Assignment 5: Multiparty Negotiations, Trust/Reputation.
Negotiation and Conflict Resolution – BUS 526
June 9, 2011
Question 1: Explain how you would develop an effective negotiating team to work on multiparty negotiations. Outline the actions you would take and explain why these would be effective.
Multi-party negotiation is often considered to be an exercise in coalition-building according to Lax and Sebenius (1986). Negotiators try to form coalitions in order to pool their resources and have greater influence on outcomes.
In a multi-party negotiation, communication; information and exchange of ideas; trust; definition of interests and needs; and indeed the common goal ...view middle of the document...
Adherence to all these outlined actions will ensure effectiveness throughout the three key stages that characterizes multiparty negotiations because whatever issues that comes up along the line will be carefully considered and parties involved are considerably more likely to feel better about a process that will lead to an effective outcome than when everything was left to chance.
Question 2: Describe an event that would cause damage to the level of trust during negotiation and explain the actions you would take to repair the trust and maintain positive relationships with the negotiating parties.
McAllister (1995, p 24-59) defined the word trust as “an individual’s belief in and willingness to act on the words, actions and decisions of another”. Trust also reduces uncertainty over future outcomes, simplifies decision processes, and provides us with peace of mind.
Trust during negotiations can easily be damaged if care is not taken as in the scenario painted below.
A homeowner entered into negotiation with a gardening and landscaping contractor to do lawn care for him bi-weekly every month for $80 and will only accept a contract from him if he agrees to mulch his garden for free every three months. The contractor being pressed for business accepted the offer without careful consideration and the dotted lines were signed.
Three months into the contract, the contractor came back and wanted to renegotiate the contract to do the garden mulching for an additional $20 which the homeowner turned down immediately and requested the initial contract be upheld. Seeing there is no way to get more money from the homeowner, the contractor started putting less effort into the lawn care such that the lawn started growing weeds and looking untidy to the displeasure of the homeowner.
At this juncture, the homeowner had lost all faith and trusts in the services of the contractor and decided to cancel the contract and furthermore make sure he does not get any business within 20 mile radius of his home. But before he proceeded with his actions he made sure his feelings were conveyed to the contractor, whom later realized the potential harm this can cause his business if the homeowner went about his plan.
In repairing the trust and maintaining a positive relationship in this scenario, the contractor decided to enhance the likelihood of stimulating the homeowner’s willingness to reconcile, and further the trust rebuilding process with actions in the short term that may be confined to managing the distrust because “rebuilding trust is a process not an event” (Butler, 1999, p 217).
According to Lewicki, Wiethoff, & Tomlinson (2005, p 247) First on the to-do-list for the contractor will be to take action immediately after the violation by using restorative efforts such as taken care of the lawn appropriately and mulching the garden as originally agreed to. This communicates sensitivity to the homeowner and the relationship, and avoids the...