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This assignment has been designed to allow students the opportunity to explore aspects relevant to the application of negotiation in an international context and one in which the skills needed along with cultural understanding are of high importance.

Negotiation: Definition and Overview

Negotiation is characterised as a process or dialogue that takes place between two or more parties or people as so to reach a point of understanding, resolving a point of conflict or gaining an advantageous point through the outcome of the dialogue. It can also be defined as the process that produces a mutual agreement based on the course of action or through which individual parties bargain in order to fetch collective or individual benefit. Negotiation in simple terms provides the outcome that satisfies the different interests of the parties involved in the phenomenon. As pointed out by Beerepoot and Lambregts (2015), negotiation is a process where each of the parties involved attempts to derive advantage for themselves by the end of the process. Negotiation is crafted in such a way that it is inclined towards compromise. It is a matter of fact in the modern era of globalisation and advancement negotiation takes place in business organisations, legal proceedings, and not-for-profit organisations, government branches, between nations and also in different personal situations as well, such as parenting, divorce or marriage or in everyday life. As stated by Lewicki et al., (2011), “Negotiation is not a process reserved only for the skilled diplomat, top salesperson, or ardent advocate for an organised lobby; it is something that everyone does, almost daily” (Ince et al., 2015). This essay will attempt justifying the aforementioned statement through proper analysis. Primarily the essay will emphasise on determining the key concepts associated with the process of negotiation in the light of the theoretical framework outlined by various negotiation theorists. Later on, it will elaborate how negotiation takes place in various organisational, personal and interpersonal contexts and thereby validate the statement quoted above.

Negotiation is often regarded as an interpersonal decision-making process which becomes necessary whenever one cannot achieve his or her objectives single-handedly. The parties who are involved in the negotiation process always need each other's assistance so as to obtain an outcome which is mutually beneficial for both of them and is certainly an improvement over the present state (Lussier and Achua, 2015). It is also believed that through engaging in the process of negotiation each of the parties signal to the other that there is a possibility of potential gain on its side, it may still provide the other party with a vivid knowledge. Researchers have also revealed the fact that the more one is aware of the other party, the more effective the exchange of information becomes.

Factors Affecting the Outcome of Negotiation

It is a widely accepted fact that there are several factors which in turn affects the outcome and performance of the humans involved in a negotiation process. These factors may include the general mindsets of the people towards negotiation, specific emotions and the perceptions about fairness. As it has been explained and elaborated in the socio-psychological and management literature based on negotiation that considering it as a task of joint problem solving is more productive rather than considering negotiation as a competition where one party wins, and the other loses (Rousseau, 2015). However, whenever negotiation is considered as a competitive phenomenon that induces strong bargaining techniques and certainly rules out the possibility of the revelation important information to the opponent. On the other hand, considering negotiation as a mutual process leads to the joint exploration of the probable agreements and compels both the parties to jointly search for tradeoffs so that they can achieve a win-win situation (McBride, 2017). Different mindsets lead to different negotiation strategies. The similar distinction has also been obtained in the context of the hard and soft bargaining techniques which have been elaborated in the automated negotiation literature. In this literature, this distinction is referred as either a boulware tactic or a conceder tactic.

Similarly, emotion and perception about fairness sometimes affect the outcome of a negotiation process. People who are involved in the negotiation process may possess a stronger feeling about the appropriateness of the proposed agreement. The existence of such feelings may not always seem to be productive in achieving an efficient and jointly beneficial outcome (Hargie, 2018). In the literature, it has been suggested to take those emotions into account but to simultaneously control them during the negotiation process and rationally assessing the benefits and shortcomings of any proposal.

Apart from the aforementioned factors, there are several other psychological factors as well which influence the outcome of a negotiation. The psychological biases which have been identified for influencing the negotiation outcome include partisan perceptions, endowment effects, overconfidence as well as reactive devaluation.

Authors have argued that negotiation may take a wide range of forms. This may range from being a trained negotiator carrying out a specific task on behalf of an organisation or a position in a specific and formal setting to a very informal negotiation that may take place between friends. Negotiation can be compared and contrasted quite easily with mediation (Heldman, 2018). In meditation, there is a third party involved who listens to the arguments of each side and there makes an attempt to formulate an agreement between the parties which is supposed be mutually beneficial for both the parties involved. Negotiation is often compared with the arbitration as well. Arbitration is more like a legal proceeding where both the parties involved make an agreement, and after evaluating the merits of their cases, the arbitrator decides the outcome.

