Tuesday, November 13, 2012

N08: Ethics in Negotiation

N08: Ethics in Negotiation

At the beginning, this chapter mentions about the strengths and weaknesses of the American negotiator in the international political arena as follow: The strengths: Good preparation, Clear and plain speaking, A focus on pragmatism over doctrine, Strong ability to recognize the other party’s perspective and to recognize that negotiations do not have to be win-lose, Good understanding of the concession-making process, and Candid and straightforward communication. The weakness: Serious intergovernmental agency conflicts, the separation of political power between the presidency and congress.

The influence of interest groups on negotiations, media interference, negotiator impatience, and cultural insensitivity, the negotiators from different cultures/countries use different negotiation strategies and communication patterns when negotiating intra-culturally than when negotiating cross-culturally. The culture of the negotiator appears to be an important predictor of both the negotiation process that will occur and how the chosen negotiation strategies will influence negotiation outcomes. This chapter explained about two overall contexts, which have an influence on cross border negotiations: the environmental context, and the immediate context. The environmental context is beyond control.

There are some factors that make global negotiations more challenging than domestic negotiations: political and legal pluralism, international economics, foreign governments and bureaucracies, instability, ideology, culture, and stakeholder. The immediate context includes the factors, which the negotiators have influenced and control. These factors are as follow: relative bargaining power, levels of conflict, relationship between negotiators, desired outcome, and immediate stakeholders. The negotiation processes and outcomes are influenced by many factors, and that the influence of these factors can change in magnitude over time. The challenge for every global negotiator is to understand the simultaneous, multiple influences of several factors on the negotiation process and outcome, and to update this understanding regularly as circumstances change.


1. What are the questions of ethical conduct that arise in negotiation?

Using ethically ambiguous tactics: It’s (mostly) all about the truth
Identifying ethically ambiguous tactics and attitudes toward their use

-What ethically ambiguous tactics are there?
-Does tolerance for ethically ambiguous tactics lead to their actual use?
-Is it okay to use ethically ambiguous tactics?
Deception by omission versus commission
-Omission – failing to disclose information that would benefit the other
-Commission – actually lying about the common-value issue
The decision to use ethically ambiguous tactics:  A model

2. What factors shape a negotiator’s predisposition to use unethical tactics?

·         Contextual influences on unethical conduct
·         Past experience
·         Role of incentives
·         Relationship between the negotiator and the other party
·         Relative power between the negotiators
·         Mode of communication
·         Acting as an agent versus representing your own views
·         Group and organizational norms and pressures

3. What are the four approaches to ethical reasoning?

End-result ethics: The rightness of an action is determined by evaluating its consequences

Duty ethics: The rightness of an action is determined by one’s obligation to adhere to consistent principles, laws and social standards that define what is right and wrong

Social contract ethics: The rightness of an action is based on the customs and norms of a particular society or community

Personality ethics: The rightness of the action is based on one’s own conscience and moral standards.

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