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Integrative Negotiation
Adapted from:
Lewicki, Roy J., Saunders, David M., and Minton,
John W., Essentials of Negotiation, Irwin McGraw-Hill, Boston, 1997
ISBN#: 0-256-24168-6
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What is Integrative Negotiation ?
• Integrative Negotiation - win-win bargaining.
• It is possible for both sides to achieve their objectives
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Distributive Vs. Integrative Negotiation
Flow of information
Create a free and open flow,
share information openly
Conceal information, or use it
selectively and strategically
Understanding the other
Attempt to understand what the
other side really wants and
Make no effort to understand the
other side, or use the
information to gain strategic
Attention to commonalities and
Emphasized common goals,
objectives, interests
Emphasize differences in goals,
objectives, interests
Focus on solutions
Search for solutions that meet
the needs of both (all) sides
Search for solutions that meet
own needs or even block the
other from meeting their needs
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Key Processes to Achieving Integrative Neg.
• Key 1: Creating a Free Flow of Information - effective
information exchange promotes the development of good
integrative solutions
• For this open dialogue to occur, negotiators must:
• Be willing to reveal their true objectives
• Listen carefully to the other negotiator
• Create the conditions for a free and open discussion of
all related issues and concerns.
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Key Processes to Achieving Integrative Neg.
• How is this different from distributive bargaining?
• Parties distrust one another
• Conceal and manipulate information
• Attempt to learn information about the other for their
own competitive advantage.
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Key Processes to Achieving Integrative Neg.
• Key 2: Attempting to Understand the Other Negotiator's
Real Needs and Objectives
• If you are to help satisfy another's needs, you must first
understand them.
• Parties must make a true effort to understand what the
other side really wants to achieve.
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Key Processes to Achieving Integrative Neg.
• How is this different from distributive bargaining?
• Negotiator either makes no effort to understand what the
other side really wants or uses this information to
challenge, undermine, or even deny the other the
opportunity to have those needs and objectives met.
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Key Processes to Achieving Integrative Neg.
• Key 3: Emphasizing the Commonalties between the Parties
and Minimizing the Differences
• In integrative negotiation, individual goals may need to be
redefined as best achievable through collaborative efforts
that achieve a broader collective goal.
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Key Processes to Achieving Integrative Neg.
• For example, politicians in the same party may recognize
that their petty squabbles must be put aside to assure the
party's victory at the polls.
• The phrase "Politics makes strange bedfellows" suggests
that the quest for victory can unite political enemies into
larger coalitions that will be assured of political victory.
• Similarly, managers who are quarreling over cutbacks in
their individual department budgets may need to recognize
that unless all departments sustain budget cuts, they will be
unable to change an unprofitable firm into a profitable one.
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Key Processes to Achieving Integrative Neg.
• Key 4: Searching for Solutions That Meet the Goals and
Objectives of Both Sides
• Negotiators must be firm but flexible - they must be firm
about their primary interests and needs, but flexible about
the manner in which these interests and needs are met
through solutions.
• What if the parties have traditionally held a combative,
competitive orientation toward each other?
• They are more prone to be concerned, only with their own
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Key Processes to Achieving Integrative Neg.
• Key 4: Searching for Solutions That Meet the Goals and
Objectives of Both Sides
• Concern with the other's objectives may be in one of two
1. To make sure that what the other obtains does not take
away from one's own accomplishments
2. To attempt to block the other from obtaining objectives
because of a strong desire to win and even defeat the
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Key Processes to Achieving Integrative Neg.
• Key 4: Searching for Solutions That Meet the Goals and
Objectives of Both Sides
• Successful integrative negotiation requires each negotiator:
– To define and pursue her own goals
– To be mindful of the, other's goals
– To search for solutions that will meet and satisfy the
goals of both sides.
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Key Stages in the Integrative Negotiation Process
• There are four major steps in the integrative negotiation
1. Identifying and defining the problem
2. Understanding the problem and bringing interests and
needs to the surface
3. Generating alternative solutions to the problem
4. Choosing a specific solution from among those alternatives.
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Stage 1: Identifying and Defining The Problem
Step 1: Define the problem in a way that is mutually acceptable to both sides
• Parties should enter the integrative negotiation process with
few if any preconceptions about the solution and with open
minds about the other negotiator's needs.
• Why does this rarely occur?
• An understandable and widely held fear is that during the
problem definition process, the other party is manipulating
information and discussion in order to state the problem for
his own advantage.
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Stage 1: Identifying and Defining The Problem
Step 1: Define the problem in a way that is mutually acceptable to both sides
For positive problem solving to occur:
• Both parties must be committed to stating the problem in
neutral terms.
• The problem statement must be mutually acceptable to
both sides and not stated so that it favors the preferences
or priorities of one side over the other.
• The parties may be required to work the problem statement
over several times until each side agrees upon its wording.
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Step 2: Keep the Problem Statement Clean and Simple
• The major focus of an integrative agreement is to solve the
primary problem.
