STRM060 International Business Negotiation Negotiation as a Daily Activity for Everyone


1.0 Introduction

In modern human life, the concept of negotiation is often attributed to other big terms such as contracts, compensation, or benefits. Nevertheless, negotiation is part and parcel of everyone’s life, and it happens at all times. As noted in Forbes (2018) report, people always negotiate every single day. A common aspect of the negotiations irrespective of their sizes is that they necessitate similar skills and tactics irrespective of their size. Examples of daily negotiations include between a buyer and a seller bargaining of a product, performance appraisal between an appraiser and appraisee, and a family negotiation on whether to make a specific purchase or not. As noted in Weiss (1997) study that identified negotiations to have existed since the time homo sapiens became human beings, the ultimate aim of negotiation analysis is predicting, explaining, and finding ways of influencing the outcomes. In the modern practice world, characterised by Volatility, Uncertainty, Complexity, and Ambiguity (VUCA), capacity of effective negotiation and skills for information presentation in a convincing manner is critical. This view by Thornley et al. (2020) is informed by the fact that effective negotiation establishes value, resolving a dispute, and attain the intended result. Taking this into account, this evidenced-based essay aims to critically evaluate whether negotiation skills are the same wherever they are practiced. This is based on Lewicki et al. (2011) statement that “Negotiation is not a process reserved only for the skilled diplomat, top salesperson, or ardent advocate for an organized lobby; it is something that everyone does, almost daily”.

2.0 The Concept of Negotiation

2.1 Meaning of Negotiation

In simple terms, negotiation can be defined as a communication process between two or more people that leads to an agreeable outcome. Thompson et al. (2010) described negotiation as an omnipresent social activity that occurs whenever people can’t meet their objectives without the support of others. According to Zohar (2015), negotiation can be defined as a means of settling disputes or differences or sharing resources between two or more parties performed liberally by free of choice. It can also be said that negotiation is a tool that is used to resolve conflicts or align opposing interests between individuals, businesses, or nations as a whole (Filzmoser et al., 2018). In simple terms Chebet et al. (2015) defined negotiation as a process to obtained what is desired. The outcome of negotiation often depends on factors such as the personality of the negotiators, the amount of information about the particular negotiation. In this environment, the negotiation is to take place and, most importantly, the time factor depending on the urgency of the negotiation. Fox (2013) outlined that the most crucial negotiation that occurs in an individual’s life is a negotiation with himself. That is to self-convinced and self-motivated to reach a particular pleasurable outcome.

In most instances, negotiation is misrepresented with bargaining, which is both significantly distinct concepts. As noted by Mazei et al. (2015), while negotiation is value-based, bargaining focuses on the cost to receive a favourable choice, with negotiation being a win-win situation for the involved parties. Additionally, both aspects represent distinct phases and with the negotiation being applicable in achieving reasonableness in their purpose and rationale for success.

According to these definitions by the different authors, it can be inferred that negotiation happens everywhere and anytime in the simplest of the interactions between two or more parties and that it is not reserved only for formal dealings.

2.2 Negotiation in Daily Life

As identified in the definition, negotiation is influenced by the varying demands of people’s cooperation, resource availability, information sharing, and sourcing support in different areas (Fox, 2013). This is affirmed by Lewicki et al. (2011)  that has noted that life is a series of negotiations and hence have to negotiate from their time of waking up to the time they sleep. To affirm this, Fox (2013) gave examples of a wife and a husband negotiating on how to bring up their children, teachers negotiating with their learners on differences in course content, friends negotiating on dating contexts, and children negotiating with parents on the most favourite toys.

According to Voss et al. (2016), negotiation is not only communication with others but also a practice of compromising individual views and identified as the little voice in a clear head, reality monitoring (Montemayor, 2018) through an inner negotiation. The inner negotiation, as noted by Zhu and Carless (2018), leads to the external negotiation. Additionally, Kaufman et. (2017) note that effective negotiation strategy has a positive implication on mitigating internal conflicts hence improving the daily lives of human beings.

As evidenced by the different referenced authors and personalised experience, internal negotiation is more challenging as opposed to external negotiations. Before engaging in negotiation with others, the initial phase would be internal reality monitoring. The confidence, which is a critical virtual in negotiation is gained from an internal negotiation.

2.3 Negotiation Process

The structuring and approach towards the negotiation process are varying. Based on individual circumstances, flexible approaches to negotiation could be adopted with the number of steps ranging. As noted in Brett (2017), the negotiation strategy is mode dependent on the aspect of culture, which demonstrates more details on the areas of implementation, effectiveness, and challenging situations. Apart from the perspective of culture, Ahammad et al. (2016) noting on the linkage theory identified negotiation process to be influenced by issues of time, environment, personalities, information, individual issues, and hierarchical level. Based on a case by case, negotiators would adopt distinct practices. In this report, a four-stage negotiation process in ESEI (2020), as shown in figure 1 has been adopted.

Figure 1: Negotiation Strategies

Source: Summarised from ESEI (2020)

In the preparation phase, a definite highlight of negotiation objectives is identified with information on other negotiators being sourced and the basis of negotiation. Possession of high-level information is advantageous for an individual to harness their negation process, which is the second phase of exchanging information. As noted by Cao et al. (2018), the rationale of exchanging information is to ensure that the parties in a negotiation process understand each other. For the bargaining phase, the final negotiation outcome is identified, with the last phase being the closing of the process and clarifying the responsibilities. This is affirmed by Crump (2005) on the Linkage theory of negotiation that not that the process ought to be inclusive of establishing the influence of negotiation, managing opportunistic behaviours, managing the negotiation strategy, and gaining efficiency. This is equally affirmed by Crump and Mondiale (2005) study that focuses on linkage theory and points out that the most critical success factor in negotiation is the preparation and planning process.

  2.4 Negotiation Strategies

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