The Art of Negotiating
Psychological Strategies for Gaining Advantageous Bargains

Nierenberg, Gerard I.
Publisher:  Cornerstone Library Publications, New York, USA
Year Published:  1968  
Pages:  192pp   Price:  $7.95  
Dewey:  341.52
Resource Type:  Book
Cx Number:  CX11963

Negotiation cannot be considered a game accord to Nierenberg; everyone must win. If participants were to try to co-operate instead of compete, they would be more likely to reach a lasting, mutually beneficial solution.

Abstract:  Whenever people exchange ideas in order to reach an agreement, they are negotiating. Though negotiation involves nothing but human interactions and behaviours, it is too broad in scope to be adequately analyzed with any one of the existing behavioural sciences (e.g. psychology, economics, etc.) When Gerard Nierenberg wrote The Art of Negotiating, no general theories of negotiation yet existed. Nierenberg attempted to devise the first one. He states that any successful negotiator must be familiar with human behaviour and able to correctly anticipate their opponent's beliefs. They must then be able to use the right techniques and tactics to satisfy both their and their opponent's needs. Nierenberg calls this the "Need Theory of Negotiation."

Negotiation cannot be considered a game accord to Nierenberg; everyone must win. If participants were to try to co-operate instead of compete, they would be more likely to reach a lasting, mutually beneficial solution. It is also important to keep in mind that negotiators are human, and as such one must expect that one's opponent might engage in common behaviours including rationalization, conformity, and repression. Additionally, a successful negotiator must know what assumptions each side will make about the issue being discussed.

Citing Maslow's hierarchy of needs, Nierenberg then asserts that human behaviour always attempts to satisfy needs. Assuming this, he outlines the "Need Theory of Negotiation," stating that both negotiators seek to gratify needs and thus by examining the needs that must be addressed by each party, one can determine the approach to negotiation that one should take. This approach must counteract one's opponent's motivations, and can involve anything from working "for the opposer's needs" to working "against the opposer's and [one's] own needs." Depending on one's approach, the appropriate strategy and tactics to employ can be determined. Nierenberg discusses when, how, and where to apply specific tactics such as imposing limits and bluffing. If successful, negotiation can achieve a result that benefits both parties equally. If this is the case, why not talk it out?

[Abstract by Oliver Mao]

Subject Headings