negotiation

Topics: Negotiation, Dispute resolution, Mediation Pages: 23 (4547 words) Published: October 6, 2014

Negotiation is one of the instruments of Procurement Management. Describe tactics that can be applied in a negotiational situation.

DEFINITION OF NEGOTIATION

Negotiation is one of the most common approaches used to make decisions and manage disputes. It is also the major building block for many other alternative dispute resolution procedures.

Negotiation occurs between spouses, parents and children, managers and staff, employers and employees, professionals and clients, within and between organizations and between agencies and the public. Negotiation is a problem-solving process in which two or more people voluntarily discuss their differences and attempt to reach a joint decision on their common concerns. Negotiation requires participants to identify issues about which they differ, educate each other about their needs and interests, generate possible settlement options and bargain over the terms of the final agreement. Successful negotiations generally result in some kind of exchange or promise being made by the negotiators to each other. The exchange may be tangible (such as money, a commitment of time or a particular behavior) or intangible (such as an agreement to change an attitude or expectation, or make an apology).

Negotiation is the principal way that people redefine an old relationship that is not working to their satisfaction or establish a new relationship where none existed before. Because negotiation is such a common problem-solving process, it is in everyone's interest to become familiar with negotiating dynamics and skills. This section is designed to introduce basic concepts of negotiation and to present procedures and strategies that generally produce more efficient and productive problem solving.

CONDITIONS FOR NEGOTIATION

A variety of conditions can affect the success or failure of negotiations. The following conditions make success in negotiations more likely.

Identifiable parties who are willing to participate. The people or groups who have a stake in the outcome must be identifiable and willing to sit down at the bargaining table if productive negotiations are to occur. If a critical party is either absent or is not willing to commit to good faith bargaining, the potential for agreement will decline.

Interdependence. For productive negotiations to occur, the participants must be dependent upon each other to have their needs met or interests satisfied. The participants need either each other's assistance or restraint from negative action for their interests to be satisfied. If one party can get his/her needs met without the cooperation of the other, there will be little impetus to negotiate.

Readiness to negotiate. People must be ready to negotiate for dialogue to begin. When participants are not psychologically prepared to talk with the other parties, when adequate information is not available, or when a negotiation strategy has not been prepared, people may be reluctant to begin the process.

Means of influence or leverage. For people to reach an agreement over issues about which they disagree, they must have some means to influence the attitudes and/or behavior of other negotiators. Often influence is seen as the power to threaten or inflict pain or undesirable costs, but this is only one way to encourage another to change. Asking thought-provoking questions, providing needed information, seeking the advice of experts, appealing to influential associates of a party, exercising legitimate authority or providing rewards are all means of exerting influence in negotiations.

Agreement on some issues and interests. People must be able to agree upon some common issues and interests for progress to be made in negotiations. Generally, participants will have some issues and interests in common and others that are of concern to only one party. The number and importance of the common issues and interests influence whether negotiations occur and whether they...
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