Negotiation permeates the interactions of almost everyone in groups and organizations. There’s the obvious: Labor bargains with management. There’s the not-so-obvious: managers negotiate with employees, peers, and bosses; salespeople negotiate with customers; purchasing agents negotiate with suppliers. Then there’s the subtle: an employee agrees to cover for a colleague for a few minutes in exchange for a future favor. In today’s loosely structured organizations, in which members often work with colleagues over whom they have no direct authority and with whom they may not even share a common boss, negotiation skills are critical.

We can define negotiation as a process that occurs when two or more parties decide how to allocate scarce ...

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