Comparing and Contrasting Negotiation with Mediation and Arbitration

The theorists of negotiation have characterised negotiation into two categories which are distributive negotiation and integrative negotiation. Theorists from different schools have used different labels for these two generalised categories of negotiation (O'Toole, 2016).

The distributive negotiation which is also termed as the hard bargaining or positional negotiation attempts to approach the concept of negotiation on the basis of the model of haggling in the market. In this type of negotiation, each of the parties involved often tends to adopt an extreme position irrespective of being aware of the fact that it will not be accepted (Plant et al., 2016). Then they implement a combination of bluffing, guile and brinksmanship so as to cede as much as possible before sealing the deal. The distributive negotiators consider negotiation as a process through which a fixed amount of value is distributed.

In order to dig into more detail of the distributive negotiation technique, it is necessary to mention that the term distributive implements that there exists a finite amount of the thing which is needed to be distributed among the parties involved in the process. This type of negotiation is often regarded as the process of distributing a fixed pie, in this process only the proportion which is to be distributed is variable. Distributive negotiation is sometimes regarded as the win-lose because of the underlying assumption that the gain of one person may lead to another person's loss, generally the distributive negotiation process involves the people who have never been into any previous relationship and they are not likely to involve in one in the near future (Mulholland and Ryan, 2014). The simplest example of such negotiation is the negotiation that occurs while buying a car or a house.

Integrative negotiation is also known as the interest-based negotiation or principled negotiation. It is a set of tactics that make an attempt to enhance the quality as well as the likelihood of the negotiation agreement by providing an efficient alternative to the traditional distributive negotiation techniques. In contrast with the distributive negotiation technique which considers that there is a fixed amount of value which is needed to be distributed among the parties, the integrative negotiation technique tends to generate value throughout the course of negotiation process (Ryan and Mulholland, 2014). It sheds light over the underlying interests of the parties rather than focusing over their arbitrary starting positions. This approaches towards negotiation as a shared process rather than considering it as a personal battle.

Distributive Negotiation Technique

The term integrative inherently implies a little bit of cooperation. The integrative negotiation sometimes involves an increased amount of trust and the formation of a trustworthy relationship. It also incorporates creative problem-solving measures which give rise to achieving mutual benefits. Researchers have identified the integrative negotiation process as a win-win negotiation.

There are several different methods which are used for categorising the elements of negotiation. A view of negotiation incorporates three basic underlying elements which are process, behaviour and substance. The process generally refers to the ways through which the parties negotiate (Johns, Crowley and Guetzloe, 2017). Behaviour traces out the relationship among the parties as well as the communication between them as well as the styles they adopt for negotiation. The substance, on the other hand, refers to the matter over which the parties negotiate, the agenda, options as well as the agreement which is achieved at the end of the negotiation process.

A different perspective of negotiation considers four elements which are strategy, tools, processes and tactics. Strategy generally takes into account the top level goals which generally incorporate the relationship along with the final result (Anderson, 2015). Processes and tools deal with the steps which have designed to be followed along with the roles that are taken into consideration for both preparing and negotiating with the other people involved in the process. Tactics generally take into account a more detailed approach and actions as well as response to the statements and actions of the others.

Basically, the two different methods of negotiation will certainly require different techniques. In the context of the distributive negotiation approach, each of the negotiators is willing to acquire the lion's share out of the agreement. Henceforth, in such a case it would sometime be appropriate to address the other side as more of an adversary than a partner and thereby adopt some harder line. This may also be less appropriate if the idea is to hammer out an agreement which would be beneficial for both the parties involved. An agreement is regarded as a good one if it provides the optimum gain, not the maximum gain (Ting?Toomey, 2017). However, this does not by any means suggest that one should give up their own advantage for nothing. Rather points out the fact that a collaborative approach would enable to accrue regular dividends.

At the other end of the spectrum, there may be a skilled negotiator who may serve as an advocate for either of the party to the negotiation. The advocate makes an attempt to acquire the most favourable outcome which is possible for that party. In this specific process primarily the advocate makes an attempt to determine the minimum possible outcome which the other party or the parties involved in the negotiation process is willing to accept. Hence in accordance with that adjusts the demand for his or her own party. Under the advocacy approach a negotiation will be identified as a successful one if the negotiator becomes able to fetch all or most of the outcomes that their party is willing to get without compelling the other party breaking the negotiation permanently, until and unless the best alternative to a negotiated agreement is available (Zhang, Ting-Toomey and Oetzel, 2014).

