A Mutual Negotiation Process
Negotiation can be termed as the process through which joint decisions are made when two or more parties get involved in different preferences (Mehnert, 2008). It may take two distinct approaches, either integrative or distributive. The distributive approach to negotiation is where each party seeks to attain their advantage over the presented issue leading to a win-lose basis. The party would attempt to mislead the floor, conceal certain valuable information or rather manipulate facts and actions presented. However, integrative negotiation is where both the parties can define goals and allow each individual to achieve the objectives set on a win-win basis. The following are some of the pros and cons of distributive and integrative negotiation:
Advantages of distributive approach to negotiation
- Conflicts enhances personal development
- It ends in a win-lose situation that only benefit one party
- Creates competition between the parties and one is viewed as competitor
- The negotiator only focus on meeting personal interests
Disadvantages distributive approach to negotiation
- Involves competitive processes
- Party’s perceptions become distorted thus lead to bias
- Encourages emotionality
- The issues presented in dispute become blurred and would not be defined
- Parties become rigid to their positions
- Conflict may arise
Advantages of integrative negotiation
- It creates a win-win situation for both parties
- It is collaborative, and both parties negotiate in a friendly manner
- It is a management tool used to solve conflicts between parties
- Negotiation focuses on a mutual interest that benefits all parties
Both the parties, the manager (Nikki) and Michelle should not set objectives that are rigid but rather set options that give the best alternatives to all sides. It is evident that Michelle should choose integrative approach of negotiation, as this would benefit both the parties. Since the firm is in its peak hour moments where more efforts and extension of time is required, the call center is requested to expand its working hours and add an additional day in order to meet the expected target. The main objective of the call center is to achieve Inbloom Flowers’ goal of extending working hours and adding Saturday within the schedule. The plan can only be achieved by incorporating employees within the new work schedule.
Employees are required to choose from the amended working shifts. 7:00 am-3:00 pm M-F; 10:00am-6:00pm M-F; 7:00am-3:00 pm Tuesday-Saturday (8:00-4:00 pm on Saturdays) and 10:00 am-6:00 pm Tuesday-Saturday (8:00-4:00 pm on Saturdays), as opposed to the initial shift of 9:00 am-5:00 pm. This is however limited to everyone as the senior staff get the first chance of picking changes that are ideal for them and leave others with fewer options (a state where Michelle belongs). On the other hand, Michelle who wants to attend to her child who only gets daycare services from 8:30-5:30 pm Monday through Friday will be limited to the shift she was left with (10:00 am-6:00 pm Tuesday-Saturday (8:00-4:00 pm on Saturdays) as in most cases, she will not meet the needs of her child after daycare.
Therefore, common grounds that benefit both the parties should be created through negotiation. The Best Alternative to a Negotiated Agreement (BATNA) should be set prior to an agreement. Michelle ought to know what to do in case she fails to reach a joint agreement during the negotiation process. If Michelle fails to define her BATNA prior to negotiation, she might put herself in a weak position, thereby rejecting an offer that would have been a benefit (Lewicki, Barry & Saunders, 2011). The preferred shift that suits Michelle’s programs would be working from 10:00am-6:00pm Monday through Friday and the BATNA will be working from 10:00am-6:00 pm Tuesday-Saturday (8:00-4:00pm on Saturdays) to benefit both the parties.
In most cases, the negotiation process is always done well within the organizations’ surrounding. The best common ground to establish negotiation between Nikki and Michele will be within the call center fields i.e. within the offices. When the two parties want to minimize advantages that might come by holding the meeting at their ground, a neutral place (conference/hotel rooms) will suit. The parties could decide to hold meetings in restaurants or cocktail lounges though this will depend on the nature of the meeting. The meeting will constitute of; the general management committee of the call center and staff members (Michelle inclusive).
In order to gain full contribution from the participants, Michelle should present her grievances in a note form to all members through the secretary’s desk who will draft her agenda in hard copy upon consulting the manager, and circulate to the relevant parties in advance. The agenda should specify the starting and ending time, and place of the meeting, the topic to be discussed i.e. the management flexibility to allow Michelle to choose a working shift that will benefit both the parties (organization and herself).
Lewicki, R., Barry, B., & Saunders, D. (2011). Essentials of Negotiation. (5th ed.). McGraw-Hill Higher Education.
Mehnert, M. (2008). Negotiation: Definition and Types, Manager’s Issues in Negotiation, Cultural Differences and the Negotiation Process. GRIN Verlag.