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Achieving Integrative Agreements (From Negotiating in Organizatios, P 35-50, 1983, Max H Bazerman and Roy J Lewicki, ed. - See NCJ-94060)

NCJ Number
D G Pruitt
Date Published
17 pages
This article discusses methods for achieving integrative agreements, a procedure for analyzing interests, the nature of problemsolving, and conditions encouraging the development of integrative solutions.
Integrative agreements in bargaining are those that reconcile (integrate) the parties' interests and hence yield high joint benefit. Methods for achieving integrative agreements include 'expanding the pie,' which involves increasing the available resources to provide each party with what they seek; 'nonspecific compensation,' which means one party receives what he/she wants and the other is repaid in some unrelated coin; and 'logrolling,' where each party concedes on low-priority issues in exchange for concessions on issues of higher priority to itself. Additional methods are 'cost cutting,' where one party gets what he/she wants, and the other's costs are reduced or eliminated and 'bridging,' where neither party achieves its initial demands, but a new option is devised that satisfies the most important interest underlying these demands. To devise integrative solutions involving 'cost cutting' or 'bridging,' it is usually necessary to know something about the interests underlying one or both parties' proposals. This involves analyzing parties' interests, which consists of organizing interests into hierarchical trees, with more basic interests underpinning more superficial ones. Also, integrative agreements usually require some third party working with the conflicting parties in a problemsolving approach that arrives at a new option. An important aspect of problemsolving is openness to new alternatives. Conditions that encourage integrative solutions are a persistence in holding to aspirations while fostering cooperativeness in efforts at creative problemsolving that yield high joint benefit. Contentious behavior, which consists of all actions designed to elicit concessions from the other party, can either facilitate or obstruct the achieving of integrative agreements. It is important to use contentious behavior according to principles that foster integrative agreements. Twenty-one references are provided.