Negotiations are handled differently by everyone. Some Negotiators are more passive and others extremely direct. Some love the bargaining process and begin the offer extremely low or high for the purpose of playing the negotiating game with their opponent. Others just prefer to have their best cards on the table with a take it or leave it attitude. Negotiators should learn when and how to use different negotiating styles. After all, negotiations play a huge role in business today. Two main negotiating strategies exist; non engagement and Active engagement. Both strategies will be discussed thoroughly to assist in identifying how different strategies may be used in business. “The California State University faculty has overwhelmingly approved a new four-year labor contract, ending more than two years of contentious bargaining with the administration” (Hoag C., 2012). The contract did not meet all that was hoped for; however, for the most part the amount taken from faculty was greatly diminished.
Although, no pay raises will be granted for four years, finally settling on an agreement seems to put most of the faculty at ease. The contract was approved by approximately 91% of members. Faculty recognizes that public employee unions have it far worst and are grateful that they have managed to preserve much of what they have. Although these negotiations started as long and contentious bargaining, in the end the strategy used shifted to more of a non-engagement strategy. As the faculty realized the offer being given was much better than most are offered within their field they avoided further negotiations. They have been working without a contract for the last 2 1/2 years, which plays a role as well on the avoidance of further negotiations. According to (Lewicki, Barry, and Saunders, 2006), Alternatives can influence the usage of this strategy in different ways. If the negotiators has a strong alternative they will likely avoid negotiations due to the inefficiency of wasting time negotiating with someone when a stronger alternative is present.
From another perspective, if the negotiator has a lack of alternatives or a weaker alternative they will likely avoid dispute so that a resolution can be reached quickly. In this case, the faculty decided to avoid further dispute due to the weaker alternative. Seeing others having to give up much more and recognizing that the longer the negotiations last the longer they will be working without a contract influenced their decision tremendously. Another piece of news that demonstrates an alternate form of negotiating strategy is the issue surrounding the FDA’s law concerning graphic images being placed on cigarette packs. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that 45 million adults in the United States smoke cigarettes, which are the leading cause of preventable death in the United States.
And the World Health Organization predicts smoking could kill eight million people each year by 2030 if governments do not do more to help people quit (REUTERS, 2012). To assist in combating this increasing problem the FDA passed a law requiring that all tobacco companies place a graphic image along with their warning labels. The images range from diseased lungs to rotting teeth. Tobacco groups appealed this decision saying there is no evidence that the graphic images will assist in bringing the number of tobacco users down. “In a 2-to-1 decision, the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia said that the law, which is administered by the Food and Drug Administration, violated corporate free speech rights” ( REUTER, 2012).
This ruling was contradictory to another case seen early in the year making it likely that the Supreme Court will have to make the final decision. In this case, the negotiators are using an active engagement strategy. Rather than obeying the law without question tobacco groups are fighting for their corporate rights. This case is a classic example of distributive and competition bargaining. The outcome will either be that the tobacco groups will lose and will have to abide by the law; or the FDA will win. In this situation one side will get all.
The cases mentioned differ as far as the strategy used. For the University of California faculty, the style more accurately reflects integrative style of negotiating. Each side is winning in some respect. They are aware of each other’s ultimate goals and are able to accommodate each other. In the end, the faculty avoid further dispute which is consistent with a non-engagement strategy. On the other hand, in the case concerning the da and tobacco company neither party wants to give in to each other. The FDA is determined to combat the issues resulting from tobacco products; while the tobacco companies are determined to maintain their labels as is. Circumstances surrounding every negotiation will determine which strategy is best to use. However, to become fully competent in making the decision on which strategy to use, one must understand how each strategy applies in real world situations. The two cases mentioned are excellent demonstrations on their usage.
Hoag, C. (2012, September 5). Cal State faculty approve 4-year contract. The Times-Standard. Retrieved from http://www.times-standard.com/localnews/ci_21470909/cal-state-faculty-approve-4-year-contract Lewicki, Barry, and Saunders, (2006). Negotiation 5th ed. Retrieved from https://ecampus.phoenix.edu/content/eBookLibrary2/content/DownloadList.aspx?assetMetaId=9ef17708-1ddf-4b07-b135-33c10b621f8e&assetDataId=a78264a6-2449-41a9-9752-49dfe94ee641 REUTERS, (2012, August 24). Appeals Court Blocks Graphic Warnings on Cigarettes. The New York Times. Retrieved from http://www.nytimes.com/2012/08/25/business/tobacco-groups-win-ruling-on-graphic-cigarette-warnings.html
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