… a core concept in Leadership Skills and Atlas 109

negotiation2Concept description

Oxford Dictionaries defines negotiation as “discussion aimed at reaching agreement.”

Writing in Beyond Intractability (reference below), Michelle Maiese says:

“Negotiation theorists make several overlapping distinctions about approaches to negotiation. Fisher, Ury, and Patton distinguish between positional bargaining (see, which is competitive, and interest-based bargaining or principled negotiation (see, which is primarily cooperative. But they also make the distinction between soft, hard, and principled negotiation, the latter of which is neither soft, nor hard, but based on cooperative principles which look out for oneself as well as one’s opponent. Morton Deutsch also makes the distinction between competitive and cooperative approaches (see”

Maiese notes that, following Deutsch, the most important factors that determine whether an individual will approach a conflict cooperatively or competitively are the nature of the dispute and the goals each side seeks to achieve. Often the two sides’ goals are linked together, or interdependent. The parties’ interaction will be shaped by whether this interdependence is positive or negative. According to Deutsch:

  • Goals with positive interdependence are tied together in such a way that the chance of one side attaining its goal is increased by the other side’s attaining its goal. Positively interdependent goals normally result in cooperative approaches to negotiation, because any participant can “attain his goal if, and only if, the others with whom he is linked can attain their goals.”
  • On the other hand, negative interdependence means the chance of one side attaining its goal is decreased by the other’s success. Negatively interdependent goals force competitive situations, because the only way for one side to achieve its goals and “win” is for the other side to “lose.”

Oxford Dictionaries, at, accessed 24 March 2014.

Michelle Maiese (2003), Negotiation, in Beyond Intractability, at, accessed 24 March 2016. Referenced sources are: Roger Fisher, William Ury, Getting to Yes: Negotiating Agreement Without Giving In, 2nd edition, ed. Bruce Patton, (New York: Penguin Books, 1991) and Morton Deutsch, “Cooperation and Competition,” in The Handbook of Conflict Resolution: Theory and Practice, eds. Morton Deutsch and Peter Coleman (San Francisco: Jossey-Bass Publishers, 2000).

Atlas topic and subject

Negotiating (core topic) in Leadership Skills.

Page created by: Ian Clark, last modified on 25 March 2016.

Image:, at, accessed 24 March 2016.