The Process of Assisted Negotiations: A Network Analysis
Group Decision and Negotiation, 2:117-135 (1992)
19 Pages Posted: 19 Nov 2015 Last revised: 19 Feb 2016
Date Written: 1992
This article introduces network analysis as a supplement to current research on the process of negotiations. We briefly review the literature on negotiations involving third parties, and argue that to understand fully the dynamics of dispute resolution, it is important to examine processes in addition to outcomes. We propose social network methods as a way to examine systematically the step-by-step process through which self-interested third parties influence negotiated outcomes. To illustrate, we analyze process data from triads in an agent-assisted negotiation. We describe three classes of results. First, we describe the basic properties of the third-party-assisted negotiation process (e.g., we found agents to be the most active players in the negotiation process - they initiate interactions significantly more frequently than buyers or sellers). Second, we study the changes in the process characteristics due to experimental conditions (i.e., we found the interactive patterns to vary depending on the information made available to the third party). Finally, we examine the relationships between the systematic process measures and standard outcome measures. We argue that these measures are complementary, and that the process should be informative with respect to interpreting, predicting, and managing outcomes.
Keywords: Negotiations, Agents, Network Analysis
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