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Conflict and

Negotiation
Organizational Behavior,
8e
Schermerhorn, Hunt, and Osborn
John Wiley & Sons, Inc.

Conflict and Negotiation


Study questions.
What is conflict?
How can conflict be managed successfully?
What is negotiation?
What are the different strategies involved in

negotiation?

Prof. Sunil Misra

Conflict Defined
Conflict exists whenever incompatible
activities occur. An action which is
incompatible with another action
prevents, obstructs, interferes with, or
injures, or in some way makes it less
likely or less effective. Deutsch (1971)

Prof. Sunil Misra

Conflict often results when two or


more people, departments or
organizations disagree.
It should be viewed as neither
positive nor negative.
Instead, conflict is an opportunity to
help meet organizational goals and
often leads to healthy competition.
Lucas (1994)
Prof. Sunil Misra

Conflict is an expressed struggle


between at least two interdependent
parties who perceive incompatible
goals, scarce reward, and
interference from the other party in
achieving their goals.
Hocker and Wilmot (1985)
Prof. Sunil Misra

Conflict
The wide range of conflicts that people
experience in organizations
Incompatibility of goals
Differences over interpretations of facts
Disagreements based on behavioral expectations

Prof. Sunil Misra

Conflict
In simple sense Conflict is a tension or
collision or disagreement.
Difference between Conflict and Competition
Seems to be same, but differ by the degree of
Self-interest displayed.

Example
Track Events
Football and Hockey
Price wars
Prof. Sunil Misra

Transitions in Conflict Thought


Traditional View of Conflict
The belief that all conflict is harmful and must be
avoided.
Causes:
Poor communication
Lack of openness
Failure to respond to
employee needs
Prof. Sunil Misra

Transitions in Conflict Thought (contd)


Human Relations View of Conflict
The belief that conflict is a natural and inevitable
outcome in any group.
Interactionist View of Conflict
The belief that conflict is not only
a positive force in a group but that
it is absolutely necessary for a
group to perform effectively.
Prof. Sunil Misra

Types of conflict.
Substantive conflict.
A fundamental disagreement over

ends or goals to be pursued and the


means for their accomplishment.

Emotional conflict.
Interpersonal difficulties that arise

over feelings of anger, mistrust,


dislike, fear, resentment, etc.
Prof. Sunil Misra

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Types of Conflict
Task Conflict
Conflicts over content and
goals of the work.
Relationship Conflict
Conflict based on
interpersonal relationships.
Process Conflict
Conflict over how work gets done.
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Types of conflict.

Intrapersonal Conflict
Interpersonal Conflict
Intragroup Conflict
Intergroup Conflict
Interorganizational Conflict

Prof. Sunil Misra

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Levels of conflict.
Intrapersonal conflicts.
Actual or perceived pressures from
incompatible goals or expectations.
Approach-approach conflict.
Avoidance-avoidance conflict.
Approach-avoidance conflict.

Prof. Sunil Misra

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Levels of conflict cont.


Interpersonal conflict.
Occurs between two or more

individuals who are in opposition to


one another.

Intergroup conflict.
Occurs among members of different

teams or groups.
Prof. Sunil Misra

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Levels of conflict cont.


Interorganizational conflict.
Occurs in the competition and rivalry that

characterize firms operating in the same


markets.
Occurs between unions and organizations
employing their members.
Occurs between government regulatory
agencies and organizations subject to their
surveillance.
Occurs between organizations and
suppliers of raw materials.
Prof. Sunil Misra

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Functional versus
Dysfunctional Conflict
(Positive)

Functional Conflict
Conflict that supports the goals
of the group and improves its
performance.

Dysfunctional Conflict
(Negative)

Conflict that hinders


group performance.

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Functional (or constructive) conflict.


