Negotiation is a conflict resolution mechanism that aims to solve a problem by addressing the interest and views of each of the conflicting sides. The three major negotiation models include integrative negotiation (win-win approach), distributive negotiation (win-lose approach), and the lose-lose model.
The integrative negotiation model involves close collaboration and cooperation of the parties involved in the conflict. The resources involved in the negotiation process are divided equally between the conflicting individuals such that they contribute equally to finding the solution.
The integrative approach aims to find a resolution that favors the interest of all the individuals involved by maximizing joint outcomes. This model can be best applied in a conflict between employees and the management of an organization about a pay rise. The approach can be employed to arrive at an amicable solution that addresses the concerns of the employees and the management.
Distributive negotiation is a win-lose approach where the interests of one party prevail over the interests of the other. This negotiation model is also referred to as zero-sum negotiation because the terms of negotiations are always fixed.
Only the party that meets the terms of the negotiation wins while the other party loses. In this approach, the parties aim to get closer to their objectives. The party with a competitive advantage often wins because it achieves its goal at the expense of the other.
For instance, this approach can be applied between a buyer and a seller. While buyers want to spend as little as they can, sellers want to earn as much. In this case, the seller may sell the product at a price that they either lose while the buyer wins or the buyer loses while the seller wins.
Lastly, the lose-lose approach is often employed when the parties’ level of disagreement outweighs the need for a common solution. In this case, one party may feel threatened when the other party’s interests are addressed. Therefore, the party foregoes its interests so that the other party does not win. This model does not offer a long-term solution to the conflict because the possibility of another conflict is often high.
The lose-lose approach may be applied where two organizations are conflicting on a particular product or service price. One organization decides to cut the price significantly to attract customers. The other organization responds by lowering the prices even further. In the end, both organizations suffer losses.
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