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The Big Bang


Department
Management (MGS)
Course Code
MGSC46H3
Professor
Phani Radhakrishnan

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The Big Bang: The Evolution of Negotiation Research
Getting to Yes: A Big Bang
- The core elements of Getting to Yes are:
o People: Separate the people from the problem
o Interests: Focus on interests, not positions
o Options: Invent options for mutual gain
o Criteria: Insist on using objective criteria
- Two more ideas in Getting to Yes are:
o The BATNA (Best Alternative To a Negotiated Agreement) principle
o Soft versus Hard bargaining style
People: Separate the People from the Problem
- Negotiators strive to achieve favourable negotiated outcomes but also place value on their
relationships with the other party
- Research shows that negotiators are thus more likely to allocate resources equally, rather
than selfishly, and friends are less competitive with each other than they are with
strangers
- Friends are often too willing to compromise and thus fail to invent options for mutual
gain
- Negative emotions tie people to the problem, positive emotions partition people from the
problem
- What matters most in understanding conflict is not reality itself but individuals
perceptions of it. Conflict lies not in objective reality, but in peoples heads.
- One way to avoid reactive devaluation is to encourage individuals to evaluate proposals
objectively, according to their merits
Focus on Interests, Not Positions
- To identify interests, negotiators first must overcome a key error that prevents them from
doing so: the fixed-pie perception
- The fixed-pie perception refers to the often faulty belief that peoples interests are
fundamentally and directly opposed, such that a gain for one party represents a loss for
the other party
Invent Options for Mutual Gain
- In order to invent options for mutual gain, negotiators need to overcome four obstacles
that prevent such opportunities, and the fixed pie perception is one such obstacle.
- The second obstacle negotiators face is making premature judgements: at times,
negotiators commit to a specific course of action and then find it difficult to change
course even if doing so could yield a better, mutually beneficial outcome
- A third obstacle negotiators face is that they tend to search for a single answer
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