CONFLICT MANAGEMENT & NEGOTIATION
Discuss the basic theoretical models of bargaining process and explain how they can improve individuals negotiation skills in an organisation.
Bargaining can be defined as an agreement between parties settling what each gives or receives in a transaction between them or what course of action or policy each pursues in respect to the other.
The study of bargaining process involves an analysis of the actors, the stakes and the factors involved. All theories feed into each other, and combining these theories allows for a more complete understanding of the issues involved in bargaining ...view middle of the document...
• Discerning what the real issues are at stake, and not necessarily those claimed by the parties.
• Highlighting the similarities in each party's positions, which show that the parties do have common objectives that cooperation is possible.
The great value gained in the diagnosis phase of the Integrative Approach was seen in the 2007 elections in Kenya over the disputed elections between two political parties i.e. PNU and ODM. Both sides were warring over the presidency, ODM side claimed that the elections were unfair. Through negotiations led by former U.N. president Koffi Annan, the parties eventually realized that their personal goals were not incompatible. Thus, an agreement was reached in which a coalition government was formed and both parties shared powers. Analysis of the conflict from the Integrative Approach allowed the negotiations to reach a win-win consensus in which the interests and concerns of both parties were addressed and a viable solution was found.
In the formulation phase:
• A structure for the negotiations and a common definition of the problem are agreed upon.
• Terms of trade are decided.
• Notions of justice are determined.
This final phase requires the agreement be put into practice, often proving to be a great challenge. Here lower level negotiations play an important role in swaying potential spoilers to abide by the new rules. In this phase peacekeeping, humanitarian assistance and peace building efforts help prevent a re-escalation of violence and support peace.
2. Game Theory
Strategic approaches to conflict management are most often expressed in terms of game theory. Such structure-based approaches form their analysis based on determined end points. The prisoner's dilemma and the chicken dilemma are both variations of game theory. These strategic approaches are outcome-oriented and see the choices one party makes in negotiation as the result of a strategy based on the values of the available outcomes. These approaches were especially popular during the Cold War when American and Soviet nuclear weapons build-up was characterized as a "game of chicken." Game theory assumes that:
• all actors are rational,
• the pay-offs are known,
• the "game" can be played numerous times.
a. Prisoner's Dilemma
This approach is based on the set-up of two partners in a crime who are separately being questioned by the police. Each is given the option of confessing to the crime or remaining silent. The pay-off of each criminal's action is dependent upon what the other does: If criminal A confesses and B does not, A doesn't serve any time and B has to serve 4 years. If both and A and B confess, they each get 2 years. If neither A nor B confesses, they each serve 1 year. The difficulty lies in that the two cannot communicate with each other so they have to choose their actions on what each thinks the other will do.