Difference Between Distributive and Integrative Bargaining

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Difference between Distributive and Integrative Bargaining
Raymond Yang Garcia

1) The difference between distributive and integrative bargaining Negotiation approaches are generally described as either distributive or integrative. At the heart of each strategy is a measurement of conflict between each party’s desired outcomes. Consider the following situation. Chris, an entrepreneur, is starting a new business that will occupy most of his free time for the near future. Living in a fancy new development, Chris is concerned that his new business will prevent him from taking care of his lawn, which has strict requirements under neighborhood rules. Not wanting to upset his neighbors, Chris decides to hire Matt to cut his grass. In a distributive bargaining approach, each negotiator’s objective is in direct conflict with the other. Looking at our situation, each party is concerned about the final price and has a limited number of resources. In starting a new business, Matt’s cash flow is low and there is limit on what he will spend for the service. On the other hand, Chris wants to ensure a high fee but also guarantee he will not lose money after buying gas for his lawnmower. The goal in distributive bargaining is not to find a mutually accepted outcome, but rather that one side gains preferential treatment. In other words, the final result is a win-lose scenario. In distributive bargaining, each party must decide before the negotiation where certain breakpoints lie. For Chris, maybe he cannot afford more than $20 for the service, but is willing to pay $15. Conversely, Matt cannot accept less than $12, but would prefer $18. The spread between the resistance points, $12-$20, defines the bargaining range and where a settlement is likely to occur. If the resistance points did not overlap, a negotiation would not be possible. As the negotiation occurs, the challenge will be in discovering and influencing each other’s resistance point. Conversely, consider that...
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