Integrative Negotiation or Win-Win Approach
Negotiation is the process of making joint decisions when the parties involved in negotiation have different and opposing preferences. Negotiation has special significance in situations of conflict, whether it is a conflict between union and management in organizations or between countries such as China and Japan where negotiations may be required to resolve the conflict over the disputed island.
Conflicts and disagreements are likely to arise in work settings over such diverse matters as wages, performance evaluation, working conditions, job assignments, work schedules and so on.
This negotiation approach is also called as collaborative or creating value approach. It is superior to all negotiation approaches. It results in both parties feeling that they are achieving what they wanted. It results in satisfaction for both parties.
Characteristics of Integrative Negotiations
Integrative negotiation is a process in which the negotiating parties jointly work towards goals that are not mutually exclusive so that one party does not necessarily gain at the expense of the other. The approach of the parties is to work together to find out ways to utilize the resources in the best possible manner for the benefit of both parties. They engage in problem-solving jointly to arrive at a mutual agreement that maximizes the benefit to each party.
Integrative negotiation has two aspects to it. One is the substantive part that includes the tangible issues to be discussed and negotiated. The other aspect is the intrinsic value in the agreement, that may be long-term cordial relationship between the parties or other benefits to both parties not directly related to the substance of the issues involved. Thus, it has an important dimension of building relationships.
The foundations for gaining truly integrative agreements rest on the following elements:
- Supportive Attitudes
A supportive attitude requires that each party must be willing sincerely to trust the other party. This trust is based upon moral and ethical dimensions. Second, each party must be willing to share all relevant information with the other party, openly and honestly.
- Behavioral Foundations
It is very important for the parties not to be emotional or personal. They must focus on issues and interests and not on positions and positions should be modified when necessary. The parties should avoid making premature judgments and should be willing to objectively look at the views offered by each party.
- Information Foundation
These foundations involve each party becoming familiar with the ‘best alternative to a negotiated agreement’ or BATNA. This means that each party must know and be prepared for an alternative in case a settlement is not reached. It is important for each party to know what any other methods the opposing party will pursue in case the negotiations fail.
Not knowing the other party’s values and approach could put one party in a weaker position. If any of the two parties has a better alternative to a negotiated settlement, such a party would be in a stronger position. Accordingly, it is necessary to have as much information about the other party’s plans as possible.