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Definition of Organizational Conflict: Organizational conflict is a state of discord caused by the actual or perceived opposition of needs, values and

interests between people working together. Conflict takes many forms in organizations. There is the inevitable clash between formal authority and power and those individuals and groups affected. There are disputes over how revenues should be divided, how the work should be done, and how long and hard people should work. There are jurisdictional disagreements among individuals, departments, and between unions and management. There are subtler forms of conflict involving rivalries, jealousies, personality clashes, role definitions, and struggles for power and favor. There is also conflict within individuals between competing needs and demands to which individuals respond in different ways. Every organization encounters conflicts on a daily basis. The conflicts cannot be avoided, but it is possible to manage them in a way that we recognize them on time. It is necessary to continuously track the organizational signals which point to their existence. If we do not react duly, this can lead to the situation that the conflict itself manages the organization. One of the more important determinants of productivity, efficiency and performance, and finally job contentment is also the conflict as an independent variable of organizational behavior. By systematic research of organizational behavior we want to make a positive influence on dependent variables, but first we have to understand and get a good insight into individual elements of organizational behavior. By this paper we want to brighten the meaning of conflict on the organization, the conflict process and possible conflict management styles. We will show the relationship between the level of conflict and the impact on the organizational performance. Kinds of Organizational Conflict: 1. Personal Conflict 1. Destructive Effect on Individual : Conflict sometimes has a destructive effect on the individuals and groups involved. At other times, however, conflict can increase the capacity of those affected to deal with problems, and therefore it can be used as a motivating force toward innovation and change. Conflict is encountered in two general forms. Personal conflict refers to an individual's inner workings and personality problems. 2.1.2 Beyond The Scope of Management: Many difficulties in this area are beyond the scope of management and more in the province of a professional counselor, but there are some aspects of personal conflict that managers should understand and some they can possibly help remedy. Social conflict refers to interpersonal, intragroup, and intergroup differences. 2.1.3 Incompatibility Between Authority and Structure : It was pointed out that there is a basic incompatibility between the authority and structure of formal 1

organizations and the human personality. Human behavior cannot be separated from the culture that surrounds it. 2. Role Conflict 2.2.1 Multiple Role Play: Another face of personal conflict has to do with the multiple roles people play in organizations. Behavioral scientists sometimes describe an organization as a system of position roles. Each member of the organization belongs to a role set, which is an association of individuals who share interdependent tasks and thus perform formally defined roles, which are further influenced both by the expectations of others in the role set and by one's own personality and expectations. For example, in a common form of classroom organization, students are expected to learn from the instructor by listening to him, following his directions for study, taking exams, and maintaining appropriate standards of conduct. The instructor is expected to bring students high-quality learning materials, give lectures, write and conduct tests, and set a scholarly example. Another in this role set would be the dean of the school, who sets standards, hires and supervises faculty, maintains a service staff, readers and graders, and so on. 2.2.2 Various Roles Interaction: As a consequence, there exist opportunities for role conflict as the various roles interact with one another. Other types of role conflict occur when an individual receives inconsistent demands from another person; for example, he is asked' to serve on several timeconsuming committees at the same time that he is urged to get out more production in his work unit. Another kind of role strain takes place when the individual finds that he is expected to meet the opposing demands of two or more separate members of the organization. Such a case would be that of a worker who finds himself pressured by his boss to improve the quality of his work while his work group wants more production in order to receive a higher bonus share. These and other varieties of role conflict tend to increase an individual's anxiety and frustration. Sometimes they motivate him to do more and better work. Other times they can lead to frustration and reduced efficiency. 3. Conflict Within Groups Conflicts between people in work groups, committees, task forces, and other organizational forms of face-to-face groups are inevitable. As we have mentioned, these conflicts may be destructive as well as constructive. 2.3.1 Scarcity of Freedom, Position and Others : Conflict arises in groups because of the scarcity of freedom, position, and resources. People who value independence tend to resist the need for interdependence and, to some extent, conformity within a group. People who seek power therefore struggle with others for position or status within the group. Rewards and recognition are often perceived as insufficient and improperly distributed, and members are inclined to compete with each other for these prizes. 2

