Distributive vs Integrative Bargaining

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Distributive and integrative bargaining requires different strategies, tactics and skill sets in a negotiator to be successfully implemented. Distributive bargaining is know as a win-lose situation based on a fixed amount that has to be divided, whereas integrative bargaining is a win-win situation based on a mutually satisfactory solution.

Distributive bargaining is most often referred to as a fixed pix negotiation. There is only so much to go around and it creates a competitive or sometimes argumentative negotiation with both sides vying to get the bigger share. This style negotiation is typically used between parties that have no prior history, and little likelihood of future negotiations. There are many different strategies used in a distributive negotiation, one of which is assessing the other party’s target and resistance points. This can be very hard for a negotiator to accomplish, as there is very little sharing of information in this style of negotiation. Both parties keep information to themselves, as they do not want the opposing side to be able to determine their room to maneuver in, as they want to get the best deal or bigger part of the pie for themselves. Along with this is a negotiating strategy is to manage the other party’s impressions; this can be done by passing along false information or incomplete information to keep another negotiator in the dark.

There are many different tactics used in distributive bargaining. One seen in different forms is the use of delaying tactics. This can be done two ways, first by having a negotiator that lacks the power to make a final decision. This adds more time to a negotiation while the agreement is presented to the person who has the authority to approve or reject the agreement. The second delay tactic is by delaying the negotiation past a deadline and thereby incurring a cost or penalty to the other negotiator. However, the most known type of distributive bargaining tactics is the use of hardball...
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