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Integrative Negotiation = Negotiation A' La Mode

Posted by admin VIP     2 Comment(s)    Add a Comment  comment-icon.png
07/30/2012 02:40 PM

Last entry the competitive/distributive negotiation type was labeled and we discuss how to recognize that type of negotiation.  A brief mention of Integrative negotiation was also made.  This entry, and the next few, will discuss this other type - integrative negotiations.

Integrative negotiations may also be referred to as cooperative, problem-solving, principled, or collaborative.  The main concepts of these labels are the same, though there may be a few differences among these types, a discussion for another time.  A basic definition of integrative negotiation is a negotiation where all parties strive to achieve their goals with as little cost as possible to the other participants.

Integrative negotiations are recognized by differing in all 3 main elements of  competitive/distributive negotiations: 1. The negotiation value is not considered fixed, 2.  The perception is non-zero-sum, and 3.  The parties focus on interests, not positions.  As such, parties tend to focus on being global problem solvers instead of strict bargainers.  

Often, the objective of integrative negotiations is to "Expand the Pie".  The basic concept being that one party does not have to "lose" because the other side achieves their goal in the negotiation.  The parties search for other elements of value that can address the other party's interests as well as their own, thus they are creating, or "expanding" the object of the negotiation, the "pie".  

Much of the scholarship regarding the integrative process uses this pie metaphor; however, I feel that a better metaphor exists.  If two parties sit down and want to divide up a real pie, physically they aren't able to expand it.  Bake another one, sure, but not expand the existing.  Instead, when the competitive negotiation over percentage of pie each receives stalls the negotiation, the parties then expand to other areas such as toppings, pairings, or beverages to go along with the split pie.  

E.g.  Betty and Joe are given an apple pie to share.  They each want 3/4's.  They both are not going to budge.  Then Joe realizes that Betty has some of his favorite ice cream.  He then says he will accept taking 1/4 of the pie if Betty provides him with ice cream.  Thus, to be integrative, the negotiation need only go "A La Mode".

Thoughts on the benefits of integrative negotiation over competitive/distributive?  Share below.   Next time we will get more into integrative negotiations, its goals, and ways to achieve a successful integrative negotiation.

Added by Tom Simpson
September 1st, 2012

Good morning. The content is very useful
Added by Manfred Wilder
September 3rd, 2012

very useful post Thank you!
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