The Phases of Negotiation

  • Jacques Rojot


Ann Douglas1 was among the first to derive from her own observations and from data obtained from the United States Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service a three stage model of negotiation based on labour relations’ mediated sessions of bargaining. It consisted of: (a) establishing the negotiating range; (b) reconnoitring the negotiating range; (c) precipitating the decision-making crisis. Speculations, experimental studies, and observations by many social psychologists confirmed the principle of the negotiation moving into ’stages’ which are clearly identifiable and often relatively similar in many cases. However, the number of phases which have been identified varies. For instance, Zartman2 establishes a two-stage model with the first stage concerned with developing a general formula for agreement and the second one dealing with details of implementation. Warr3 applies to labour negotiations a more general model of group activity including four stages: (a) getting organised; (b) breaking up; (c) accepting a common goal; (d) finding a solution. Druckman’s work4 results in a six-stage model with the following phases: (a) agreement about the need to negotiate; (b) agreement on a set of principles and objectives; (c) agreement on certain rules of conduct (it should be noted that the two precedent phases combined are identical to the negotiation on the rules discussed above); (d) defining the issues and setting up an agenda; (e) agreement on a formula or in principle; (f) agreement on implementing details.


Bargaining Power Labour Relation Shop Floor Work Council Employee Representation 
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Notes and References

  1. 1.
    A. Douglas, ‘The peaceful settlement of industrial and intergroup disputes’, Journal of Conflict Resolution, vol. 1 (1957) pp. 69ff.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. 2.
    The 50% Solution.Google Scholar
  3. 3.
    Psychology and Collective Bargaining, pp. 155–67.Google Scholar
  4. 4.
    Druckmans findings are combined into one model and quoted by Pruitt, Negotiating Behavior, p. 13.Google Scholar
  5. 5.
    The Social Psychology of Bargaining, ch. 13.Google Scholar
  6. 6.
    Negotiating Behavior, p. 133.Google Scholar
  7. 7.
    The author is indebted to A. Gottschalk for all uses of this box presentation.Google Scholar
  8. 8.
    C. J. Nierenberg, Fundamentals of Negotiating (New York: Hawthorn Books, 1973), devotes a full chapter to the dangers of assumptions.Google Scholar
  9. 9.
    Several sources exist for this axiom’. The earliest one the author has been able to come up with is an anecdote in a French detective story of the 1950s.Google Scholar
  10. 10.
    K. Thomas, ‘Conflict and Conflict Management’, has listed some of them.Google Scholar
  11. 11.
    M. Sherif and D. W. Sherif, Groups in Harmony and Tension (New York: Harper and Row, 1953)Google Scholar
  12. M. Sherif, Group Conflict and Co-operation (London: Routledge and Kegan Paul, 1966).Google Scholar
  13. 12.
    Marsh interestingly draws attention to the costs of time, see P. D. V. Marsh, Contract Negotiator Handook (Aldershot. England: Gower Press, 1982).Google Scholar
  14. 13.
    Nierenberg, Fundamentals of Negotiating, Chapter V, devotes the full chapter to questions and their use.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Jacques Rojot 1991

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jacques Rojot
    • 1
  1. 1.University of Paris I - SorbonneFrance

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