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Negotiation Process Essay, Research Paper

When the discussion on this type of topic comes up, it is important to

understand several key points. First is the fact that negotiations of this

nature are done by one group (or institution) to another group. Now, knowing

this it is also safe to assume that groups of people are not a collective of one

mind and one thought, and thus the group will not act as one. Inside these

groups, many different and sometimes conflicting ideas and interests are bound

to hinder a straightforward negotiation. These internal problems creeping into

the wood work before the other party has even made in to the table will

ultimately create new layers in the bargaining process. This is not to say all

internal negotiations are bad. In my opinion if a group will argue between them

to smooth out all the potential internal interests and concerns; then it can

also be sure that as a group the entire entity was come to the bargaining table

with the knowledge that all of its main views have already been addressed. Then

as a result the bargainer knows what as a group they would accept and decline.

As it was briefly covered in the article the internal bickering within one group

does have its downfalls which in the long run hinder the group more then promote

it. If certain people within the group have personal agendas such as personal

wealth or influence in mind, these views of the few that can go against the

optimum deal for the entire group. Then as these people fight to have their

views and solutions pushed forward the group may lose more in the long run.

(Albeit the few people in the group may come out even stronger.) I believe the

key to getting beyond the internal negotiations and out onto the bargaining

table with the other party is to as a group not bicker over 1 or 2 minor things,

but to look at these deals ?one pie? which may have many different

ingredients within it. The pie is only ready for the oven (ei. bargaining table)

by the group when they have all added their own ingredients, and come to a

resolution on these ingredients and the level of each. Once this is done, then

it is time for external negotiations. I will use the cooking of a pie as a

simile for the bargaining process to outline my views. In this way I hope to

outline the reasons as they are presented in the article in my own way as I

understand and agree with them. As it was rationalized in the article, external

negotiations must be completely different process. Just as one doesn?t add

more ingredients to a pie after it?s put in the oven, internal bickering

within a group of what should have or shouldn?t have gone into the pie has no

place in the negotiations with the other party. Sure it is possible to change

the ovens cooking time and even add new ideas to the pie before entering the

oven, if that is what is needed to form an agreement. But as stated before, the

pie represents the interests (hopefully the best interests.) of the group, and

thus external negotiations should be keep out of the directions to make it. That

being said, external negotiations will usually have conflicts within them due

the large chance that the two party?s interests are usually in conflict. One

groups pie will bake in 5 minutes while the other?s needs 10 minutes due to

the ingredients in the pies, and thus the oven temperature will need to be

addressed. This is when each group must appoint a ?chef.? These people

should know all the ingredients within each other pies as well as why they were

put in the pies in the first place. They need to be an expert in how to shape

the oven so that both groups pie with be baked to their mutual satisfaction, but

yet work together in hopes the ?BATNA? has be reached. To do this the chefs

(negotiators) must work together, they a partisans, try to find out how using

the ingredients of each group will be baked into the pies without wreaking the

pies or causing one of them to be burnt. One other major importance is the chefs

will have to understand that some ingredients of the pies may have to be

rearranged or taken out to reach an agreement. The chefs will need to share in

this process, but as it is likely to occur, each pie may have ?secret?

ingredients or amounts within them that either chef may not want to revel. When

this happens it can cause serious problems as to what the optimum temperature is

going to be, so disclosing the ingredient may come around, but the amount of the

ingredient may be left out and thus making it possible to reach a solution. (Or

vice-versa) If these problems come to a head, it needs to be up to the chefs to

individually address their respective groups responsible for the insertion of

the ingredients and advise them the needs for altercations. It is hopeful each

group has appointed a chef with lots of ?cooking? experience in getting the

pies fit for human consumption, and to each of the group?s tastes. Agents -

Hidden Agenda or Strategic Tool? As I read over this article, several points

were made in both directions leaning towards the use of agents and also why the

use of agents can also hamper ones negotiation. I will overview what I thought

were the key points in both views and then expand them with my views on each. As

outlined in the article, the obvious effect of agents is the complication that

the agents cause in the transactions. The principals are not personally

interacting with the party they are trying to bargain with. This may in turn

limit the principal?s input and knowledge as well limit the agent?s

usefulness if they do not properly understand the principal?s views and

limits. A break down in communication, representation and coordination are all

increased with the use of agents, and can multiple as the number of people

representing the principal increases. This came be especially the case when

dealing in a negotiation in which a lot of bargaining goes on and the different

principals mediating between agents becomes very complex such as in a lease or

business takeover. It could become over complex in the technicalities of the

deal and loose sight of the real goals the principals are after. There are other

strong points of view made in the article which caution the use of agents,

foremost being agents may have alternative motives. When I read the article I

came to agree that these are plausible arguments which one must take into

account. First, if agent may have alternative motives on top of the ones you

have hired him/her to work towards, the two motives may in fact conflict. The

agent depending on the level of conflict may be able to negotiate around them,

or settle on something less then perfect for the principal so that the agent can

reap future rewards. The example used in the article is that of a lawyer who is

paid by the hour. The longer he works the more he is paid, so even though he

could of reached an agreement in 5 hours of negotiating, he takes 9 and the

principle fits the bill in the end. That being said, the other hand shows many

useful reasons for incorporating an agent into ones negotiation tactics. The

first and in my opinion the foremost reason is an agents expertise in the area

the principal may be negotiating in. The article outlines 3 different

?stripes? of expertise: Substantive knowledge, Process expertise, and

Special influence. All 3 have excellent points and depending on the situation

the principal is in many help the principal immensely. Thus in my view when the

situation calls for the use of an agent it is mostly if not always wise to

consider using one. If I for one were arrested for Tax Fraud, I would want a tax

lawyer to help me out. Likewise if I?m pulling for a seat on city council and

I had a friend on it already, then I would be inclined to ask for his help and

to pull some strings for me. This brings the point of tactical flexibility. In

it, agents can play key roles between the principal and the other party, either

by playing the agent in a role of ambassador with no real power and thus

collaborating against another party. The article quotes many phrases for example

such as the ?stalking horse? or ?good cop/ bad cop ploys.? All these are

good suggests for using agents, but only when the ideas call for it and could be

used effectively. There would be no real point in using a tactical flex plan on

another party who has nothing significant or personally important to gain or

lose from the deal, it would be implausible and the principal using the agent

would most likely lose out in the long run. There are other strong reasons for

leading towards representation, one being the nice and pleasant process of

divorce. As outlined in the article, when the opposing principals have problems

between them and negotiating a deal between them is hampered by interaction, it

would be advisable to seek representatives to handle the talks. The main point

would be that human nature can call emotions onto the playing field between two

ex-lovers opposed to two formal lawyers a lot more often and for a deal to be

signed with any fairness and rationality one would need outside help. Overall

the use of agents boils down to the given situation. In most cases when the

principal is either over this head or even looking for an angle over the other

party then an agent can be considered useful, but as outlined above, the agent

may cause more problems their they?re worth. In my opinion it?s a scale one

needs to be weighed on an individual base, and then determined if an agent is

needed and then if needed, what type of agent would produce the best results.


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