The Team Negotiation Challenge: Defining and Managing the Internal Challenges of Negotiating Teams

33 Pages Posted: 14 Nov 2008

Date Written: November 9, 2008


Negotiation teams are widely used to negotiate on behalf of organizations, yet relatively little is known about how they overcome the challenges posed by within team dynamics to create a sound across-the-table team bargaining strategy. This paper presents a two phase analysis of accounts of negotiating team experiences collected from 45 executives. In the first phase we present a qualitative categorization of negotiating team challenges and management strategies. In the second phase we demonstrate that the match between challenges and management strategies and the quality of team process largely depends on how teams manage within team dynamics. Teams are more likely to be able to implement management strategies that match the challenges they face when teams also engage in substantive debates about negotiating team goals; teams are less likely to implement strategies that match team challenges when teams also engage in personality conflicts. Thus, substantive conflict helps rationalize team processes, while personality conflict undermines the development of appropriate team management strategies if not addressed appropriately.

Suggested Citation

Behfar, Kristin and Friedman, Raymond A. and Brett, Jeanne M., The Team Negotiation Challenge: Defining and Managing the Internal Challenges of Negotiating Teams (November 9, 2008). IACM 21st Annual Conference Paper, Available at SSRN: or

Kristin Behfar (Contact Author)

University of California, Irvine ( email )

Paul Merage School of Business
Irvine, CA California 92697-3125
United States

Raymond A. Friedman

Vanderbilt University - Organizational Behavior ( email )

401 21st Avenue South
Nashville, TN 37203
United States
615-322-3992 (Phone)
615-343-7177 (Fax)


Jeanne M. Brett

Northwestern University - Kellogg School of Management ( email )

2001 Sheridan Road
Evanston, IL 60208
United States
847-491-8075 (Phone)
847-491-8896 (Fax)