Power Struggles

Previous assignments attached

This section will focus on identifying the power differences between the two parties in the ongoing negotiation. In the situation between Nikki and Michelle there is a definite power differential between the two parties. Power can be derived from many sources. For this part of the project review the scenario fact pattern and address the following questions in your paper:

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  1. Compare and contrast the power differential between the parties. Where does Nikki derive her source of power? Identify whether Michelle has a source of power.
  2. Create a list of how the party perceived to be in the “lesser power position” should prepare and proceed with the negotiation. Relate your list to the facts of this case.

In your paper, follow standard mechanics in grammar, punctuation, and spelling. Provide proper APA cited research: in text and full citations.

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The Negotiation Tug of War for Advantages

Wouldn’t it be nice if in every negotiation the parties held equal power? This would ensure that everyone is starting off on equal footing and that no one would have an advantage over the other party. More likely than not, this situation does not occur. In many a conflict or negotiation, one party derives or obtains more power over the other party. Parties achieve power from a variety of sources:

  • Informational sources of power
  • Personal sources of power
  • Power based on position in an organization
  • Relationship-based sources of power
  • Contextual sources of power

These sources of power are not necessarily a negative part of the negotiation or conflict process. Oftentimes, by identifying the source of power each party holds, they can use their powers to work together towards a resolution. A problem still remains when the power differential leaves one party with the feeling of not having a matched amount of power when dealing with the other party.

It can be rather intimidating to come to the negotiation table when you feel as though you have less, whether it is perceived or actual power, than the other party. For example, think about a time when you wanted to negotiate for something such as a bigger raise or more vacation time? Based on the fact that you are making the request to your boss, you are facing power based on position in an organization. You are the subordinate asking for more of something. By cultivating a strong BATNA such as having a legitimate job offer which would offer those things, you can balance the power.

As you have learned so far, one of the best ways to be successful in not only a power differential, but in your overall negotiation is to be prepared. Anytime you enter a negotiation, be sure to examine the power that you hold as well as the actual or perceived power of the other party or parties. While examining this power, remember to review tips pertaining to parties in the lower position.

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Ethical Win-Wins

Throughout your time in college, you studied the interrelatedness of ethics in a variety of situations. You learned that ethics are important so that the rules are fair for all involved. Imagine a workplace free of ethics? People would not be accountable for showing up, completing tasks, stealing company supplies, etc. As a manager, you need to make ethical decisions to ensure an equitable workplace for your subordinates.

When it comes to negotiations, we want to approach them in an ethical manner. In your materials for this week, you saw how power can be used in a negative or positive approach at the negotiation table. Sometimes the desire to assert more power over the other party leads down the path to unethical negotiations. A party will use tactics such as intentional misrepresentation, omission of vital facts, or intimidation to assert authority over the other party. Their goal is to force the other party to do what they want such as purchase a car or enter into an unfavorable contract.

Not all tactics are completely ethical versus unethical. Depending on how they are performed will render them as being ethical. Bluffing, which are insincere threats or promises, can be a means to see if the other party is really serious when it comes to the subject of the negotiation. For example, Party A is selling a car and tells Party B that they have another interested party coming to check out the car in a few hours. Party A does not have anyone else coming by to check out the car. The use of bluffing, or telling Party B that there is another interested party, is their way of measuring the interest level of Party B. Some may consider this bluff an all-out lie, while others consider it an ethical part of the negotiation process.

When using the tactics from the module resources, it is important to balance whether they are ethical or unethical. If both parties play fair, then the result of the negotiation typically results in a win-win. When one party asserts unethical tactics or unnecessary tactics in a negation, the power starts to become imbalanced resulting in a win-lose situation. One of the outcomes of a good negotiation is that regardless of the result, both parties feel as though they were active participants in an ethical process.