The Predictability of Distributive Bargaining

This article examines the predictability of distributive bargaining between two negotiators, and conditions that might distort that predictability. It also introduces the important concept of the ‘negotiation dance,’ which is basic to the study of the negotiation process.Negotiation is a social act; of communication and discovery between two or more people, with the goal of agreeing on some as-yet-undecided issue. The parties lack perfect information about one another’s aspiration point (the highest they reasonably expect to get), their reservation point   (below which they will walk away), or the personal factors that could influence one or the other to change those numbers, such as economic hardship making an immediate settlement or sale very attractive.

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