Wise negotiators recognize the value of both collaborating and competing at the bargaining table. They look for ways to increase the pie of value for all parties, often by identifying differences across issues and making tradeoffs. And they also rely on distributive bargaining strategies to try to claim as much of that larger pie for … Read More
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What is Distributive Negotiation?
Value claiming, also known as distributive negotiation or single-issue negotiation, involves trying to get as much of the pre-existing value on the negotiating table for yourself—and away from the other party.
In distributive negotiation, parties compete over the distribution of a fixed pool of value. Here, any gain by one party represents a loss to the other. You may also hear this referred to as a zero-sum negotiation or win-lose negotiation.
Distributive negotiation can be thought of as haggling—the back-and-forth exchange of offers, typically price offers, which the late Harvard professor Howard Raiffa referred to as the “negotiation dance.”
By comparison, in integrative bargaining, more than one issue is available to be negotiated. Whenever multiple issues are present—such as salary, benefits, and start date, in the case of a job negotiation—negotiators have the potential to make tradeoffs across issues and create value. Often, what looks like a distributive negotiation is, in fact, an integrative negotiation, as there may be additional issues you can add to the discussion.
It is true that a small number of negotiations are distinctly distributive negotiations. A negotiation over a used car, for example, may involve a single issue of price.
Still, we often overlook the fact that most negotiations allow for both collaboration and competition. Add the collaborative element of negotiation to the table, and the process becomes not only more enjoyable but also more rewarding.
The most effective bargainers in a distributive negotiation are often those who spent a lot of time preparing to negotiate. In particular, negotiators should determine their best alternative to a negotiated agreement, or BATNA—what they’ll do if they don’t achieve their goals in the current negotiation. But to get to the point of creating a great deal, we typically must work with others to find new sources of value before we begin competing with them.
Find out more and discover how to refine your negotiation skills with this free special report, Salary Negotiations: How to Negotiate Salary: Learn the Best Techniques to Help You Manage the Most Difficult Salary Negotiations and What You Need to Know When Asking for a Raise, from Harvard Law School.
The following items are tagged distributive negotiation:
In-depth Teaching Materials with Real Time Data Analytics Designed to Enhance Teaching Negotiation From the Teaching Negotiation Resource Center (TNRC) at PON, and iDecisionGames: digitally enhanced simulation packages designed to take your teaching to the next level. The Enhanced Simulation Package from the TNRC and iDecisionGames brings a new, interactive learning experience to teaching negotiation. This easy … Read More
Collective bargaining negotiations help level the playing field between individual employees and management by enabling employees to organize and find strength in numbers. But when collective bargaining negotiations fall apart, the result can be a devastating strike. … Read More
A negotiation research study using distributive negotiation examples sheds interesting light on decision-making capabilities, intelligence, and “intuition.” … Read More
BATNA negotiations involve a negotiators knowledge of her best alternatives to a negotiated agreement and are one of three sources of negotiating power at the bargaining table, according to negotiation researcher Adam D. Galinsky and New York University’s Joe C. Magee. … Read More
A common topic in our business negotiations articles are negotiation topics in business about enhancing your deal after signing the negotiated agreement. After all, not all contracts are created equal. … Read More
Many people say they dread negotiating and avoid it whenever they can. Why? Typically, because they view negotiation as a competition in which one party’s gains come at the expense of the other party. … Read More
Due to the anchoring bias, the first offer made in a negotiation often has an outsized effect on the outcome. But recent research shows that anchoring with a range offer can have an even bigger impact than a single figure. … Read More
Do your students really understand the difference between value distribution and integrative negotiation, and have you given them a chance to practice their distributive bargaining skills? Do they understand that every negotiation includes elements of both value creation and value distribution? To help teach these key negotiation skills the Teaching Negotiation Resource Center (TNRC) has developed a … Read More