Results in positive benefits to
individuals, the group, or the
organization.
Likely effects.
Surfaces important problems so they can

be addressed.
Causes careful consideration of decisions.
Causes reconsideration of decisions.
Increases information available for decision
making.
Provides opportunities for creativity.
Prof. Sunil Misra

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Dysfunctional (or destructive) conflict.


Works to the disadvantage of individuals,
the group, or the organization.
Likely effects:
Diverts energies.
Harms group cohesion.
Promotes interpersonal hostilities.
Creates overall negative environment for

workers.
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Sources of Conflict

Differences in Culture
Differences in Ideology and Values
Educational Differences
Differences in Experiences
Competitions
Varying Perceptions
Inadequate or Poor Communication
Misuse of Power
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Sources of Conflict
Structural Factors : stem from the
nature of the organization and the way
in which work is organized

Specification
Interdependence
Goal differences
Authority relationships
Status inconsistencies
Jurisdictional ambiguities (unclear lines of
responsibilities within an organization)
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Sources of Conflict
Personal Factors : arises from
differences among individuals

Skills and abilities


Personalities
Perceptions
Values and ethics
Emotions
Communication barrier
Cultural differences
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Culture and conflict.


Conflict is likely to be high when:
Persons from short-term cultures work

with persons from long-term cultures.


Persons from individualistic cultures work

with persons from collectivistic cultures.


Persons from high power distance

cultures work with persons from low


power distance cultures.
Prof. Sunil Misra

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Positive aspects of conflict.


Opens communication channel between people
Replacement of old goals with more relevant

ones
Increase innovation through a greater diversity in

view points
Groups and individuals achieve greater

awareness of their own identities


Leads to innovative solutions
Strengthens relationships
Improve problem solving skills
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Negative aspects of conflict.


Barriers to communication
Misallocation of resources

Lower productivity
Stressful
Produce irresponsible behaviour

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The Conflict Process

E X H I B I T 151

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Stage I: Potential Opposition or


Incompatibility
Communication
Semantic difficulties, misunderstandings, and noise
Structure
Size and specialization of jobs
Jurisdictional clarity/ambiguity
Member/goal incompatibility
Leadership styles (close or participative)
Reward systems (win-lose)
Dependence/interdependence of groups
Personal Variables
Differing individual value systems
Personality types

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Stage II: Cognition and Personalization


Perceived Conflict

Felt Conflict

Awareness by one or more


parties of the existence of
conditions that create
opportunities for conflict to
arise.

Emotional involvement in a
conflict creating anxiety,
tenseness, frustration, or
hostility.

Conflict Definition

Negative Emotions

Positive Feelings
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Stage III: Intentions


Intentions
Decisions to act in a given way.
Cooperativeness:
Attempting to satisfy the other partys
concerns.
Assertiveness:
Attempting to satisfy ones own concerns.

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Dimensions of Conflict-Handling
Intentions

E X H I B I T 15-2

Source: K. Thomas, Conflict and Negotiation Processes in Organizations, in M.D. Dunnette


and L.M. Hough (eds.), Handbook of Industrial and Organizational Psychology, 2nd ed., vol. 3
(Palo Alto, CA: Consulting Psychologists Press, 1992), p. 668. With permission.

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Stage III: Intentions (contd)


Competing
A desire to satisfy ones interests, regardless of the
impact on the other party to the conflict.
Collaborating
A situation in which the parties to a conflict each
desire to satisfy fully the concerns of all parties.
Avoiding
The desire to withdraw from or suppress a conflict.
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Stage III: Intentions (contd)


Accommodating
The willingness of one party in a conflict to place the
opponents interests above his or her own.
Compromising
A situation in which each party to a conflict is
willing to give up something.

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Stage IV: Behavior


Conflict Management
The use of resolution and stimulation techniques to
achieve the desired level of conflict.

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Conflict-Intensity Continuum

Source: Based on S.P. Robbins, Managing Organizational Conflict: A Nontraditional Approach (Upper Saddle River, NJ:
Prentice Hall, 1974), pp. 9397; and F. Glasi, The Process of Conflict Escalation and the Roles of Third Parties, in G.B.J.
Bomers and R. Peterson (eds.), Conflict Management and Industrial Relations (Boston: Kluwer-Nijhoff, 1982), pp. 11940.

