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NCJ Number: 98957 Find in a Library
Title: Power of Alternaives or the Limits to Negotiation
Journal: Negotiation Journal  Volume:1  Issue:2  Dated:(April 1985)  Pages:163-179
Author(s): D A Lax; J K Sebenius
Date Published: 1985
Page Count: 17
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This paper examines how possible alternatives to negotiation as perceived by each of the parties to a dispute influence the willingness of the parties to enter negotiation or reach an agreement; mediators are given guidance for addressing the influence of alternatives to negotiation.
Abstract: Generally, a disputant is in a better negotiating position when alternatives to negotiation are promising, and the other disputant has poor alternatives to negotiation. Before and during a negotiation, participants should evaluate alternatives to agreement. They should routinely anticipate inflated perceptions of alternatives and seek to counter them. A diagnosis that a dispute is not 'ripe' for settlement may derive from optimistic perceptions of alternatives; where this is the case, strategy should focus on altering those perceptions. As the negotiating process unfolds, the disputants' quest for power in negotiations is bound up with alternatives to negotiation. When a disputant has desirable alternatives to negotiation, this fact can be used to require a negotiating agreement that is better than the alternatives. Alternatives to negotiation are also a factor once a tentative agreement has been reached but the terms are not finalized. The key to securing a finalized agreement is to reshape subsequent alternatives so they remain inferior to continued agreement. Four notes and 23 references are provided.
Index Term(s): Alternative dispute settlement; Mediation; Mediators; Negotiation
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