We tend to have strong intuitions about which personality traits help or hurt us in negotiation, but does research on the topic confirm our hunches? Does personality in negotiation matter? Before we explore this topic, please answer “True” or “False” in response to the following questions: 1. Extroverted negotiators tend to perform better than introverted negotiators. 2. Agreeable … Read More
Increasingly, business negotiators recognize that the most effective bargainers are skilled at both creating value and claiming value—that is, they both collaborate and compete. The following 10 negotiation skills will help you succeed at integrative negotiation. … Read More
Imagine that you’re the CEO of a sports clothing manufacturer based in Chicago. You recently traveled to Amsterdam, the Netherlands, to meet with a distributor who has a rich and diverse network in the European sports market. … Read More
Don’t be caught unprepared by hard bargainers, warn Robert Mnookin, Scott Peppet, and Andrew Tulumello in their book Beyond Winning. … Read More
In most negotiations, we face two goals: claiming value and creating value. Value can be defined as anything you would like to get out a negotiation, whether it be more dollars, a consulting contract, a new rug, an end to conflict, and so on. … Read More
Most negotiations call for very different, even opposing, skills: collaboration and competition. To get a great deal, we typically must work with others to find new sources of value while also competing with them to claim as much of that value for ourselves. Before mastering the intricacies of value creation in negotiation, it helps to … Read More
What is distributive negotiation? Distributive negotiation involves haggling over a fixed amount of value—that is, slicing up the pie. In a distributive negotiation, there is likely only one issue at stake, typically price. When you are negotiating with a merchant in a foreign bazaar, or over a used car closer to home, you are generally … Read More
How do you teach your students to identify and create value in real estate negotiations? Real estate negotiation can be difficult for both the buyer and the seller. Teaching real estate negotiation can involve value creation, distributive bargaining, as well as issue linkages. It is important for both buyers, sellers, and agents to identify ways to … Read More
Have you planned your curriculum and purchased your teaching material for next semester? We’re here to help you to find the best negotiation exercises and teaching aids for your negotiation classes. … Read More
What is negotiation? In her book The Mind and Heart of the Negotiator, Northwestern University professor Leigh Thompson defines negotiation as “an interpersonal decision-making process necessary whenever we cannot achieve our objectives single-handedly.” This definition stresses the interdependence that’s fundamental to any negotiation. Narrowing in on this definition, when preparing to negotiate, business professionals often wonder … Read More
Update Your Teaching Materials with Our Top Negotiation Role Play Simulations The field of negotiation is constantly evolving, and as such, requires new ways of teaching negotiation. It can sometimes happen that students come into a class having already encountered the negotiation simulation being used in the course, or that a different kind of exercise is … Read More
Negotiation refers to the process of working out agreements that meet each party’s needs and address their interests. People negotiate all the time in their everyday lives: in the workplace, within families, and when buying goods and services. Knowing which negotiation strategies to use in different circumstances can make a significant difference. The Teaching Negotiation … Read More
Check Out Our Bestselling Two Party and Multiparty Negotiation Simulations More than just the increased number of parties at the table, there are key differences in how negotiators manage two party versus multiparty negotiations. Power disparities can be exacerbated in two party negotiations, however the opportunities for option generation can also be increased. The formation of … Read More
One of the most popular negotiation topics in business concerns the role of outsiders to the negotiation. In this article the Program on Negotiation explores how to include outsiders in both your strategy and at-the-table negotiations. … Read More
They say it pays to keep your friends close and your enemies closer, but in business negotiation, keeping your enemies—or competitors—close could end you up in court, as Apple’s recent encounter with the U.S. Department of Justice suggests. The story begins back in 2007 when, unhappy with Amazon’s low, flat price of $9.99 for e-books, five … Read More
Q: As an HR manager, I struggle with the issue of how open and transparent to be during hiring negotiations. Sometimes, for example, I have only one worthy candidate for a position. Naturally, I would prefer not to share this fact because the candidate might use it to gain an edge. In cases like this, … Read More