The Importance of Theory in Understanding and Advancing Any Field


Theory can be related with any field. There is various definition of theory. According to Merriam Webster Dictionary, theory is a plausible or scientifically acceptable general principle or body of principles offered to explain phenomena. Thus, we need theory in our life in order to understand what is happening. The purpose of learning theory is to increase knowledge of the field. We can gain understanding of the concerns and knowledge of the discipline. It also enhances our insight into the issues, principles and problems of the discipline today besides allow us to anticipate future developments in communication research and practice.

Other than that, it is important for practical value. Theory can enlarge your understanding of experiences in your personal life and the lives of those around you. It is a valuable tool in understanding everyday lives, relationships and the ways in which communication shapes and reflects cultural values.

We can see that theory is essential in any field especially negotiation.

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Based on Concise Oxford Dictionary, negotiation is a conference with others to achieve a compromise or agreement. In other words, negotiation aimed to solve dispute happened between two or more parties. In addition, according to Gavin Kennedy, negotiation is an explicit voluntary traded exchange between people who want something from each other. Negotiation happens when you need someone's consent, when the outcome is uncertain besides when time and effort of negotiating are justified. There are lots of type of negotiation like face to face, group, paper contract, telephone, third party with a mediator and e-negotiation.

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In negotiation, there no specific rules that must be followed but an agenda must be established. Everything in this world is negotiable. Whoever in situation of negotiating with someone, must ask for a better deal which can give benefit to the self. Besides be creative, one must learn to say no. Not just blindly accept the negotiation. One must have good negotiation skills if want the negotiation process successful. This paper will explain the theories that are related with each negotiation phases which is from exchanging information to bargaining and then closing. These three phases are related with few theories and it describe the negotiation process itself. Before the process begins, both parties need to prepare for the negotiation.


The first phase in a negotiation involves an exchange of information. Preparation is crucial to the negotiating process's success. Being well-prepared builds confidence and gives the negotiator an advantage.

Both sides state their positions on the issues being addressed in a non-confrontational. You have to think about the issue as much as you can to figure out what information is needed from the other side. It is also necessary to understand clearly the issues involved. The tricky part of this phase is deciding what to reveal and what to hold back. In this phase, one must get off on the right foot. It involves creating an atmosphere of respect, setting a positive tone and projecting an image of self-confidence. If one rush right into the negotiation without some initial pleasantries, the other party may feel that one is being pushy and aggressive. Understanding the people with whom the talks are to take place is crucial. Knowing their priorities, positions and the problems that they are likely to raise can encourage better handling of the situation during the negotiation process.

We must find the right people to participate in the talks. Understanding their level of responsibility and authority is critical. We will try to get as much information about these people and their business where possible. Gathering information is important to get a view of the other side. Therefore, we can determine the desires, motives and ambitions of the other side with respect to our own. One must consider of what to share and what to keep. At the start of a negotiation, it is advisable to not give a detailed statement about your position on specific issues. As you do not want to appear secretive or deceptive, but at the same time you do not want to give away your bargaining position prematurely as some information need to be keep. The two sides are facing each other here. That group on the other side tries to make an impact and at the first opportunity affect their thought. Psychologically, this step is important because to a large extent it sets the tone for negotiation. This includes making their case to each other by all negotiating sides.

In phase two, there is a bargaining. It is the heart of the negotiation process. This phase is what most people mean when they talk about negotiation. The key to making the mutual gain approach work is to focus on interests, not positions. The answer in most situations may be a compromise. This allows both parties to get something of what they want, without either side having to give up too much. You must identify first what do you personally want out of the negotiation. Try to state this positively. Then, comes to identify what the other party wants. By framing questions will help you to start the process. Finally, discuss with each other what both of you want. Now that you have identified the wants and needs of both sides, look for areas of overlap. These will be the starting points for establishing mutual ground. When working through the wants and needs of both parties, be careful not to jump to conclusions. Rather, be on the lookout for the root cause, often, the problem is not what it seems.

Lastly, the closing for the negotiation. The final phase of a negotiation is a time for reaching consensus and building an agreement. A little hard work in this phase can ensure that the negotiation achieves it desired results. Building an agreement takes a special skill which is the ability to translate generalities into specifics. Negotiators should realize that at this stage of this process the bargaining is over. They should try to create an agreement based on a fair and accurate interpretation of the consensus the parties have reached. For an agreement to be successful, all the essential terms must be clearly stated in writing. It is quite one thing to have an agreement in theory but it will be essentially meaningless without the practicalities. The 'how' is the most important of all, though, as without the firm details of how you are going to put everything in place you can agree whatever you want and it will not matter.

From the detail of phase mentioned above, social penetration theory is related to the process of exchanging information. This is because one need to open their selves to get the information from other party. Relationship progress from non-intimate to intimate. The relationship developed generally systematic and predictable. One revealing bit by bit the information and then the self emerges.

Face negotiation theory is developed by Stella Ting-Tomey. People of every culture are always negotiating face. By having face, the way we want others to see us and treat us. Face maintenance is the crucial intervening variable that ties culture to people's ways of handling conflict. Conflict can be more difficult if people lack of cultural knowledge, mindfulness, and facework interaction skills. Face is usually an issue in conflict situations.

While Groupthink theory is developed by Irving Janis. Groupthink is a direct result of cohesiveness in groups. Cohesiveness is the degree of mutual interest among members. Cohesiveness is a result of the degree to which all members perceive that their goals can be met within the group.

Updated: Mar 22, 2023
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The Importance of Theory in Understanding and Advancing Any Field. (2019, Dec 01). Retrieved from

The Importance of Theory in Understanding and Advancing Any Field essay
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