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Two types of conflict

1. Constructive (task-oriented) conflict
2. Relationship (socioemotional) conflict


Constructive (task-oriented) conflict

• Parties focus on the issue while maintaining respect for
people having other points of view.
• Try to understand the logic and assumptions of each


Relationship (socioemotional) conflict

• Parties focus on personal characteristics (not issues) as
the source of conflict.
• Try to undermine each other’s worth/competence
• Accompanied by strong negative emotions (drive to


Sources of Conflict

1. Incompatible goals: one party’s goals perceived to
interfere with other’s goals
2. Differentiation: different values/beliefs
3. Interdependence: greater chance that parties will
disrupt or interfere with each other
4. Scarce resources: motives competition
5. Ambiguous rules: create uncertainty, encourage
political tactics
6. Communication problems: increase stereotyping,
escalates conflict


Conflict Handling Strategies

1. Problem Solving
2. Forcing
3. Avoiding
4. Yielding
5. Compromising


Problem Solving

• Best when:
- Interests are not perfectly opposing
- Parties have trust/openness
- Issues are complex
• Problems: takes time; costly



• Best when:
- you have a deep conviction about your position
- quick resolution required
- other party would take advantage of cooperation
• Problems: relationship conflict, long-term relations



• Best when:
- conflict is emotionally-charged (relationship conflict)
- conflict resolution cost is higher than benefits
• Problems: doesn’t resolve conflict, frustration



• Best when:
- other party has much more power
- issue is much less important to you than other party
- value/logic of your position is imperfect
• Problems: increases other’s expectations; imperfect solution



• Best when:
- Parties have equal power
- Quick solution is required
- Parties lack trust/openness
• Problem: Sub-optimal solution where mutual gains are possible


Distributive Neotiation Techniques

1. Managing First Offers
2. Managing Time
3. Managing Concessions


Managing First Offers

- Anchoring:
- Making a first offer that’s very favorable to you
- Prepare and share a legitimate rationale
- Use precise numbers
- Re-anchoring:
- Making a counter-offer based on your target price
- Ask counterpart to explain reasoning
- Ask counterpart to try again (flinch, stare, and wait
for a response)
- Threaten to walk away (but only if you’re willing to
do it)


Managing Time

- Apply time pressure through an “exploding offer”
- Motivate the other party to accept the offer
- Forfeit the opportunity to explore their BATNA
- Or prolong the process to obtain the other party’s
- Reduce the possibility of “no deal”


Managing Concessions

- Allow yourself room to make concessions
- Be flexible on issues that are less important to you
- Signal information with your concessions
- Size and sequencing: make your concessions
smaller as you approach your goal
- Develop a rationale around each of your concessions
- Make bi-lateral, not uni-lateral concessions
- Don’t reward stubborn behavior


Integrative Negotiation Techniques

1. Sharing Information Selectively
2. Discovering Priorities
3. Packaging Issues


Sharing Information Selectively

- “Mutual striptease”: start by revealing a small amount
or an unimportant piece of information
- Signals trustworthiness to counterpart
- Motivates counterpart to reciprocate
- Protects you from being too vulnerable
- Base reactions on tit-for-tat
- If counterpart shares, reciprocate
- If counterpart withholds, protect your interests


Discovering Priorities

- Ask counterpart “why this is important to you?”
- Understand counterpart’s interests
-Reveal priorities among issues
- Share relative importance: “Certain part of an
orange is most important to me, then price, and
then delivery time”
- Ask counterpart to rank order as well
- Add value by considering what other resources
and assets you can offer


Packaging Issues

- Make multi-issue offers
- Reveals information about counterpart’s
preferences : “what did you like and dislike about
my proposal?” (issueby-issue becomes sequential
distributive negotiation)
- Promote creative ways to increase resources
available toboth sides
- Make multiple offers simultaneously
- Focuses attention on comparing offers and moving
toward agreement, rather than on yes/no


Distributive vs. Integrative

- Win/Lose: Search for solutions that meet own needs
- Conceal information or use it selectively and strategically
- Positions
- Focus on single issues
- Competitive
- Short-term relationship

- Win/Win: Search for solutions that meet both parties’ needs
- Share information more openly
- Interests
- Focus on multiple issues
- Cooperative problem-solving
- Long-term relationship