• Secondary issues and concerns should be raised only if
they are inextricably bound up with the primary problem.
• This approach is in stark contrast to the distributive
bargaining process, in which the parties are encouraged to
"beef up" their positions by bringing in a large number of
secondary issues and concerns so they can trade these
items off during the hard bargaining phase.
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Step 2: Keep the Problem Statement Clean and Simple
• What if there are several issues on the table in an
integrative negotiation?
• The parties may want to clearly identify the linkages among
the issues and decide whether they will be approached as
separate problems (which may be packaged together later)
or redefined as one larger problem.
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Step 3: State the problem as a goal and identify the obstacles
to attaining this goal
• It is important for the parties to create this specific goal
mutually, rather than having one side introduce it
• What if only one side introduces it and defines it
• It will be perceived by the other as a distributive
bargaining tactic.
• Problem definition should then proceed to specify what
obstacles must be overcome for the goal to be attained.
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Step 4: Depersonalize the problem
• When parties are engaged in conflict, they tend to become
evaluative and judgment.
• They view their own actions, strategies, and preferences in
a positive light and the other party's actions, strategies, and
preferences in a negative light.
• As a result, when negotiators attempt the integrative
negotiation process, their evaluative judgments of the value
or worth of the opponent's preferences can get in the way of
clear and dispassionate thinking, simply because the other
happens to own those preferences
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Step 4: Depersonalize the problem
• Viewing the situation as "your point of view is
wrong and mine is right" inhibits the integrative
negotiation process because we cannot attack
the problem without attacking the person who
"owns" the problem.
• By depersonalizing the definition of the problemstating, for example, that "there is a difference of
viewpoints on this problem"-both sides can
approach the difference as a problem "out
there," rather than as one they personally own.
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Step 5: Separate the problem definition
from the search for solutions
• Don't jump to solutions until the problem is fully defined.
• In distributive bargaining, negotiators are encouraged to
state the problem in terms of their preferred solution and
to make concessions from this most desired alternative.
• In contrast, the integrative negotiation process cannot
work unless negotiators avoid premature solutions (which
probably favor one side or the other).
• Negotiators should fully define the problem and examine
all the possible alternative solutions.
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Stage 2: Understand the Problem Fully-Identify
Interests and Needs
• A key to achieving an integrative agreement is the ability of
the parties to get at each other's interests
• Interests are different from positions in that interests are the
underlying concerns, needs, desires, or fears behind a
negotiator's position that motivate the negotiator to take that
• Although negotiators may have difficulty satisfying each
other's specific positions, an understanding of underlying
interests may permit them to invent solutions that meet
those interests.
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Stage 2: Understand the Problem Fully-Identify
Interests and Needs
• Example: Two men quarreling in a library.
• One wants the window open and the other wants it
closed. They bicker back and forth about how much to
leave it open: a crack, halfway, three-quarters of the way.
No solution satisfies them both.
• Enter the librarian. She asks one why he wants the
window open. "To get some fresh air." She asks the other
why he wants it closed. "To avoid the draft '" After
thinking a minute, she opens wide a window in the next
room, bringing in fresh air without a draft.
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Stage 2: Understand the Problem Fully-Identify
Interests and Needs
• Example: Two men quarreling in a library.
• Their positions are "window open" and "window closed"
• If they continue to pursue positional bargaining, the set of
possible outcomes can either be a victory for the one who
wants the window open, a victory for the one who wants it
shut, or some form of a compromise in which neither gets
what he wants.
• Note that a compromise here is more a form of lose-lose
than win-win for these bargainers because one party
believes that he won't get enough fresh air with the
window open halfway, whereas the other views it as a
loss because any opening will create a draft.
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Stage 2: Understand the Problem Fully-Identify
Interests and Needs
• Example: Two men quarreling in a library.
• The librarian's questions transform the dispute by focusing on
why each man wants the window open or closed: to get fresh
air or to avoid a draft.
• Understanding these interests enables the librarian to invent a
solution that meets the interests of both sides-a solution that
was not at all apparent when they continued to argue over
their positions.
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Stage 2: Understand the Problem Fully-Identify
Interests and Needs
• Interests are motivators-the underlying needs, concerns,
and desires that lead us to set a particular position.
• In integrative negotiation, we need to pursue the negotiator's
thinking and logic to determine the factors that motivated her
to arrive at those points.
• The presumption is that if both parties understand the
motivating factors for the other, they may recognize possible
compatibilities in interests that permit them to invent
positions which both will endorse as an acceptable
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Stage 3: Generate Alternative Solutions
• Search for alternatives is the creative phase of integrative
• Two techniques to help negotiators generate alternative
• Generating Alternative Solutions by Redefining the
Problem or Problem Set - requires the negotiators to
redefine, recast, or reframe the problem (or problem set) so
as to create win-win alternatives out of what earlier
appeared to be a win-lose problem.
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Stage 3: Generate Alternative Solutions
• Generating Alternative Solutions to the Problem as Given takes the problem as given and creates a long list of
alternative options, from which negotiators can choose a
particular option.