2.3.2 Competition is More Prevalent: In western culture, winning is more acceptable than losing, and competition is more prevalent than cooperation, all of which tends to intensify intragroup conflict. Group meetings are often conducted in a win-lose climate that is, individual or subgroup interaction is conducted for the purpose of determining a winner and a loser rather than for achieving mutual problem solving. Causes or Sources of Organizational Conflict: People often respond to conflict in at least three ways: 1. They shy away from situations that even hint of conflict. They are reluctant to get involved in conversations that may be challenging, heated or potentially negative. 2. They try to overcome their fear or reluctance by overcompensating. They react in a way that is often too loud, offensive or demeaning. 3. They realize that not all conflict situations are negative, and they enter into the communication with an open mind, eager for an interaction.

1. Divisional Objective: Divisions and departments often have different objectives. If their members cannot find common values and goals, they will not cooperate. 2. Knowledgeable and Comfortable: Employees are more knowledgeable and comfortable being solo contributors than being thorough members of a team, despite the need for interdependency in most work. This is exaggerated when, through their reward systems, organizations encourage employees to compete with one another. Teamwork is a concept that must be learned and applied throughout the organization. 3. Training: Employees are neither trained nor prepared to negotiate shared areas of responsibility and productivity gaps comfortably. 4. Supervisors Expectation: Supervisors may state their expectations of employee job performance, but they usually do not know how to do so in a way that can be heard and understood effectively. 5. Organizational Problem Analysis: Organizational problems and responsibilities are analyzed from individual or departmental viewpoints, rather than from that of the organization as a whole. Good decisions are further undermined by a short-term, crisis approach to problem-solving. 6. Managers Demonstration: Managers would rather do the work themselves than take responsibility for motivating others to do their best work. To motivate each employee to contribute maximum

productivity, managers must demonstrate insight, dedication and flexibility. 7. Significant Information Required: Executives need significant information from front-line employees to make good decisions. Yet they seldom know how to ask for meaningful information, input or feedback from employees. 8. Differences Personality: Differences in personality, approach to tasks and individual values create even more friction and tension than that caused by racial or cultural background differences. 9. Good Communication: Good communication requires trust, a suspension of assumptions and hard work, which most organizations do not demonstrate well from executive level downward to front line employees. 10. Small and Large Changes: Small and large changes occur constantly within organizations, but the emotions these changes generate are seldom addressed. Employees can more easily adapt to change if they are prepared, included and supported. Positive Impact or Benefits of Conflict: Conflict in the group need not lead to negative results, however. The presence of a dissenting member or subgroup often results in more penetration of the group's problem and more creative solutions. This is because disagreement forces the members to think harder in an attempt to cope with what may be valid objections to general group opinion. But the group must know how to deal with differences that may arise. 4.1 Interdependence Recognizes that Differences True interdependence among members leads automatically to conflict resolution in the group. Interdependence recognizes that differences will exist and that they can be helpful. Hence, members learn to accept ideas from dissenters (which do not imply agreeing with them), they learn to listen and to value openness, and they learn to share a mutual problem-solving attitude to ensure the exploration of all facets of a problem facing the group. 4.2 Helps Generate Creative Tension Intergroup conflict between groups is a sometimes necessary, sometimes destructive, event that occurs at all levels and across all functions in organizations. Intergroup conflict may help generate creative tensions leading to more effective contributions to the organization's goals, such as competition between sales districts for the highest sales. 4.3 Horizontal and Vertical Strain: Intergroup conflict occurs in two general forms. Horizontal strain involves competition between functions: for example, sales versus production, research and development versus engineering, purchasing versus legal, line versus staff, and so on. Vertical strain involves competition between hierarchical levels: for example, union versus management, foremen versus middle management, shop workers versus foremen. A struggle between a group of employees and management is an example of vertical strain or conflict. 4

