Manager as Negotiator (The) Bargaining for Cooperation and Competitive Gain

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This fine blend of Harvard scholarship and seasoned judgment is really two books in one. The first develops a sophisticated approach to negotiation for executives, attorneys, diplomats – indeed, for anyone who bargains or studies its challenges. The second offers a new and compelling vision of the successful manager: as a strong, often subtle negotiator, constantly shaping agreements and informal understandings throughout the complex web of relationships in an organization.

Effective managers must be able to reach good formal accords such as contracts, out-of-court settlements, and joint venture agreements. Yet they also have to negotiate with others on whom they depend for results, resources, and authority. Whether getting fuller support from the marketing department, hammering out next year’s budget, or winning the approval for a new line of business, managers must be adept at advantageously working out and modifying understandings, resolving disputes, and finding mutual gains where interests and perceptions conflict. In such situations, The Manager as Negotiator shows how to creatively further the totality of one’s interests, including important relationships – in a way that Richard Walton, Harvard Business School Professor of Organizational Behavior, describes as “sensitive to the nuances of negotiating in organizations” and “relentless and skillful in making systematic sense of the process.”

This book differs fundamentally from the recent spate of negotiation handbooks that tend to espouse one of two approaches; the competitive (“Get yours and most of theirs, too”) or the cooperative (“Everyone can always win”). Transcending such cynical and naive views, the authors develop a comprehensive approach, based on strategies and tactics for productively managing the tension between the cooperation and competition that are both inherent in bargaining.

Based on the authors’ extensive experience with hundreds of cases, and peppered with a number of wide-ranging examples, The Manager as Negotiator will be invaluable to novice and experienced negotiators, and anyone who needs to know the state of the art in this important field.


“The ability to think through and carry out negotiations is vital to success in Washington, on Wall Street, and in the corporate world. I have long felt that there was an inner logic to the process, but until I encountered this book, I doubted that it could be so insightfully and persuasively set forth. Further, having worked so closely with one of the authors and having seen this approach make major differences in significant transactions, I recommend The Manager as Negotiator to anyone interested in a sophisticated understanding of this subject.” – Peter G. Peterson, Chairman of the Blackstone Group; former chairman of Lehman Brothers Kuhn Loeb, United States Secretary of Commerce, and president and CEO of Bell and Howell
“Sophisticated managers know that the largest part of management is negotiating, not giving orders or unilaterally executing plans. This fresh work on negotiation usefully combines analysis and experience-and goes far beyond the tired cliches of the ‘win-lose’ or ‘win-win’ approaches. I recommend it highly.” – Richard G. Darman, Deputy Secretary of the United States Treasury

“Both the seasoned negotiator and the novice will find in The Manager as Negotiator fascinating insights, a systematic approach, and a quality of realism that make it an extraordinarily valuable source of guidance.” – Elliot L. Richardson, Partner of Milbank, Tweed, Hadley, and McCloy; former Attorney General of the United States, Secretary of Defense, Secretary of Commerce, and Secretary of Health, Education, and Welfare

“As a most interested third party, I have watched this remarkable book take shape over several years. If it were mainly intended as an analytical work on bargaining, it would be a great success, posing new questions, generating deep and original insights, and rigorously developing their implications. Yet The Manager as Negotiator transcends its roots in game theory and decision analysis, asking broader more realistic questions and addressing its exceptionally clear prose to a much wider audience. This book will give managers and negotiators invaluable advice. At the same time, it should profoundly influence the way scholars from many fields analyze negotiation.” – Howard Raiffa, Frank Plumpton Ramsey Professor of Managerial Economics, Harvard Business School; author of The Art and Science of Negotiation

Manager as Negotiator (The) Attributes

Author: David A. Lax and James K. Sebenius
Publisher: New York, NY: The Free Press, 1986