E X H I B I T 153

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Conflict Management Techniques


Conflict Resolution Techniques
Problem solving
Superordinate goals
Expansion of resources
Avoidance

Smoothing
Compromise
Authoritative command
Altering the human variable
Altering the structural variables

Source: Based on S. P.
Robbins, Managing
Organizational Conflict: A
Nontraditional Approach (Upper
Saddle River, NJ: Prentice Hall,
1974), pp. 5989

E X H I B I T 154

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Conflict Management Techniques


Conflict Resolution Techniques
Communication
Bringing in outsiders
Restructuring the organization
Appointing a devils advocate

E X H I B I T 154 (contd)

Source: Based on S. P. Robbins, Managing Organizational Conflict: A Nontraditional


Approach (Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice Hall, 1974), pp. 5989

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Stage V: Outcomes
Functional Outcomes from Conflict
Increased group performance
Improved quality of decisions
Stimulation of creativity and innovation
Encouragement of interest and curiosity
Provision of a medium for problem-solving
Creation of an environment for self-evaluation and
change

Creating Functional Conflict


Reward dissent and punish conflict avoiders

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Stage V: Outcomes
Dysfunctional Outcomes from Conflict
Development of discontent
Reduced group effectiveness
Retarded communication
Reduced group cohesiveness
Infighting among group members overcomes
group goals
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Conflict
and Unit
Performance

E X H I B I T 159

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USE.Competition
When quick, decisive action is vital (in
emergencies); on important issues.
Where unpopular actions need implementing (in
cost cutting, enforcing unpopular rules, discipline).

On issues vital to the organizations welfare.


When you know youre right.
Against people who take advantage of
noncompetitive behavior.
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USE ..Collaboration
To find an integrative solution when both
sets of concerns are too important to be
compromised.
When your objective is to learn.

To merge insights from people with different


perspectives.
To gain commitment by incorporating
concerns into a consensus.
To work through feelings that have interfered
with a relationship.
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USE.Avoidance
When an issue is trivial, or more important
issues are pressing.
When you perceive no chance of satisfying your
concerns.
When potential disruption outweighs the benefits
of resolution.
To let people cool down and regain perspective.
When gathering information supersedes
immediate decision.
When others can resolve the conflict effectively.
When issues seem tangential or symptomatic
of other issues.
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USE.Accommodation
When you find youre wrong and to allow a
better position to be heard.
To learn, and to show your reasonableness.
When issues are more important to others than
to yourself and to satisfy others and maintain
cooperation.
To build social credits for later issues.
To minimize loss when outmatched and losing.
When harmony and stability are especially
important.
To allow employees to develop by learning from
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mistakes.

USECompromise
When goals are important but not worth the
effort of potential disruption of more assertive
approaches.
When opponents with equal power are
committed to mutually exclusive goals.
To achieve temporary settlements to complex
issues.
To arrive at expedient solutions under time
pressure.
As a BACKUP when collaboration or competition
is unsuccessful.
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How can conflict be


managed successfully?
INDIRECT conflict management approaches.
Reduced interdependence.
Appeals to common goals.
Hierarchical referral.
Alterations in the use of mythology and

scripts.

Prof. Sunil Misra

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How can conflict be


managed successfully?
Reduced interdependence.
Used for adjusting level of interdependency

when work-flow conflicts exists.


Options.
Decoupling.
Buffering.
Linking pins.

Prof. Sunil Misra

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How can conflict be


managed successfully?
Appeals to common goals.
Focusing the attention of potentially conflicting
parties on one mutually desirable goal.
Helping parties to recognize their mutual
interdependence.
Can be difficult to achieve if:
Prior performance is poor.
Parties disagree over how to improve
performance.

