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(Solved) Understanding the Flow of Negotiations


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 Understanding the Flow of Negotiations: Stages and Phases

A.  The typical steps or flow in a negotiation can be found in the phase models of negotiation:

 1.   Initiation.

2.   Problem solving.

3.   Resolution.

Defines these three phases and give a thorough example of each.


Chapter 2

Negotiation: Strategizing, Framing, and Planning


In this chapter discussion of what negotiators should do before opening negotiations will be examined.  It is believed that effective strategizing, planning, and preparation are the most critical precursors for achieving negotiation objectives.  Planning and strategizing begins by exploring the broad process of strategy development, starting with defining the negotiator’s goals/objectives.  Understanding the process of developing a strategy to achieve those goals, the issue at stake, and exploration of how the definition of those issues may change over the course of a negotiation will be covered.  The typical stages and phases of an evolving negotiation, and how understanding them may affect planning will be covered.  Finally, the critical steps involved in creating a plan to execute a strategy are discussed.

Learning Objectives


  1. Goals – the objectives that drive a negotiation strategy.
  2. Strategy – the overall plan to achieve one’s goals.
  3. Understanding the flow of negotiations: stages and phases.
  4. Implement the strategy: the planning process.

Lecture Guide




  1. The first step in developing and executing a negotiation strategy is to determine one’s goals.


  1. The preparation must include attention to substantive items including goals, goal priorities, and multigoal packages.


  1. Procedural concerns dealing with agendas and bargaining histories.


  1. Effective preparation requires a thorough, thoughtful approach to these items: negotiators should specify their goals and objectives clearly.


  1. Direct effects of goals on choice of strategy.


  1. Wishes are not goals, especially in negotiation.


  1. Our goals are often linked to the other party’s goals.


  1. There are boundaries or limits to what our goals can be.


  1. Effective goals must be concrete or specific, and preferably measurable.


  1. Indirect effects of goals on choice of strategy.


  1. The pursuit of a singular, substantive goal often tends to support the choice of a competitive strategy.


  1. Goals that are complex or difficult to define may require initiating a sequence of negotiation episodes.




  1. Strategy, Tactics, or Planning?


  1. Tactics are short-term, adaptive moves designed to enact or pursue broad (or higher-level) strategies, which in turn provide stability, continuity, and direction for tactical behaviors.


  1. Tactics are subordinate to strategy: they are structured, directed, and driven by strategic considerations.


  1. The planning process takes in all the considerations and choices that parties in a negotiation make about tactics, resource use, and contingent responses in pursuit of the overall strategy.


  1. Strategic options-vehicles for achieving goals.


  1. Alternative situational strategies:


  1. Four types of initial strategies for negotiators: competition, collaboration, accommodation, and avoidance.


  1. Avoidance: the nonengagement strategy


  1. If one is able to meet one’s needs without negotiating at all, it may make sense to use an avoidance strategy.
  2. It simply may not be worth the time and effort to negotiate (although there are sometimes reasons to negotiate in such situations.
  3. The decision to negotiate is closely related to the desirability of available alternatives – the outcomes that can be achieved if negotiations don’t work out.


  1. Active-engagement strategies: competition, collaboration, and accommodation


  1. Competition is the distributive or win-lose bargaining
  2. Collaboration is integrative or win-win negotiation
  3. Accommodation is much a win-lose strategy as competition, although it has a decidedly different image it involves an imbalance of outcomes, but in the opposite direction


  1. Defining the issues – the process of ‘framing’ the problem


  1. Why frames are critical to understanding strategy.
    1. To define problems
    2. Effects of frames can be identified as we observe negotiations.


  1. People often use frames to define problems.


  1. Types of frames


  1. Substantive – what the conflict is about
  2. Outcome – what predispositions the party has to achieving a specific result or outcome from the negotiation
  3. Aspiration – what predispositions the party has toward satisfying a broader set of interests or needs in negotiation
  4. Conflict management process – how the parties will go about resolving their dispute
  5. Identity – how the parties define “who they are”
  6. Characterization – how the parties define the other parties
  7. Loss-gain – how the parties view the risk associated with particular outcomes


  1. Another approach to frames: interests, rights, and power


  1. Interests – people are often concerned about what they need, desire or want
  2. Rights – people may also be concerned about who is “right”
  3. Power – people may also wish to resolve a negotiation on the basis of power


  1. The frame of an issue changes as the negotiation evolves


  1. The issue development approach focuses on the patterns of change (transformation) that occur in the issues as parties communicate with each other.
  2. Several factors shape a frame, the negotiation context clearly affects the way both sides define the issue and conversations that the parties have with each other about the issues in the bargaining mix.
  3. At least four factors can affect how the conversation is shaped:


  • negotiators tend to argue for stock issues, or concerns that are raised every time the parties negotiate
  • each party attempts to make the best possible case for his or her preferred position or perspective
  • in a more “macro” sense, frames may also define major shifts and transitions in the overall negotiation
  • multiple agenda items operate to shape the issue development frames




  1. Leonard Greenhalgh suggests that there are seven key steps to an ideal negotiation process:


  1. Preparation: deciding what is important, defining goals, thinking ahead how to work together with the other party


  1. Relationship building: getting to know the other party, understanding how you and the other are similar and different, and building commitment toward achieving a mutually beneficial set of outcomes


  1. Information gathering: learning what you need to know about the issues, about the other party and their needs, about the feasibility of possible settlements, and about what might happen if you fail to reach agreement with the other side


  1. Information using: at this stage, negotiators assemble the case they want to make for their preferred outcomes and settlement, one that will maximize the negotiator’s own needs


  1. Bidding: the process of making moves from one’s initial, ideal position to the actual outcome


  1. Closing the deal: the objective here is to build commitment to the agreement achieved in the previous phase


  1. Implementing the agreement: determining who needs to do what once hands are shaken and the documents signed




  1. Defining the issues usually begins with an analysis of the overall situation.


  1. Assembling the issues and defining the bargaining mix


  1. Determine which issues are most important and which are less important


  1. Determine whether the issues are connected (linked together) or separate


  1. Defining your interests


  1. Substantive, directly related to the focal issues under negotiation


  1. Process-based, related to the manner in which the negotiators settle the dispute


  1. Relationship-based, tied to the current or desired future relationship between the parties


  1. Knowing your limits and alternatives


  1. Limits are the point where you decide that you should stop the negotiation rather than continue, because settlement beyond this point is not minimally acceptable.


  1. Alternatives are other deals negotiators could achieve and still meet their needs.


  1. Setting targets and openings


  1. Specific target point (where one realistically expects to achieve a settlement) and the asking price or opening bid (representing the best deal one can hope to achieve)


  1. Target setting requires positive thinking about one’s own objectives.
  2. Target setting often requires considering how to package several issues and objectives.


  1. Target setting requires an understanding of trade-offs and throwaways.


  1. Assessing my constituents


  1. Constituents consist of bosses, parties who make the final decision, parties who will evaluate and critique the solution achieved.


  1. Observers to the negotiation who will also watch and critique the negotiation


  1. Negotiation occurs in a context – a social system of laws, customs, common business practices, cultural norms, and political cross-pressures.


  1. Analyzing the other party


  1. Information gathering about the other party’s:


  1. current resources, interests, and needs
  2. targets and openings
  3. reputation and style
  1. alternative
  2. authority
  3. strategy and tactics


  1. What strategy do I want to pursue?

(See figure 2.3)


  1. How will I present the issues to the other party?


  1. What facts support my point of view?


  1. Whom may I consult or talk with to help me elaborate or clarify the facts?


  1. Have these issues been negotiated before by others under similar circumstances?


  1. What is the other party’s point of view likely to be?


  1. How can I develop and present the facts so they are most convincing?


  1. What protocol needs to be followed in this negotiation?


  1. The agenda


  1. The location of negotiation


  1. The time period of negotiation


  1. Other parties who might be involved in the negotiation


  1. What might be done if negotiation fails?


  1. How will we keep track of what is agreed to?




Three ways to understand frames were discussed, as categories of experience, as interests, rights, and power, and as a process of issue development.  The way a negotiation problem is defined, and the manner in which a conversation between negotiators leads to a reframing of the issues, are critical elements to consider as negotiators develop a strategy and a plan.  The following prescriptive advice about problem framing for the negotiator is:

Frames shape what the parties define as the key issues and how they talk about them.

Both parties have frames.

Frames are probably controllable, at least to some degree.

Conversations change and transform frames in ways negotiators may not be able to predict but may be able to control.

Certain frames are probably more likely than others to lead to certain types of processes and outcomes.

The key factors that a negotiator needs to know and understand to successfully plan for a negotiation are:

Negotiators differ in the goals they select.  Goals can be specific or they can be more general.  They can also be tangible, or intangible.  Goals can shape the frames we adopt, or frames can shape the goals we pursue.

There are several major strategies that can be used in a negotiation.  Two of the major strategies are competition and collaboration.


Negotiators differ in how they “frame” the problem, issue, or conflict.  Frames may be perspectives on outcomes and the related rewards or penalties that go with those outcomes, or they may be ways to define “the problem” in a negotiation.  How one or both parties frame the problem will lead them to select some conflict management strategies and ignore others.


Negotiations tend to evolve over time according to certain predictable sequences.  The models indicate that negotiation is not a random process but has some predictable elements to it over time.


Goals, strategies, frames, and predictable stages set the background for an effective planning process.