• In integrative negotiation over a complex problem, both
approaches may be used and intertwined.
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Generating Alternative Solutions by Redefining the
Problem or Problem Set
• The approaches in this category recommend that the
parties specifically define their underlying needs and
develop alternatives to successfully meet them
– Expand the Pie
– Logroll
– Use Nonspecific Compensation.
– Cut the Costs for Compliance.
– Find a Bridge Solution.
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Expand the Pie
• Add resources in such a way that both sides can
achieve their objectives
• Assumes that simply enlarging the resources will solve
the problem.
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• Successful logrolling requires that the parties establish
(or find) more than one issue in conflict
• The parties then agree to trade off these issues so one
party achieves a highly preferred outcome on the first
issue and the other person achieves a highly preferred
outcome on the second issue.
• If the parties do in fact have different preferences on
different issues, each party gets his most preferred
outcome on his high priority issue and should be happy
with the overall agreement.
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• Logrolling is frequently done by trial and error, as the parties
experiment with various packages of offers that will satisfy
both sides.
• The parties must first establish which issues are at stake and
then decide their individual priorities on these issues.
• If there are already at least two issues on the table, then any
combination of two or more issues may be suitable for
• If it appears initially that only one issue is at stake, the parties
may need to engage in "unbundling" or "unlinking" of a single
issue into two or more issues, which may then permit the
logrolling process to begin.
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Use Nonspecific Compensation
• Allow one person to obtain his objectives and pay off the
other person for accommodating his interests.
• This payoff may be unrelated to the substantive negotiation,
but the party who receives it nevertheless views it as
adequate for acceding to the other party's preferences.
• For nonspecific compensation to work, the person doing the
compensating needs to know what is valuable to the other
person and how seriously the other is inconvenienced (i.e.,
how much compensation is needed to make the other feel
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Cut the Costs for Compliance
• Through cost cutting, one party achieves her objectives and
the other's costs are minimized if he agrees to go along.
• Unlike nonspecific compensation, where the compensated
party simply receives something for going along, cost-cutting
tactics are specifically designed to minimize the other party's
costs and suffering.
• The technique is thus more sophisticated than logrolling or
nonspecific compensation because it requires a more
intimate knowledge of the other party's real needs and
preferences (the party's interests, what really matters to him,
how his needs can be more specifically met).
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Find a Bridge Solution
• The parties are able to invent new options that meet each
side's needs
• Successful bringing requires a fundamental reformulation of
the problem such that the parties are no longer squabbling
over their positions; instead, they are disclosing sufficient
information to discover their interests and needs and then
inventing options that will satisfy both parties' needs
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Generating Alternative Solutions to
the Problem as Given
• The success of these approaches relies on the principle
that groups of people are frequently better problem
solvers than single individuals, particularly because
groups provide a wider number of perspectives on the
problem and hence can invent a greater variety of ways
to solve it.
• Brainstorming
• Nominal Groups
• Surveys
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Communication Techniques
• Negotiators need to be able to signal to the other side
the positions on which they are firm and the positions
on which they are willing to be flexible.
1. Use contentious (competitive) tactics to establish and
determine basic interests, rather than using them to
demand a particular position or solution to the dispute.
State what you want clearly.
2. Send signals of flexibility and concern about your
willingness to address the other party's interests.
"Acknowledge their interests as part of the problem." In
doing so, you communicate that you have your own
interests at stake but are willing to try to address the
other's as well.
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Communication Techniques
3. Indicate a willingness to change your proposals if a way
can be found to bridge the two parties' interests
4. Demonstrate a problem-solving capacity
5. Maintain open communication channels. Do not
eliminate opportunities to communicate and work
together, if only to demonstrate continually that you are
willing to work with the other party
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Communication Techniques
6. Reaffirm what is most important to you through the use of deterrent
statements-for example,
"I need to attain this;"
"This is a must; this cannot be touched or changed."
These statements communicate to the other that a particular interest is
fundamental to your position, but it does not necessarily mean that
the other's interests can't be satisfied as well.
7. Reexamine any aspects of your interests that are clearly
unacceptable to the other party and determine if they are still
essential to your fundamental position. It is rare that negotiators will
find that they truly disagree on basic interests.
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Stage 4: Evaluation and Selection of Alternatives
• Evaluate the options generated during the previous
phase and to select the best alternatives for
implementing them.
• Negotiators will need to determine criteria for judging
the options and then rank order or weigh each option
against the criteria.
• The parties will be required to engage in some form of
decision-making process, in which they debate the
relative merits of each side's preferred options and
come to agreement on the best options.
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Stage 4: Evaluation and Selection of Alternatives
• Narrow the Range of Solution Options.
– Examine the list of options generated and focus on the
options that are strongly supported by any negotiator.
• Evaluate Solutions on the Basis of Quality and
• Solutions should be judged on two major criteria:
how good they are, and how acceptable will they
be to those who have to implement them. These
are the same two dimensions that research has
revealed to be critical in effective participative
decision making in organizations.
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