Types of negotiation

Types of Negotiation

Negotiation can take a wide variety of forms, from trained negotiator acting on behalf of a particular organization or position in a formal setting, to an informal negotiation between friends. Negotiation theorists generally distinguish between two types of negotiation.

I. Distributive - Distributive negotiation sometimes called positional or hard-bargaining negotiation is a way of dividing up a single, fixed quantity where a gain to one side results in a loss to the other. While both sides may benefit from the deal, one side will definitely benefit more than the other.

Distributive negotiation is often used in situations where there's a single, fixed issue to be negotiated, and where the greatest concern is getting the best possible value. You may have thought of situations such as buying an expensive item such as a car or a house, or perhaps bartering a price for an antique

II. Integrative - Integrative negotiation also sometimes called interest-based or principled negotiation involves a more collaborative approach, where both sides work together in the hopes of achieving the greatest possible benefit for both sides.

Even in a negotiation where there's direct competition between the two sides, there are often opportunities for collaboration. It's rare to find a negotiation that's purely distributive or purely integrative. Most fall somewhere in between, but it's important to understand each type on its own.

A key difference between the two types of negotiation is how information is handled in distributive negotiation. In distributive negotiation, the goal is to withhold as much information as possible, putting the other side at a disadvantage. It's also important to try to find out as much information as you can about the other side, to create a greater advantage for yourself.

Elements of Negotiation

Negotiation is comprised of four elements: strategy, process, tools, and tactics.

  • Strategy comprises the top level goals - typically including relationship and the final outcome.
  • Processes and tools include the steps that will be followed and the roles taken in both preparing for and negotiating with the other parties.
  • Tactics include more detailed statements and actions and responses to others' statements and actions. Some add to this persuasion and influence, asserting that these have become integral to modern day negotiation success, and so should not be omitted.
Last modified: Tuesday, 21 March 2017, 2:36 PM