond in kind, point out the unethical behavior, or try to discuss the other's reasons for resorting to unethical tactics. The authors conclude that "negotiators frequently overlook the fact that, although unethical or expedient tactics may get them what they want in the short run, these same tactics typically lead to diminished effectiveness in the long run."(p. 263)
Multiparty negotiations may involve multiple parties each pursuing their own ends, or may be aimed at reaching a group consensus. In interest-based multiparty negotiations, parties usually form various coalitions to increase their power. Coalitions may dissolve and reform over the course of negotiations. The authors offer advice on building coalitions, and outline basic coalition behavioral dynamics. Consensus-oriented negotiations are much more complex that two-party negotiations. Thorough pre-negotiation planning is crucial. The multiparty negotiation process usually involves group discussions, bilateral negotiations and coalition building. The text describes key ways for the chairperson to manage negotiations.
People's personality traits also affect negotiations, although researchers have found it difficult to isolate specific traits and effects. The five basic approaches to conflict (avoidance, accommodation, competition, compromising or collaborating) may also represent individual's predispositions toward dealing with conflict. Researchers have investigated the effect of Machiavellian attitudes on negotiation behavior, as well as the impact of interpersonal trust, perspective-taking ability, perceived self-efficacy, and self-monitoring. Much recent research has been devoted to the issue of gender in negotiation. There is substantial evidence that men and women are treated differently in negotiations, to women's detriment. Investigations regarding differences in negotiation style have yielded contradictory results; some indicate gender differences, some show none.
The effect of cultural differences on negotiation has also been subject to much recent research. Negotiators from different cultures may differ in their acceptance of egalitarian or inegalitarian power distributions, their tendency toward collectivism or individualism, the extent to which they hold stereotypically masculine or feminine values, and in their tolerance for uncertainty. Cultural factors can influence the parties definition of negotiation, their selection of negotiators, the choice of negotiation protocol and timing, their willingness to take risks, and the form that any settlement takes. The authors describe eight strategies negotiators may choose from to manage cultural differences, depending their level of familiarity with the other culture.
Sometimes stalled negotiations may benefit from the intervention of a third-party. Arbitrators hear each side's positions and arguments and then decide on the appropriate outcome. The advantage of arbitration is a speedy and a clear-cut resolution. The drawbacks are that its availability reduces the parties' willingness to do the hard work of negotiation, and that parties are less committed to imposed settlements. Mediators assist the parties in conducting their negotiations. Mediators may make substantive contributions to the process, but have no formal power over the outcome. Mediation is a voluntary process. Mediator styles vary widely. Research shows that mediation is most effective in moderate conflicts, when negotiators are inexperienced, or when negotiations have reached a hurting stalemate. Process consultants focus more exclusively on improving the parties' communication and conflict management skills. Organizations are increasingly implementing dispute resolution systems, that is, systems of established procedures for handling disputes that arise between employees, customers, or members. Such systems usually draw on alternative dispute resolution approaches to constructively managing conflict.