The Bargaining Zone and the Negotiation Dance

Typically, negotiators' target points do not positively overlap. For example, in most situations, the seller wants more for the product or service she is selling than the buyer is willing to pay her. However, it is often (but not always) the case that negotiators' reservation points do overlap, and reaching mutual settlement is profitable for both parties. However, the challenge of negotiation is to reach a settlement that is most favorable to oneself and does not give up too much of the bargaining zone. The bargaining zone, or settlement zone, represents the region between each party's reservation point. We may reliably predict that the final settlement of a negotiation will fall somewhere above ...

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