Even within an organization structured around a single overriding goal, competing personal interests and opinions often complicate discussions. In times such as these, a strong negotiator is necessary to help sort out the various goals, wants, and needs and to help reach a group consensus. Consider the following scenario:
Apex Co. is working on the release of a new product. This product launch is critical to the success of the company. Teams from the manufacturing division, sales division, and marketing division are meeting to discuss the roll out. When the meeting convenes, it quickly breaks down into heated debate.
The manufacturing division is accusing sales of promising more than can be delivered to the customers who have preordered. A major component to the new product must be sourced from a new supplier due to the rising cost raw materials. Because of the time needed to ramp up the supply chain, manufacturing will be behind for months.
The sales division is quick to blame manufacturing for not providing accurate projections. Members on the sales team point to numerous e-mails that were exchanged concerning the quality and timing of the orders being placed.
Meanwhile, the marketing division is concerned that the planned roll-out event for the launch will have to be rescheduled if sales and manufacturing are not able to get on the same page and stick to the timetables that had been agreed upon.
- What kind of planning did you employ and how was it different than single-party negotiations?
- Think of a situation in which you were a participant in a work group that came to an impasse in negotiations.
Answer the following questions guide your initial posting.
1) Which factors that differ from the planning steps typically involved in a single-party negotiation must be considered when planning for this negotiation?
2) What tactics can groups employ to move beyond impasse to resolution? How are these different than single-party negotiations?
3) What techniques would you use during the meeting to facilitate the group’s ability to come to a solution for moving forward?
4) How would these techniques differ if all the meetings were held in a virtual environment?
Lewicki, R. J., Saunders, D. M., & Barry, B. (2011). Essentials of negotiation (5th ed.). New York, NY: McGraw-Hill.
Chapter 10, “Multiple Parties and Teams”
Chapter 12, “Best Practices in Negotiation