Investigative Negotiation

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The article starts off with the example of the negotiation between an European firm and an U.S firm, wherein, Chris, an employee of the US firm negotiated it to success. The US firm wanted exclusivity of the ingredient supplied by the other firm and even if they were being offered a price higher than the initial $18 a pound and a guaranteed minimum order of 1 million pounds annually ,the European firm was not budging. Chris, then investigated and found the reason that the supplier of the European firm had an agreement with his cousin wherein the cousin bought 250 pounds of the same ingredient every year for producing a locally sold product. On finding the reason, Chris came up with a new proposal wherein, the supplier could continue his agreement with the cousin and at the same time provide exclusivity to Chris’s US firm. The deal was initially at rocks and relationship between the firms had deteriorated as the US firm had the notion,the European firm was not budging because they had a better offer in hand or wanted a higher price. But Chris removed this deadlock by further exploring and finding the motives behind the terms of the European party which to many of us might seem obvious but most negotiators fail in this kind of problem solving and success is usually rarely seen.

The Example above is a case of “INVESTIGATIVE NEGOTIATION”, which encourages the person negotiating to put himself in the shoes of a detective in a crime scene who tries to get maximum possible information about the situation and the people connected in the scene. Chris, succeeded because he did the same thing and went against the basic assumptions made by the US firm .Rather, he challenged those assumptions and gathered critical information regarding the European firm’s perspective. This step by Chris is basically the first step in Investigative Negotiation.

The authors,Deepak Malhotra and Max H. Bazerman then explains more about Investigative Negotiation by explaining the five...
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