So we often hear the term “negotiation”, but what exactly does it mean. Wall (1985, preface) defines negotiation as “the process which two or more parties seek an acceptable rate of exchange for items they own or control. Cohen (1980, p. 15) says that “Negotiation is the field of knowledge and endeavor that focuses on gaining the favor of people from whom we want things”. I think Cohen’s definition is the closest to what we think of negotiation as. Negotiation is very important in project management planning. A project manager must know what they need and properly plan for a negotiation. Most conflicts that involve the organization and outsiders have to do with property rights and contractual obligations. In these cases, the parties to negotiation see themselves as opponents. Conflicts arising inside the organization may also appear to involve property rights and obligations, but they typically differ from conflicts with outsiders in one important way (Meredith and Mantel, 2012) Preparation increases your chance of success, whether in combat, sports, or negotiations. The well-prepared negotiator knows the playing field and the players, is seldom surprised, and can properly capitalize on opportunities (Simmons and Trip, 1997). The negotiation checklist (Simmons and Trip, 1997) provides a very good outline and example for what to do to prepare for a negotiation. This checklist helps you plan out what your overall goal is. It makes you think of what it is you want to get out of the negotiation up front. The checklist then breaks down what is important to you. It asks you what your overall goal is, what the issues are and how important each issue is to you. The checklist has a scoring system to help you rank and evaluate offers you receive. The checklist then goes into what is known about the other side, what the situation is (e.g do deadlines exist, what topics or questions do you want to avoid) etc. It also makes you think about what the...
References: Cohen, H. You Can Negotiate Anything, Secaucus, NJ, Lyle Stuart Inc., 1980
Fisher, R., Ury, W., Patton, B. Getting to Yes: Negotiating Agreement without Giving In, 1991.
Lewicki, R., Barry, B., Saunders, D. Negotiation, NY, NY, McGraw Hill , 2010
Meredith, J, Mantel, S. (2012). Project Management, A Managerial Approach. (8 ed.). Hoboken: Wiley.
Simmons, T., Tripp, T. The Negotiation Checklist, Cornell Hotel & Restaurant Administrative Quarterly, no 1, 1997
Wall, J. A., Jr. Negotiation: Theory and Practice, Glenview, IL: Scott, Foresman,1985
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