Discussion Question:

Understanding the Flow of Negotiations: Stages and Phases

A. The typical steps or flow in a negotiation can be found in the phase models of negotiation:

1. Initiation.

2. Problem solving.

3. Resolution.

Defines these three phases and give a thorough example of each.

XXX’s Post:

Understanding the Flow of Negotiations: Stages and Phases

Initiation: The initiation stage is the first phase of the negotiation process. The phase allows the negotiator to understand better the situation as well as the history leading to the negotiation. At this stage, the negotiator examines the people involved and their perceptions of the expectations to be obtained from the negotiations (Siedel, 2014). Moreover, the negotiators identify the underlying issues and interests of the parties involved. Parties involved use this opportunity to educate and inform the other party why the issues are important to them and how they arrived at them (Tomlinson & Lewicki, 2015).

Furthermore, the involved parties develop a common agenda that determines their interests and identifies the common goals. For example, Zee Inc., a renowned manufacturing firm, wanted to implement an enterprise resource planning (ERP) system to manage its business functions across departments. The decision faced a significant challenge from the stakeholders. At the initiation stage, the organization should have identified the issues raised by the stakeholders and identify their interests. The issues expressed by employees included job cuts, victimization due to low productivity and trainings.

Problem-solving: The problem-solving phase involves coming up with strategies to solve the issues identified in the initiation phase. At this stage, the parties involved present their offers to each other (Siedel, 2014). If the parties are not happy with the offers provided, they will tend to move away from their original positions. Each of the party involved in the negotiation will compromise by making concessions to reach the agreement. Concessions will drive the parties towards a solution (Tomlinson & Lewicki, 2015). In the example given above, the organization at this stage will offer its employee assurance that employees will be happy with the new system; they will not be fired and will get adequate training. On the other hand, the employees will ask for an agreement between the organization and the employees concerning the issues.

Resolution: Resolution is the final phase of the negotiation process. At this stage, the parties involved narrow down the solutions obtained in the problem-solving phase to reach a binding and mutually satisfactory agreement (Siedel, 2014). The solution arrived at has to be a win-win instead of a win-lose solution. At this point, negotiators have to find out whether the other party is comfortable with the agreement. It is necessary to ensure that there is a mutual understanding between the parties involved (Siedel, 2014). Based on our example, the management and the organization’s employees would reach an agreement to implement the ERP system while no employee would be fired or victimized due to failure to beat deadlines.


References:

  • Siedel, G. J. (2014). Negotiating for Success: Essential Strategies and Skills. Van Rye Publishing.
  • Tomlinson, E. C., & Lewicki, R. J. (2015). The negotiation of contractual agreements. Journal of strategic contracting and negotiation, 1(1), 85-98

 

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