A ‘Grand’ Unified Negotiation Theory… in Context
15 Pages Posted: 13 Jan 2017 Last revised: 11 Aug 2017
Date Written: January 9, 2017
Negotiation research is pursued from the perspectives of a number of disciplines including psychology, organizational behavior, labor relations, decision sciences, game theory, communications, legal studies, international relations, public policy, and others. Added to these are best practices from several fields engaged in intervention in conflicts. By now, the negotiation field has accumulated a considerable volume of wisdom regarding what drives people and entities to negotiate, how they behave when doing so, how they should handle negotiations in order to obtain specific results, and how to help disputants resolve to come to joint, mutually satisfactory decisions. However, negotiation wisdom remains rather distributed in its disciplines and practices of origin. Arguably, negotiation as a field of practice has yet to come together under a shared theoretical umbrella, with a shared vocabulary and broadly agreed-upon propositions and prescriptions valid across the board. In this article, we suggest how such a unified “grand” theory of negotiation might be constructed, and discuss how it would interface with practice across the wide variety of contexts in which it applies.
A Comment on this paper, contrasting and comparing the search for unified theory in the field of negotiation with a similar search for a theory unifying the natural forces in the world of nature, can be found here: http://ssrn.com/abstract=2904570.
Keywords: Negotiation, Communication, Theory, Context, Unified, ADR, Conflict, Mediation
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