Sample Essay on Collaborative or Principled Negotiation

Background and Setting

Niuswise Media is a social media provider and a PR firm that offers communication and Public Relations services to its customers. The media was established on the backdrop of technological advancement in communication and aimed to tap the growing need for communication.

It seeks to establish a niche in communication market by providing public relations and communication service solutions to its clients at affordable rate.

Among the services the organization offers includes: Development and Business communication, Public Relations, Media and Corporate communication, Marketing and Branding.

It has a dedicated team of experts that provide tailor made business and communication solutions to its customers. Established in 2005, Niuswise Media continue to live an imprint in the media as it strives to redefine communication and the media

The conflict

The conflict that I will discuss involves a feud leading to termination of an employee contract due to lack of cooperation by the employee.

The employee was contracted on 3 months renewal contact as a video producer, after a short while the employer saw that he was not fit to work as video producer noting that he required more exposure.

The bone of contention began when the employee was relegated to article writer with a role to generate post for the firm’s online media. This attracted a go slow on employee side and after a week’s time protest the employer cracked the whip and dismissed the employee on summary dismissal instead writing or giving the employee due notice or wages in lieu of notice as specified in contract. Thus the parties in this conflict are the employer and the employee with the employer’s lawyer.

  • I choose the employee’s side.


  • In this feud the Principled negotiation, (PN) was not used by the employee who was overwhelmed by emotions after he was summary dismissed instead he opted for Best Alternative To a Negotiated Agreement (BATNA).

How PN would have benefited the two sides

The Principled Negotiation could have been implemented by the two parties. Furthermore there are a number of benefits that the employee and the employer should have gained from the process.

  • A glance look at the Principled Negotiation does rest on four principles as illustrated by Fisher & Ury (1999). This includes separating people from the problem, focusing on interest not people, inventing options for mutual gain, and finding best objective criteria.
  • According to Harvard scholars by separating people from the problem, one is able to separate and identify the issues to be solved rather of the people in feud, also it will help one avoid emotion and get to root cause of problem not individual focus. This could have helped the party to avid mixing the issues and emotion like dislike, hatred, and hunger in the disagreement.


  • Focusing on interest at hand rather not position, this could have enabled them to understand their interest and reach to a mutual agreement like ironing out the root cause of the problem for their benefit instead of just looking at the physically result or what is at stake. (Fisher & Ury, 2011)
  • Through inventing options for mutual gain, this would have enabled the employee and employer to brainstorm in available options and solutions and come up with a conclusive or possible solution instead of wavering or taking hard stances that could have stalled the negotiations.
  • Finally arriving at the best criteria always depends on the solutions reached. Hence this could have enabled them to ensure that the criteria they reach is principled with the set standards and that all parties get satisfied and ward off any disparities like feelings of being treated or deal struck with unfairness (Raiffa,2002).

Principled Negotiation here was not used in above feud though it could have been of benefit to both employee and employer as illustrated above.

Spangler (2003) notes that Best Alternative to a Negotiated Agreement (BATNA) is what one or a negotiator gets without negotiating or negotiations fail. Since my side opted to compromise after the summary dismissal so as to reach a consensus with the employer after it happen that he had remain with 2 months on his contract. Consequently, there was no possibility of reaching at Best Alternative to a Negotiated Agreement with the employer.

What I could have done

Being the principal representation of the employee I should have first called for Principled Negotiation with the employer of my client to solve the conflict amicably.

I n this case my client was dismissed abstract without writing in advance or in lieu notice and further there was late in payment of my client and this warrants explanation. Also my client felt shortchanged from video producer to article writer, this was the reason for his ‘protest’ leading to dismissal.

The decisions that I could have taken:

  • First include understanding the problem by identifying key areas to address.
  • Secondly after analyzing the problems, concerns are likely to emerge and this are what will be the objectives to make addressed in decision making.
  • Third after identifying objectives, I would identify alternatives solutions available to my objectives that I tend to achieve and enable me exploit other avenues like if they fail or possibility of succeeding in getting enough information about the conflict (McCarthy, 1991).
  • Also every decision has a consequence thus it is advisable to know the outcome if they will be good or damaging , whether there will be alternative to safe landing or will the choice be harmful to my client.
  • I will also need to minimize the number of objectives by making tradeoffs so as to stand with a feasible objectives instead of pursuing divergent agendas, there is need to focus on one goal looking at it impact. Moreso with key goals in hand I will identify possible uncertainty I am likely to encounter during the negotiations and its impact. With uncertainty in place I will need to be a risk taker if any negotiation is to be achievable by my client. (Hammond, 1999)


Fisher, R., & Ury, W. (1991) Getting To Yes: Negotiating Agreement without Giving In, 2nd   Edition. PenguinBooks, New York.

Hammond, S.J, Keeney, L.R., & Raiffa, H. (1999): Smart Choices: A Practical Guide to Making Better Live Decisions. Broadway Books, New York.

Kaner., S. (1996).Facilitator’s Guide to Participatory Decision-Making, New Society Press, Philadelphia.

Raiffa, H. (2002) Negotiation Analysis: The Science and Art of Collaborative Decision Making     Belknap Press. Cambridge, MA.

Spangler, B. (2003)”Best Alternative to a Negotiated Agreement (BATNA).” Beyond Intractability.   Retrieved from

McCarthy,W. (1991). The Role of Power and Principle in Getting to Yes  in Negotiation Theory and Practice.