Levels of Bargaining and Agreements

As negotiations take place, it is common for parties to move through various levels of bargaining and agreements. Understanding these levels can help parties anticipate the negotiation process and develop better strategies for achieving their goals.

Level One: Distributive Bargaining

In this level, the parties adopt a competitive approach. Each party tries to maximize their own gains while minimizing their losses. Distributive bargaining is typical in situations where parties have opposing interests and limited resources. Generally, the goal is to get as much as possible while giving up as little as possible.

Level Two: Integrative Bargaining

This level is characterized by a collaborative approach. Parties work together to find mutually beneficial solutions. The goal is to maximize the overall benefit of the agreement rather than just one party’s gains. Integrative bargaining is ideal for situations where parties have complementary goals and interests.

Level Three: Attitudinal Bargaining

The third level is based on changing attitudes. Parties focus on improving their relationship rather than just coming to an agreement. Attitudinal bargaining is useful for addressing conflicts and misunderstandings that may have led to the negotiation in the first place. Parties aim to develop trust and empathy towards each other, which can lead to more effective negotiations.

Level Four: Intra-Organizational Bargaining

At this level, the parties involved in the negotiation are not just individuals, but organizations. This type of bargaining tends to be more complex as multiple stakeholders and interests come into play. Parties need to consider the internal dynamics of their organization to determine what they can and cannot agree to.

Level Five: Multi-Party Negotiations

Multi-party negotiations are the most complex type of bargaining. Multiple parties with diverse interests and goals come together to negotiate and often need to find a way to balance them all. Effective communication and collaboration are key to achieving successful outcomes.

In summary, understanding the levels of bargaining can help parties navigate the negotiation process and develop effective strategies for achieving their goals. From competitive to collaborative approaches, each level offers unique opportunities for finding mutually beneficial solutions. Whether parties are negotiating with individuals or organizations, developing trust and empathy towards one another can lead to more successful outcomes.

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