Negotiation Ethics for Real World Interactions

That is the title of Charlie Craver’s article in the most recent edition of the Ohio State Journal on Dispute Resolution.  And yes, it’s about my favorite topic these days, negotiation ethics.  Craver comes from the realpolitik school of negotiation, and if you didn’t already know this, his article makes that quite clear.  I like this piece, which can be found at 25 Ohio St. J. Disp. Res. 299 (2010) (sorry, I couldn’t find a link), and plan to cite it plenty in a couple of things I’m working on. Unsurprisingly, I am in agreement with most of what he says.

 I think the major contribution that this piece makes is based on his discussion of prior empirical research by Gerry Williams and Indisputably’s own Andrea Schneider that studied lawyers’ negotiation styles.  Williams (with data from the mid-1970s) and Schneider (with data from the late 1990s) concluded that effective negotiators used the cooperative or problem-solving negotiation style instead of a competitive style.  However, Craver believes there’s a hybrid category between the competitors and the cooperative / problem-solvers – those who are competitive but in a non-adversarial way.  Once they have maximized their returns (or in order to maximize their returns) they look to increase the returns to their negotiation counter parts.  Craver believes that these negotiators realize that negotiators judge their satisfaction with a negotiation outcome by the degree in which they believe the negotiation’s process was fair and respectful.  Rather than “win-win” negotiators, he calls them “WIN-win” negotiators. 

I see “WIN-win” negotiators every semester I teach Negotiation.  In fact, I tell my students that this is the standard to which most negotiators should aspire, using different language of course.  Thanks Charlie for cyrstalizing this phenomenon and putting it into easy to understand terminology.

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