Negotiation by Lewicki

Topics: Negotiation, Dispute resolution, Mediation Pages: 6 (1697 words) Published: June 24, 2012

Book Summary of Negotiation by Roy J. Lewicki, David M. Saunders, and John W. Minton


Negotiation, 3rd edition, Roy J. Lewicki, David M. Saunders, and John W. Minton, (Boston: Irwin McGraw-Hill, 1999).

This Book Summary written by: Conflict Research Consortium Staff

Readers will find this textbook on negotiations to be broadly accessible and very informative. The third edition has been substantially updated and revised to reflect current negotiations research. Thirteen chapters are presented in four parts. The first chapters focus on the basic elements of conflict and negotiation. Part Two examines the processes of communication, persuasion, and ethical judgment. Part Three explores external influences on negotiations, including the social context, coalition or group participation, individual personality differences, and cultural factors. The final chapters discuss ways for parties and third-parties to address breakdowns in the negotiation process. The text includes a bibliography and a comprehensive index.

Negotiation Basics

The negotiation situation is characterized by two or more interdependent parties who have a conflict of interest, and who choose to address that conflict by striving to reach an agreement through a process of mutual adjustment of each party's demands and concessions. Conflicts may arise at different levels, from within an individual to between groups or nations. Parties may address conflict by avoidance, by yielding to or accommodating the other, by competing to dominate the other, by compromising to split gains and losses, or by collaborative problem-solving to reach maximally beneficial mutual agreements. When managed appropriately, conflict can be constructive.

Pre-negotiation planning is the key to successful negotiations. Before opening negotiations, parties need to frame the problem at hand, define their goals, select a negotiating strategy, and develop a plan for implementing that strategy. Specific planning steps include defining and prioritizing the issues and interests, developing supporting arguments, analyzing the other party, assessing the other side's priorities, and setting targets and limits, How parties frame (understand, view or define) the conflict has a significant impact on what goals they adopt, and on the possibility of achieving a mutually beneficial outcome. Understanding the phases that negotiation processes typically go through will help negotiators plan more effectively.

Generally, negotiations come in two forms. In distributive (win-lose, competitive) bargaining, each party tries to secure the most benefit for themselves, without regard for the other side's outcome. In integrative (win-win, collaborative) bargaining, both parties work together to achieve maximum mutual gains. Distributive bargaining is more appropriate when resources are fixed and the parties' interests are directly opposed. Distributive negotiations are defined by each party's opening, resistance and target points, that is, their initial offers, their lowest acceptable bid, and their desired bid. Each party's goal is to close a deal as near to the other's resistance point as possible. Distributive negotiation strategies seek to conceal the party's resistance point, uncover the other side's resistance point, or to influence their views of what is possible.

Integrative negotiation is possible when the parties share concern for each other's positive outcome. The presence of shared goals, trust, and clear communication between the parties will facilitate effective integrative negotiation. Often, seemingly distributive situations may be reframed to permit integrative solutions. To be successful, integrative negotiators must focus on their commonalties and engage in a free flow of information. They must understand each other's interests and needs, and must seek solutions which satisfy both sides.


Communication is central to the negotiation process....
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