A clash between a sales department and production over inventory policy would be an example of horizontal strain. 4.4 Win-lose Conflict: Certain activities and attitudes are typical in groups involved in a win-lose conflict. Each side closes ranks and prepares itself for battle. Members show increased loyalty and support for their own groups. Minor differences between group members tend to be smoothed over, and deviants are dealt with harshly. The level of morale in the groups increases and infuses everyone with competitive spirit. Conflict is not always destructive, it may be a motivator. When it is destructive, however, managers need to understand and do something about it. A rational process for dealing with the conflict should be programmed. Such a process should include a planned action response on the part of the manager or the organization, rather than relying on a simple reaction or a change that occurs without specific action by management. Negative Impact or Demerits of Conflict The conflict may have some of the following negative effects: 5.3 Divert time and energy from the main issues : Conflict tends to divert the main issue of the objective of the organization. A struggle between groups of employees shifts the objective from the main focus. 5.2 Delay decisions: Conflict arises in groups because of the scarcity of freedom, position, and resources. People who value independence tend to resist the need for interdependence and, to some extent, conformity within a group. It makes the group delayed during decision making. 5.3 Create deadlocks: The parties begin to focus in on differences of opinion and interests, sharpening perceived conflict, which creates deadlock while making decisions and conflict resolution. 5.4 Drive unaggressive committee members to the sidelines : During conflict very much active members participate in negotiation, which Drive unaggressive committee members to the sidelines making themselves non participatory members of that group. 5.5 Interfere with listening: The outward display of conflict occurs when the opposing parties plan and follow through with acts to frustrate one another. In this scenario they avoid listening to ach other tries to focus on individual problems. 5.6 Obstruct exploration of more alternatives: As conflict proceeds through the stages, resolution becomes more difficult. People become more locked into their positions and more convinced that the conflict must be a win or lose 5

situation. That makes a situation of obstructing exploration of more alternatives. The other negative effects might be listed as follows in brief Decrease or destroy sensitivity Cause members to drop out or resign from committees Arouse anger that disrupts a meeting Interfere with empathy Leave losers resentful Incline underdogs to sabotage Provoke personal abuse Cause defensiveness

Louis R. Pondys Conflict Model: In 1967, Louis R. Pondy proposed a model for analyzing organizational conflicts. The model consists of five distinct but interrelated stages: latent conflict, perceived conflict, felt conflict, manifest conflict and conflict aftermath. Phase 1: Latent when two or more parties must cooperate with one another in order to achieve a desired objective, there is potential for conflict. Latent conflict is often created whenever change occurs. Examples are a budget cutback, a change in organizational direction, a change in a personal goal or value, a new crisis project added to an already overloaded work force, or an expected occurrence (such as a salary increase) not happening. Phase 2: Perceived this is the point when members are becoming more aware of a problem, even if they are not sure where it comes from. Incompatibility is perceived and tension begins. Phase 3: Felt the parties begin to focus in on differences of opinion and interests, sharpening perceived conflict. Internal tensions and frustrations begin to crystallize around specific, defined issues and people begin to build emotional commitment to their particular position. Phase 4: Manifest the outward display of conflict occurs when the opposing parties plan and follow through with acts to frustrate one another. Conflict is very obvious at this point. Phase 5: Conflict aftermath three types of conflict among the subunits of formal organizations are identified:

