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What is Logrolling?

Logrolling is the act of trading across issues in a negotiation, and it requires that a negotiator knows his or her own priorities, but also the priorities of the other side. 

When negotiators encounter differences with other parties, they tend to view this as a roadblock. In fact, differences more often are opportunities to create value in negotiation. By making tradeoffs on their different preferences—a process known as logrolling—negotiators gain more of what they want by giving away something they care about less.

For example, suppose you represent a community group in conflict with a business over the potential deforestation of two parcels of land that the business owns. Your group values Parcel A for its greater species diversity relative to Parcel B. Thus, you should be willing to make more concessions on Parcel B to protect a greater swath of Parcel A.

Logrolling can also help with a partial impasse. For instance, a divorcing couple may efficiently divide up most of their assets, yet fail to resolve who should get several items, which remain in storage indefinitely. When a partial impasse occurs, valuable resources can be squandered and opportunities missed.

If one estranged spouse really wants the flat-screen TV, the other might not mind trading it for a treasured dining table.

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The following items are tagged logrolling:

Negotiation in the News: When “Mini-Deals” Are the Easy Way Out

Posted by & filed under Dealmaking.

Donald Trump campaigned for president in 2016 as the consummate dealmaker, vowing to renegotiate a new nuclear deal with Iran, forge new trade deals with countries ranging from China to Mexico to Japan, and reach creative agreements with the U.S. Congress. Nearly three years into his presidency, few of these promises have come to fruition. … Read More

Promoting Fair Outcomes in Negotiation

Posted by & filed under Negotiation Skills.

So, you believe you’ve done everything you can do create value in your negotiation. You engaged in logrolling, making trades based on your and the other party’s different preferences on particular issues. You brainstormed new issues to add to the discussion, added a contingent contract, and proposed multiple offers simultaneously to identify which your counterpart … Read Promoting Fair Outcomes in Negotiation

Bet you didn’t know … New negotiation research

Posted by & filed under Teaching Negotiation.

Negotiating in high alert Negotiation is often characterized as a physiologically arousing event marked by pounding hearts, queasy stomachs, and flushed faces. We might assume that heightened physiological arousal would mar our negotiation performance, but this is only true for some, researchers Ashley D. Brown and Jared R. Curhan of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology found … Read More

Specific versus Abstract Negotiation Skills Training

Posted by & filed under Negotiation Skills.

Researchers have argued that negotiators learn more from cases and real-world experiences when they can take away an abstract version of the lesson. Such abstractions come from analogies developed across two or more different negotiation contexts, say Leigh Thompson and Dedre Gentner of Northwestern University and Jeffrey Loewenstein of the University of Texas, who propose … Read More