Integrative Negotiation Technique

Skilled negotiators often make use of a number of techniques which may range from negotiation hypnosis to stating the demand clearly or setting up different preconditions to more of the deceptive approaches like cherry picking. Salami and intimidation may also play a crucial role in swaying the negotiation outcomes.

There is another popular negotiation technique which is referred to as a bad guy/ good guy. It is said that this approach is used when the negotiator performs as the bad guy and makes use of threat and anger, on the other hand, the other negotiator acts like the good guy by being patient and considerate (Korobkin, 2014). The good guy blames the bad guy for all the difficulties faced by them during the process of negotiation while accruing concessions and agreement from the opponent.

According to Cutcher?Gershenfeld (2017), there are mainly five styles of negotiation. Individuals often possess stronger affinities towards different negotiation styles. The specific style which is used during a negotiation relies completely upon the context of negotiation as well as the interest of the other parties involved. Moreover, researchers have also pointed out the fact that these styles can also evolve over time.

There are individuals who often enjoy solving the problems of other parties and tend to preserve personal relationships; they are characterised as the accommodating negotiators. It can be stated that these accommodators are quite responsive to the emotional states, verbal signals, the body language of the other parties involved in the negotiation process. In various occasions, these negotiators may feel that they are being exploited whenever the other party involved put a little emphasis on the relationship.

Individuals who dislike to negotiate and do not get into negotiation until and unless it is warranted are termed as avoiding negotiators. The key feature of these negotiators is when negotiating avoiders are more likely to defer and dodge confrontations involved in negotiating. These negotiators can often be considered as diplomatic and tactful (Lande, 2014).

There is a collaborating style of negotiation as well. Individuals who prefer negotiation involves critical problem-solving in creative ways. These collaborators are more likely to use the negotiation process so as to understand the interests and concerns of the other parties involved in the process. These negotiators can and often transforms simple problems into a complex one through creating problems.

There are competing negotiators who prefer to negotiate as these problems pose an opportunity of winning something. These competing negotiators often possess strong analytical skills, and they prefer to negotiate strategically (Rowe, 2015). This is because their style of negotiating may affect the entire bargaining process. The key feature of this negotiation style is that these negotiators often neglect the importance of the relationship.

Compromising negotiators are those who prefer to close the deal by providing each of the parties which are fair. This specific type of negotiation style seems to be quite useful when there is limited time to complete the agreement.

Presently in the era of international trade and global development the business negotiation activities are also increasing with the passage of time. These negotiation activities play a crucial role and contribute largely to the promotion and facilitation of the global business activities. As the international business environment is becoming more complex with the passage of time due to the cross-cultural differences, language barriers as well as business practices, negotiation is becoming more and more important (Rojot, 2016). However, it also matters of the fact that the international business negotiations demand more skills and expertise in comparison to the domestically executed business negotiations. From a different perspective as it has been stated earlier that the behaviour of negotiation is basically formed fundamentally by the environmental factors, societal factors and the personality of the negotiators (Rowe, 2015).

Researchers have also pointed out the fact that the cultural differences play an important role in the negotiation process. This is because the specific culture tends to influence the speed and path of negotiation of the process, it also determines the style of negotiation which will be adopted. In order to substantiate the statement, it can be stated that the negotiators from the western countries such the United States are more likely to move as fast as possible manoeuvre through the stages of negotiation and thereby obtain a concrete agreement. On the other hand, the negotiators from the Asian countries are more prone towards establishing a relationship of faith and trust before the commencement of the negotiation process. As a result of which in case of the former negotiators the process takes less time compared to the latter one.

As pointed out by researchers and as it has been observed throughout the study it is quite evident that negotiation is a process which is amalgamated in almost all the aspects of the society. People are pass-through negotiations on a daily basis that can either be in their professional life or in their personal life. The styles of negotiation as discussed in the previous sections it can easily be observed that are applicable in all the aspects. Following Zhang, Ting-Toomey and Oetzel (2014), it can be stated that the style of negotiation may differ for the same negotiator depending on where the negotiator is applying the style whether it is in their personal or professional life.

On a concluding note, it can be stated that the essay has successfully covered all the theoretical aspects of the concept of negotiation. It has been observed that the theoretical framework solely supports the fact that negotiation activities are not bound to any particular regime or for a particular group of people rather negotiation is an activity which is performed by almost everybody in their daily life.


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