(1) Bargaining conflict among the parties to an interest-group relationship; (2) Bureaucratic conflict between the parties to a superior-subordinate relationship; and (3) Systems conflict among parties to a lateral or working relationship. In each of the three cases, conflict is treated as a series of episodes, each episode including stages of latency, feeling, perception, manifestation, and aftermath. The organization's reaction to conflict in each case is analyzed using the Barnard-Simon model of inducements-contributions balance theory. Of particular interest is whether the organization members resolve conflicts by withdrawing from the organization, by altering the existing set of relationships, or by changing their values and behavior within the context of the existing relationships. As conflict proceeds through the stages, resolution becomes more difficult. People become more locked into their positions and more convinced that the conflict must be a win or lose situation. The ideal is to recognize conflict early and work for a resolution that is a win for each of the parties. Conflict Resolution Behavior There are five basic behaviors that will help you resolve conflict in almost any situation you encounter. They will allow you to benefit from positive disagreement without having those disagreements escalate into out-of-control personality conflicts that damage the morale and productivity of the organization. These basics are: Openness state your feelings and thoughts openly, directly, and honestly without trying to hide or disguise the real object of your disagreement. Dont attribute negative statements about the other person to unknown others. Use Istatements and talk about how you feel and what you want. Focus on current specifics and on identifying the problem. Empathy listen with empathy. Try to understand and feel what the other person is feeling and to see the situation from her point of view. Demonstrate your understanding and validate the other persons feelings. Comments such as I appreciate how you feel I understand your feelings Im sorry I made you feel that way let the other person know that you are sincere in understanding her views. Supportiveness Describe the behaviors you have difficulty with rather than evaluating them. Express your concern for and support of the other person. Let 7

him know you want to find a solution that benefits both of you. State your position tentatively with a willingness to change your opinion if appropriate reasons are given. Be willing to support the other persons position if it makes sense to do so. Positive Ness Tries to identify areas of agreements and emphasize those. Look at the conflict as a way to better understand the entire situation and to possibly find a new and better solution. Be positive about the other person and your relationship. Express your commitment to finding a resolution that works for everyone. Equality Treat the other person and his ideas and opinions as equal. Give the person the time and space to completely express his ideas. Evaluate all ideas and positions logically and without regard to ownership. Conflicts offer many benefits if we can resolve them productively. Healthy disagreement can have a positive, generating effect. As people are forced to work through a problem to its solution, they get a chance to better understand the point of view of others. Successful resolution of small conflicts can diffuse the possibility of more serious conflicts and result in better working relationships. Managing or Resolving Conflict

7.1 Counseling
1. When personal conflict leads to frustration and loss of efficiency, counseling may prove to be a helpful antidote. Although few organizations can afford the luxury of having professional counselors on the staff, given some training, managers may be able to perform this function. Nondirective counseling, or "listening with understanding", is little more than being a good listener something every manager should be. 2. Sometimes the simple process of being able to vent one's feelings that is, to express them to a concerned and understanding listener, is enough to relieve frustration and make it possible for the frustrated individual to advance to a problem-solving frame of mind, better able to cope with a personal difficulty that is affecting his work adversely. The nondirective approach is one effective way for managers to deal with frustrated subordinates and co-workers. 3. There is other more direct and more diagnostic ways that might be used in appropriate circumstances. The great strength of the nondirective approach (nondirective counseling is based on the client-centered therapy of Carl Rogers), however, lies in its simplicity, its effectiveness, and the fact that it deliberately avoids the manager-counselor's diagnosing and interpreting emotional problems, which would call for special psychological training. No one has ever been harmed by being listened to sympathetically and understandingly. On the contrary, this 8

