Integrative Negotiations and a Win-Win Solution: A Place in Business Negotiations?

Integrative Negotiations and Win Win Negotiation Strategies Offer Insights Into Business Negotiation Strategy

By on / Business Negotiations

Even those who effectively engage in an integrative negotiations or mutual-gains approach to negotiation, a bargaining scenario in which parties work together to meet interests and maximize value creation during the negotiation process, can be stymied by the task of dividing up a seemingly fixed pie of resources, such as budgets, revenue, and time. The tough distributive negotiations, or value-claiming negotiation scenarios, can poison the negotiation and destroy business partnerships.

In negotiation, figuring out who should get what is rarely easy, but creative solutions to problems in negotiation do exist. Consider the legendary “Malice in Dallas.” In 1990, Stevens Aviation, a South Carolina–based aviation sales and maintenance company, began using the advertising slogan “Plane Smart.” In 1991, Southwest Airlines coined the phrase “Just Plane Smart,” and Stevens notified Southwest of the apparent trademark infringement.


Discover step-by-step techniques for avoiding common business negotiation pitfalls when you download a copy of the FREE special report, Business Negotiation Strategies: How to Negotiate Better Business Deals, from the Program on Negotiation at Harvard Law School.

The dispute easily could have cost both sides hundreds of thousands of dollars in legal fees. Instead of bringing in the lawyers, however, Stevens chairman Kurt Herwald came up with a novel approach to resolving the conflict: he challenged Southwest CEO Herb Kelleher to an arm-wrestling match. Whoever won the best of three would earn rights to the slogan, and the loser of each match would make a donation to a charity of the winner’s choice. Kelleher accepted.

Examples of Negotiation in Real Life – “Malice in Dallas”

On March 20, 1992, several thousand people attended the “Malice in Dallas” at Dallas’s Sportatorium. The event was widely covered by the national media. Stevens’s Herwald won two of the three matches and the right to the slogan.

Shortly after winning, Herwald agreed to let Southwest continue to use its slogan. The companies presented $10,000 to the Muscular Dystrophy Association and $5,000 to the Cleveland Ronald McDonald House. Then-president George H.W. Bush commended them on their “win-win” solution.

Ed Stewart, Southwest’s manager of public relations, estimates that the match saved his company $500,000 in legal fees and generated $6 million in publicity. As for Stevens Aviation, Herwald partially credits the event for his company’s three-year increase in business, from $28 million to more than $100 million.

The upshot: Approaching distributive negotiations with a creative mindset can not only preserve a relationship but also add significant value for both sides.

Related Business Negotiations Article: How to Avoid a Bidding War


Discover step-by-step techniques for avoiding common business negotiation pitfalls when you download a copy of the FREE special report, Business Negotiation Strategies: How to Negotiate Better Business Deals, from the Program on Negotiation at Harvard Law School.

Adapted from “Divide the Pie—Without Antagonizing the Other Side,” by Robert C. Bordone, first published in the November 2006 Negotiation newsletter.

Originally posted August 15, 2011.

Related Posts:

No Responses to “Integrative Negotiations and a Win-Win Solution: A Place in Business Negotiations?”

Leave a Comment