Prof. Sunil Misra

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How can conflict be


managed successfully?
Hierarchical referral.
Makes use of the chain of command for
conflict resolution.
Problems with hierarchical referral.
May not result in true conflict resolution.
Possibility of inaccurate diagnosis of causes of

conflict, resulting in only superficial resolution.


Superiors may attribute conflict to poor
interpersonal relationships.
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How can conflict be


managed successfully?
Alterations in the use of mythology and

scripts.
Scripts are behavioral routines that become

part of the organizations culture.


Scripts prescribe ways of dealing with conflict.

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How can conflict be


managed successfully?
DIRECT conflict management approaches are

based on the relative emphasis that a person


places on assertiveness and cooperativeness.
Assertiveness.
Attempting to satisfy ones own concerns.
Unassertive versus assertive.

Cooperativeness.
Attempting to satisfy the other partys concern.
Uncooperative versus cooperative.

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How can conflict be


managed successfully?
Avoidance.
Unassertive and uncooperative.
Downplaying disagreement.
Failing to participate in the situation and/or

staying neutral at all costs.

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How can conflict be


managed successfully?
Accommodation or smoothing.
Unassertive and cooperative.
Letting the others wishes rule.
Smoothing over differences to maintain

superficial harmony.

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How can conflict be


managed successfully?
Compromise.
Moderate assertiveness and moderate

cooperativeness.
Working toward partial satisfaction of

everyones concerns.
Seeking acceptable rather than optimal

solutions so that no one totally wins or loses.

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How can conflict be


managed successfully?
Competition and authoritative command.
Assertive and uncooperative.
Working against the wishes of the other party.
Fighting to dominate in win/lose competition.
Forcing things to a favorable conclusion

through the exercise of authority.

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How can conflict be


managed successfully?
Collaboration and problem solving.
Assertive and cooperative.
Seeking the satisfaction of everyones

concerns by working through differences.


Finding and solving problems so everyone

gains as a result.

Prof. Sunil Misra

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How can conflict be


managed successfully?
The issue of who wins?
Lose-lose conflict.
Occurs when nobody gets what he or she wants.
Avoidance, accommodation or smoothing, and

compromise are forms of lose-lose conflict.

Win-lose conflict.
One part achieves its desires at the expense and
to the exclusion of the other partys desires.
Competition and authoritative command are forms
of win-lose conflict.
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How can conflict be


managed successfully?
The issue of who wins? cont.
Win-win conflict.
Both parties achieve their desires.
Collaboration or problem solving are forms of win-

win conflict.

Prof. Sunil Misra

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Negotiation
A process in which two or more parties
exchange goods or services and
attempt to agree on the exchange rate
for them.
The process of making joint decisions
when the parties involved have different
preferences.
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Bargaining Strategies
Distributive Bargaining
Negotiation that seeks to divide up a fixed amount
of resources; a win-lose situation.

Integrative Bargaining
Negotiation that seeks one or more settlements that
can create a win-win solution.

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Distributive Versus Integrative


Bargaining
Bargaining
Characteristic

Distributive
Bargaining

Integrative
Bargaining

Goal

Get as much of pie


as possible

Expand the pie

Motivation

Win-Lose

Win-Win

Focus

Positions

Interests

Information
Sharing

Low

High

Duration of
relationships

Short term

Long term

E XHIBIT 15-5

Source: Based on R. J. Lewicki and J. A. Litterer, Negotiation (Homewood, IL: Irwin, 1985), p. 280.

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The
Negotiation
Process

BATNA
The Best Alternative To a
Negotiated Agreement; the
lowest acceptable value
(outcome) to an individual
for a negotiated agreement.

E X H I B I T 157

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Issues in Negotiation
The Role of Mood & Personality Traits in
Negotiation
Positive moods positively affect negotiations
Traits do not appear to have a significantly
direct effect on the outcomes of either
bargaining or negotiating processes

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Issues in Negotiation
Gender Differences in Negotiations
Women negotiate no differently from men,
although men apparently negotiate slightly
better outcomes.
Men and women with similar power bases
use the same negotiating styles.
Womens attitudes toward negotiation and
their success as negotiators are less
favorable than mens.
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Third-Party Role in Negotiations


Mediator
A neutral third party who facilitates a negotiated
solution by using reasoning, persuasion, and
suggestions for alternatives.

Arbitrator
A third party to a negotiation
who has the authority to
dictate an agreement.
A third party acts as a judge and has
the power to issue a decision that is
binding on all disputing parties.

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Third-Party Negotiations (contd)


Conciliator
A trusted third party who provides an
informal communication link between
the negotiator and the opponent.
Consultant
An impartial third party, skilled in
conflict management, who attempts
to facilitate creative problem
solving through communication and
analysis.
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Effective Negotiation
Occurs when substance issues are

resolved and working relationships


are maintained or improved.
Criteria for an effective negotiation.
Quality.
Harmony.
Efficiency.
Prof. Sunil Misra

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Ethical Aspects of Negotiation


To maintain good working relationships,
negotiating parties should strive for high
ethical standards.

The negotiating parties should avoid


being side tracked by self-interests,
thereby being tempted to pursue
unethical actions.
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Organizational settings for


negotiation
Two-party negotiation.
Group negotiation.
Intergroup negotiation.
Constituency negotiation.

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What are the different strategies


involved in negotiation?
Distributive negotiation.
The key questions is: Who is going to

get this resource?


Hard distributive negotiation.
Each party holds out to get its own way.

Soft distributive negotiation.


One party is willing to make concessions to
the other party to get things over.
Prof. Sunil Misra

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What are the different strategies


involved in negotiation?
Distributive negotiation cont.
Bargaining zone.
The range between one partys minimum
resistance point and the other partys
maximum resistance point.
A positive bargaining zone exists when the
two parties points overlap.
A positive bargaining zone provides room
for negotiation.
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Staking Out the Bargaining Zone

E X H I B I T 156

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What are the different strategies


involved in negotiation?
Integrative negotiation.
The key questions is: How can the

resource best be utilized?


Is less confrontational than distributive
negotiation, and permits a broader
range of alternative solutions to be
considered.
Opportunity for a true win-win solution.
Prof. Sunil Misra

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What are the different strategies


involved in negotiation?

Integrative negotiation cont.


Range of feasible negotiation tactics.

Selective avoidance.
Compromise.
True collaboration.
Prof. Sunil Misra

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What are the different strategies


involved in negotiation?
Gaining truly integrative agreements rests on:
Supportive attitudes.

Constructive behaviors.
Good information.

Prof. Sunil Misra

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What are the different strategies


involved in negotiation?
Supportive attitudes.
Integrative agreements require that each

party must:
Approach the negotiation with a willingness to

trust the other party.


Convey a willingness to share information with
the other party.
Show a willingness to ask concrete questions of
the other party.

Prof. Sunil Misra

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What are the different strategies


involved in negotiation?
Gaining truly integrative agreements rests on:
Supportive attitudes.

Constructive behaviors.
Good information.

Prof. Sunil Misra

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What are the different strategies


involved in negotiation?
Constructive behaviors.
Reaching integrative agreements

depends on the negotiators ability to:


Separate the people from the problem.
Focus on interests rather than positions.
Avoid making premature judgments.
Judge possible agreements on an

objective set of criteria or standards.


Prof. Sunil Misra

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What are the different strategies


involved in negotiation?
Gaining truly integrative agreements rests on:
Supportive attitudes.

Constructive behaviors.
Good information.

Prof. Sunil Misra

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What are the different strategies


involved in negotiation?

Good information.
Each negotiation party must

know what he/she will do if an


agreement cant be reached.
Each party must understand the
relative importance of the other
partys interests.
Prof. Sunil Misra

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