approach has helped many people to cope with problems that were interfering with their effectiveness on the job. 7.2 Change 1. Management is presumed to be guided by a vision of the future. The manager reflects in his decision-making activities the values of the organization as they have developed through time, from the original founder-owner to the present topmanagement personnel. In navigating a path between the values of the organization and its objectives and goals, management has expectations concerning the organization's effectiveness and efficiency and frequently initiates changes within the organization. 2. On other occasions, changes in the external environment market demand, technology, or the political, social, or economic environment require making appropriate changes in the activities of the organization. The organization faces these demands for change through the men and women who make up its membership, since organizational change ultimately depends on the willingness of employees and others to change their attitudes, behavior, their degree of knowledge and skill, or a combination of these. 7.3 Personality Change In many contexts, the manager appears to be asking an employee to change his personality to conform to new requirements. This was the challenge that faced Freud as he used psychoanalysis in treating his patients, who had varying degrees of neurosis. The relationship between the psychoanalyst and his patient is one in which the individual seeking help is asked over a period of time to reach into his memory, and through free associations to communicate with the psychoanalyst about past incidents and events. The patient is peeling off layer after layer of experience stretching over a lifetime, with the support, understanding, and guidance of the psychoanalyst. 8. Function of Facilitator in Resolving Conflict: 8.1 Contribution to Conflict: Longer hours, greater stress and shorter tempers all contribute to increased conflict. As a facilitator, you need to expect increased conflict during these troubled times and be prepared to intervene when necessary. Conflict occurs within a project environment for a variety of reasons: project participants represent diverse disciplines and functional areas-and therefore bring different agendas to the table. Facilitator often lack authority over team members. Consequently, they may be frustrated in their efforts to get work done. Team players roles may be ambiguous. Key project goals may not been agreed upon. Functional areas may feel that their turf is being threatened or undermined. And these are only the obvious potential sources of conflict in a project environment. 9

8.2 Influence: As influence in the key skill that is used in negotiation, facilitation is the primary skill used in conflict resolution. In the context of this, facilitation is the process of moving two functions with different points of view toward an amendable resolution. The functions can be two (or more) people or two ( or more) groups who disagree and cannot resolve the disagreement amongst themselves. The person who intervenes to help move the factions to some resolution need not to be an outside fact. A trained conflict resolver can begin with an economical intervention, such as getting group members to clarify and reaffirm shared goals. If necessary, he or she moves through a systematic series of interventions, such as testing the members' ability and willingness to compromise; resorting to confrontation, enforced counseling, and/or termination as last resorts. Negotiation or Bargaining Strategies: Strategies for Negotiating Conflicts Avoidance - a management strategy which includes non attention or creating a total separation of the combatants or a partial separation that allows limited interaction Smoothing - technique which stresses the achievement of harmony between disputants Dominance or Power Intervention - the imposition of a solution by higher management, other than the level at which the conflict exists Compromise - strategy that seeks a resolution which satisfies at least part of the each party's position Confrontation - strategy featuring a thorough and frank discussion of the sources and types of conflict and achieving a resolution that is in the best interest of the group, but that may be at the expense of one or all of the conflicting parties Like it or not, we are a negotiator. Whether in family or business dealings, people reach many decisions through negotiation. Negotiation is a fact of life. Common Approach: Most people know of only two ways to negotiate, either soft or hard. The soft negotiator wants to keep peace and readily makes concessions to avoid or resolve conflicts. The hard negotiator sees conflict as a battle in which the person who takes the most extreme position and holds out fares better. The soft negotiator may end up feeling used and abused; the hard negotiator may exhaust him and damage or destroy the personal relationship with the other party. Typical strategies for negotiation often leave people dissatisfied, worn out, or hostile and perhaps all three. Common Forms of Negotiation: The most common form of negotiating positional bargainingdepends on successive taking and giving up of positions 10

