Reflection Paper #2 – Myti-Pet
1. How did you plan for the negotiation? Explain how you decided on a strategy?
In the Myti-Pet case I played the role of one member of the Myti-Pet leadership team. After individually reading the case information, I felt that some time would have to be spent deescalating the situation regarding our refusal to pay and their threat of a potential lawsuit. It was obvious that a long-term, trusting relationship could not be established without addressing this issue. It was also clear that a potential mutually beneficial relationship existed regarding our need for additional meat flour and our desire to change supplier for our wheat flour. If we were able to reestablish a trusting relationship that addressed some of our concerns, a lucrative opportunity existed for both firms.
As discussed in Lewicki, et al. (1993), the idea of promotive interdependence is clearly evident in this case; if the negation was managed correctly, both sides would benefit greatly. However, it was very possible that each side’s perception of the degree of interdependence that existed would vary significantly. Without open information sharing, it would be very difficult to assess the existing levels of interdependence.
Planning for the negation was made more complicated when I realized that I would be accompanied in the negotiation by two co-workers. We quickly determined that it would be most effective to select individual roles to play during the negotiation (I was the VP of Operations). This strategy allowed each of us to focus on certain aspects of the case and also allotted some flexibility in the ways we communicated during the negotiation. The last-minute case data instructing us to display anger at the start of the negotiation also played a role in the interaction by pushing us to display some of the cognitive distortions discussed in class, including “demonizing the other side” and “jumping to conclusions” (class handout, Feb 2, 2011).
2. How did the actual process and outcome compare to the predictions in the readings?
It was clear that the Rawmat team was immediately taken aback by our display of anger. Rawmat seemed uncomfortable, apologetic, and ready to yield to our demands. Rawmat’s initial response reinforced our angry behavior and resulted in a stronger barrage of demands and insults from my co-workers (after a short while I began to take a more sympathetic position). According to Fisher, Ury and Patton’s (1991) theory regarding contentious negotiation, Rawmat might have more effectively responded by identifying our tactic and clearly bringing it to our attention. Instead, their initial approach of threatening to take their business elsewhere caused us to increase our angry tactics. In addition, our initial anger caused my team members and myself to display some of the negotiating mistakes outlined in Sebenius (2010), including failing to correct for skewed vision (partisan perceptions) and letting our positions drive out our underlying interests.
As the VP of Operations I understood the potential that existed between the two firms, and I had perhaps the strongest desire to reach a positive solution. It was therefore easiest for me to begin utilizing integrative negotiating tactics including: separating the people from the problem, focusing on interests and not problems, and inventing options for mutual gain (Fisher, Ury and Patton, 1991). As predicted in course readings, as I began negotiating in a more integrative manner, the Rawmat team seemed to become more comfortable. In fact, it was interesting to see that as the negotiation progressed Rawmat began to negotiate exclusively with me, effectively ignoring my more condescending co-workers. Rawmat also began utilizing some of the tactics outlined in Leritz (1988) including sidestepping some of the criticism, refusing to counterattack, and reframing the issue. This response made it harder for my team...