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Models of Bargaining

Based on Chapter 23 of Human Resource Management in a Business Context (2nd Edition) by Alan Price - published by Thomson Learning

There are several models of the bargaining process, the clearest of which identifies four main stages (Lyons, 1988: 110):

1 Initial positioning. Both parties set out their positions and requirements in emphatic, firm way aimed at giving the impression that there is no possibility of budging from those positions. The situation can appear hopeless at this stage.

2 Testing. The next stage is a less formal probing of the other side's demands, testing out which are really unmovable and which might bend in the right circumstances.

3 Concession. Some tentative proposals and concessions are exchanged on which detailed negotiations can take place.

4 Settlement. Finally, agreement is reached and the package of new terms is settled and actioned.

Obviously, the model does not apply in every case (...). Lyons argues that successful negotiation requires specific skills. (...):

  • Analysis. (...)
  • Effective argument. (...)
  • Signals of cooperation.(...)
  • Attention to detail. (...)

The full version, including a case example is shown on pages 646-649 of Human Resource Management in a Business Context.

Relevant articles

Saskatchewan - Proposed Amendments to the Trade Union Act Passed
30 September 2005 - A report from the CBI (the employers' organisation) shows that British businesses have major concerns about the complexity of the new employment tribunal procedures despite a fall in the number of tribunal cases since the reforms were introduced last October.

Where do we want workplace relations to be in five years time?
27 February 2005 - Full text of Australian Federal Minister Kevin Andrews' speech on February 25 2005

Bullying and harassment complaints - is mediation the answer
2 April 2004 - Workplace Mediation is becoming an increasingly popular dispute resolution method to resolve interpersonal employee conflicts including harassment and bullying complaints. Nora Doherty, Director of Professional Mediation Resolutions (PMR) explains what mediation is, how it can be most appropriately used by organisations and what kind of training staff may require.

Work dispute system reform 'squandered'
21 December 2003 - According to the TUC, new laws being introduced to resolve more workplace disputes represent a 'squandered' opportunity that might lead to an increase in Employment Tribunals and threaten an employee's right to a fair hearing.

HRM Textbooks

Human Resource Management

Human Resource Management, 4th edition
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Fundamentals of Human Resource Management
 Shortened version of Human Resource Management - concise analysis for non-specialists and one-semester courses.
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