(imagine two people haggling over the price of an item). Although positional bargaining can be successful, it is not necessarily efficient and may not result in a peaceable solution. Negotiators may lock into positions, becoming more committed to the position than to the underlying concerns or original interests of either party. Eventually they may feel that compromise will result in losing face. Positional Bargain: Positional bargaining also creates incentives that stall settlementindividuals may take extreme positions, stubbornly hold to them, drag their feet, threaten to walk out, try to deceive the other party, and so on. Rather than jointly attempting to produce an acceptable solution, positional bargaining becomes a battle. Any agreement reached may reflect splitting of differences, rather than careful and creative development of a mutually beneficial solution. Separating the People from the Problem Everyone knows how hard it is to deal with a problem without people misunderstanding each other, getting angry or upset and taking things personally. Negotiating resolutions may be easier if you remember the other side is a human being with emotions, deeply held values, a different background and viewpoints and is, like you, somewhat unpredictable. Perception Dont confuse your perceptions with reality and dont deduce the other sides intentions from your fears. The farmer who gets a notice from a lender requesting additional financial statements may jump to the conclusion that an adverse deci sion is imminent. In fact, bank examiners may be requiring the lender to increase loan documentation. The request for additional financial information may have been sent to all bank customers with outstanding loans. Emotion Feelings may be more important than talk, particularly in a bitter dispute. Recognize and understand emotions, both theirs and yours. Make emotions explicittalk about themand acknowledge them as legitimate. Allow the other side to let off steam, if need be. It may make it easier to talk rationally later. Listen quietly without responding to attacks and encourage the speaker to continue until he or she has said everything he/she wants to say. Dont react to emotional outbursts, as it may lead to arguments which hinder negotiations. Communication Without communication, there is no negotiation. Listen actively and acknowledge what is being said. Listening enables you to understand their perception, feel their emotions, and hear what they are trying to say. Ask the other party to spell out exactly what they mean or repeat ideas if they are unclear to you. 11

Focus on Interests, Not Positions For a wise and fair solution, reconcile interests not positions. Behind opposed positions lie shared and compatible interests as well as conflicting ones. A farmer trying to buy a drill needs it to get in the wheat crop and generate income. The machinery dealer has an investment in the drill and needs to recover the cost of the equipment, interest on borrowed money, store overhead costs, salaries of salesperson, etc. The farmer and machinery dealer have compatible interests the farmer would like to have the drill and the machinery dealer would like to sell it. Conflicts may arise when terms of an exchange are discussed. Invent Options for Mutual Gain Skill at inventing options is one of the most useful assets a negotiator can have, but it does not come naturally. Practical negotiation appears to call for practical thinking, not wild ideas. Four obstacles often inhibit consideration of multiple options: premature judgment, searching for a single answer, the assumption of a fixed pie, and thinking that solving their problem is their problem. By focusing on a single best answer too early or taking side, you are likely to short circuit a wiser decision-making process in which you select from a large number of possible answers. How do you get around these obstacles to develop creative options? You need to: 1. Separate the act of inventing options from the act of judging them. 2. Broaden the options on the table rather than look for a single answer. 3. Invent ways of making their decision easy. Separate Inventing from Deciding Separate the creative act from the critical one; in other words, separate the process of thinking up possible decisions from the process of selecting among them. Invent first, decide later. A brainstorming session is the next required step. A brainstorming session with a few friends and colleagues should produce as many ideas as possible to solve the problem at hand. The Negotiation Process: In simplest terms, negotiation is a discussion between two or more disputants who are trying to work out a solution to their problem. This interpersonal or intergroup process can occur at a personal level, as well as at a corporate or international (diplomatic) level. Negotiations typically take place because the parties wish to create something new that neither could do on his or her own, or to resolve a problem or dispute between them. The parties acknowledge that there is some conflict of interest between them and think they can use some form of influence to get a better deal, rather than simply taking what the other side will voluntarily give them. Negotiation Process Theories: Negotiation theorists make several overlapping distinctions about approaches to negotiation. Fisher, Ury, and Patton distinguish between positional bargaining, which is competitive, and interest-based 12

