What is Integrative Negotiation?
Integrative negotiation is possible when the parties have some shared interests or opportunities to realize mutual gains through trades across multiple issues.
In integrative negotiation, 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.
With integrative negotiation, creativity can lead to value-creation for both parties. But coming up with innovative ideas in the middle of the collaborative process can be difficult, so how does the skillful negotiator change her mindset to become more creative? How can you uncover additional value, make useful trades, and put together a package that exceeds your party’s expectations?
To begin, contemplate the other side’s BATNA and interests as thoroughly as you do your own. After all, you may not be able to propose a package that he’ll accept if you haven’t thought about his outside options, needs, and wants.
By preparing to propose multiple packages at the same time, you can avoid having an early feeler misconstrued as a final offer. All this preparation makes it more likely that the parties will find items of differing value that can be traded to create value.
Here are three more tips for successful integrative negotiation:
Tip 1: Try breaking the problem down into more easily managed component parts.
Tip 2: Use deal structuring to help to close the divide on differences or “barter your way to the finish line.”
Tip 3: It is often helpful to play ‘mind games’ or to create cognitive maps that both reduce the group mentality and foster creative outlooks.
To learn more about integrative negotiation and discover how to boost your power at the bargaining table, download this free special report, Dealmaking: Secrets of Successful Dealmaking in Business Negotiations, from Harvard Law School.
The following items are tagged integrative negotiation: