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Negotiation Analysis: A Characterization and Review


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  • James K. Sebenius

    (John F. Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University, Cambridge, Massachusetts 02138)

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    "Negotiation analysis" seeks to develop prescriptive theory and useful advice for negotiators and third parties. It generally emphasizes the parties' underlying interests (as distinct from the issues on the table and the positions taken), alternatives to negotiated agreement, approaches to productively manage the inherent tension between competitive actions to "claim" value individually and cooperative ones to "create" value jointly, as well as efforts to change perceptions of the game itself. Since advice to one side does not necessarily presume the full game-theoretic rationality of the other side(s), negotiation analysts often draw on the findings of behavioral decision analysts and economists. Further, this approach does not generally assume that all the elements of the "game" are common knowledge. Thus, the negotiation analytic approach tends to de-emphasize the application of game-theoretic solution concepts or efforts to find unique equilibrium outcomes. Instead, to evaluate possible strategies and tactics, negotiation analysts generally focus on changes in perceptions of the "zone of possible agreement" and the (subjective) distribution of possible negotiated outcomes conditional on various actions. This approach is especially sensitive to potentially unrealized joint gains. It has been used to develop prescriptive advice for the simplest bilateral negotiations between monolithic parties, for negotiations through agents or with linked "internal" and "external" aspects, for negotiations in hierarchies and networks, as well as for more complex coalitional interactions.

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    Bibliographic Info

    Article provided by INFORMS in its journal Management Science.

    Volume (Year): 38 (1992)
    Issue (Month): 1 (January)
    Pages: 18-38

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    Handle: RePEc:inm:ormnsc:v:38:y:1992:i:1:p:18-38

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    Related research

    Keywords: negotiation analysis; game theory: equilibrium concepts; common knowledge; behavioral decision analysis; negotiation; bargaining;


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    Cited by:
    1. Moon, Yongma & Yao, Tao & Park, Sungsoon, 2011. "Price negotiation under uncertainty," International Journal of Production Economics, Elsevier, vol. 134(2), pages 413-423, December.
    2. de Groot, Roland B.A. & Hermans, Leon M., 2009. "Broadening the picture: Negotiating payment schemes for water-related environmental services in the Netherlands," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 68(11), pages 2760-2767, September.
    3. Matthias G. Raith, 1998. "Fair-Negotiation Procedures," Working Papers 300, Bielefeld University, Center for Mathematical Economics.
    4. Andrea Morone & Serena Sandri & Tobias Uske, 2007. "On the absorbability of the Guessing Game Theory. A Theoretical and Experimental Analysis," series 0017, Dipartimento di Scienze Economiche e Metodi Matematici - Università di Bari, revised Apr 2007.
    5. Vetschera, Rudolf, 2009. "Learning about preferences in electronic negotiations - A volume-based measurement method," European Journal of Operational Research, Elsevier, vol. 194(2), pages 452-463, April.
    6. Trötschel, Roman & Bündgens, Silke & Hüffmeier, Joachim & Loschelder, David D., 2013. "Promoting prevention success at the bargaining table: Regulatory focus in distributive negotiations," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 38(C), pages 26-39.
    7. G.E. Kersten & S.J. Noronha, 1997. "Negotiation Via the World Wide Web: A Cross-Cultural Study of Decision Making," Working Papers ir97052, International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis.
    8. Emin Karagözoglu & Arno Riedl, 2010. "Information, Uncertainty, and Subjective Entitlements in Bargaining," CESifo Working Paper Series 3133, CESifo Group Munich.
    9. Mouzas, Stefanos & Ford, David, 2006. "Managing relationships in showery weather: The role of umbrella agreements," Journal of Business Research, Elsevier, vol. 59(12), pages 1248-1256, November.
    10. Rasmusen, E., 1994. "A Model of Negotiation, not Bargainig," Papers 94-007, Indiana - Center for Econometric Model Research.
    11. Raith, Matthias G., 2000. "Fair-negotiation procedures," Mathematical Social Sciences, Elsevier, vol. 39(3), pages 303-322, May.
    12. G.E. Kersten & S.J. Noronha, 1997. "Rational Agents, Contract Curves, and Inefficient Compromises Report," Working Papers ir97050, International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis.
    13. G.E. Kersten & S.J. Noronha, 1997. "Supporting International Negotiation with a WWW-Based System," Working Papers ir97049, International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis.
    14. Heiskanen, Pirja & Ehtamo, Harri & Hamalainen, Raimo P., 2001. "Constraint proposal method for computing Pareto solutions in multi-party negotiations," European Journal of Operational Research, Elsevier, vol. 133(1), pages 44-61, August.


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