bargaining or principled negotiation, which is primarily cooperative. But they also make the distinction between soft, hard, and principled negotiation, the latter of which is neither soft, nor hard, but based on cooperative principles which look out for oneself as well as one's opponent. Parties must frame the problem, and recognize that they have a common problem that they share an interest in solving. Frames are the conceptions that parties have of the situation and its risks. They allow the parties to begin to develop a shared definition of the issues involved, and the process needed to resolve them.[18] When the frames of both parties match, they are more likely to focus on common issues and have a common definition of the situation. In the early stages of framing, negotiators must also determine their goals, anticipate what they want to achieve, and prepare for the negotiation process. They must define the issues to be discussed and analyze the conflict situation. Negotiators often exchange and negotiate the list of issues to be discussed in advance. Consultation between negotiators prior to actual negotiation allows them to agree on the agenda of issues to be discussed, as well as the location of the negotiations, the time and duration of the sessions, the parties to be involved in the negotiations, and techniques to pursue if negotiation fails. Negotiators should also agree on principles that will guide the drafting of a settlement, the procedures to be used in negotiations, and the formula by which a general agreement is to be reached. After assembling issues on an agenda, the negotiators must prioritize their goals and evaluate the possible tradeoffs among them. Negotiators must be aware of their goals and positions and must identify the concerns, desires, and fears that underlie their substantive goals. They must determine which issues are most important, as well as whether the various issues are linked or separate. In addition, negotiators should be aware of the underlying interests and goals of the other side. Because the linkages between parties' goals often define the issue to be settled, these goals must be determined carefully. Relative Importance of the Issue: Once they have determined the relative importance of the issues, parties need to decide the order in which issues should be discussed. Many sequencing options are possible: going from easy to hard, hard to easy, or tackling everything together. Different situations suggest different answers to that question, and different negotiators and mediators prefer one approach over the others. Negotiators that are operating on behalf of a constituency should consult with their constituents as well as with the other side to ensure that the constituents' needs and priorities are included in the negotiations. The next step is for negotiators to define specific targets with respect to the key issues on the agenda. Parties should try to figure out the best resolution they can expect, what counts as a fair and reasonable deal, and what is a 13

minimally acceptable deal. They should also be aware of the strongest points in their position and recognize the strongest points in the other side's position. Planning for negotiation also involves the development of supporting arguments. Negotiators must be able to present supporting facts and arguments, anticipate how the other side will respond to these arguments, and respond to the other party's claims with counter-arguments. This includes locating facts to support one's point of view, determining what sorts of arguments have been given in similar negotiations in the past, anticipating the arguments the other side is likely to make, and presenting facts in the most convincing way possible. Finally, planning involves assessing the other party's priorities and interests and trying to get a better idea of what that party is likely to want. Negotiators should gather background information about the other party's current needs, resources, and interests. This can be done through preliminary interviews or consultations with those who have done business with the other party in the past. Issues in Negotiation: Define the Issues The initial step when planning for a negotiation is to define the issues to be discussed. A negotiation usually involves a couple of big issues and several smaller ones. For example, when buying a car the major issues are typically price and make. The minor issues may include model, color, mileage, and other additional features that are relevant, but are not alone enough to make or break a deal. In any conflict, an inclusive inventory of the issues can be found by using these resources: 1. Analyzing our own history in comparable negotiations (e.g. your last vehicle purchasing experience). 2. Researching information beforehand (e.g. obtaining Kelley Blue Book values of the cars you are interested in purchasing). 3. Seeking advice from professionals to get their take on the situation (e.g. bring the car to an independent mechanic to do a throughout check of all the cars vital functions). Create the Bargaining Mix In the car purchasing example, an agreement depends on several issues: price, make, model, color, mileage, etc. This list of issues in a negotiation is what comprises the bargaining mix. Each of these items can have its own starting, target, and resistance points. Some of these items will be important to both parties, (like the price of the car) while others may be relevant to only one side 14

(such as color of the car). You need to be aware of which issues affect each side of the negotiation so that you can take the information into consideration in the planning process. Define Your Interests After you have identified the issues, you will define the purpose of the negotiation by bringing interests and needs to the surface. Identifying issues helps us classify what we want and defining interests helps to answer why. Asking why can help you discover critical values, principles, or needs that you seek to achieve in the negotiation.


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