Think Globally, Act Locally: Towards an Adaptive Model of Dyadic Negotiations in Organizations
46 Pages Posted: 19 May 2003
Negotiation is a process through which two or more parties who disagree or are in conflict seek to reach agreement. In this article, we argue that the process of resolving such conflicts is an adaptive one, in which the actions taken by negotiators play a critical role. To fully understand how negotiators obtain mutually beneficial solutions, it is necessary to understand not only the context in which negotiations occur but also how negotiators' strategic choices shape the negotiating context. We analyze the reciprocal relationships between the negotiation context, negotiators' strategic decisions and their outcomes. To do this, we differentiate two levels of action, local and global, that negotiators can take. The two levels of action describe immediate and longer-term strategic behaviours that can either sustain or transform the negotiating context. We examine how congruence between these levels of action is shaped by context (negotiators' goals) and how it in turn shapes outcomes. Building off negotiation and communication theory, we develop a model of negotiation that explicitly considers the relationships between context, action and outcomes. Drawing on negotiation research, we develop a set of propositions about these relationships and discuss their theoretical and practical implications.
Keywords: Dyadic Negotiations, Communication Processes, Negotiation Theory
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