Moving from Interest-Based to Results-Focused Bargaining

Source: John R. Stepp and Gary I. Bergel, Perspectives on Work, Vol. 11 no. 2, Winter, 2008
(subscription required)

More than two decades ago Roger Fisher and William Ury published Getting to Yes, ground-breaking research on how to conduct negotiations to yield superior outcomes for all parties. … Known by a variety of names (including Mutual Gains Bargaining and Win-Win Bargaining), Fisher and Ury’s methodology, which they refer to as Interest-Based Negotiations (IBN), has been promoted as a more effective alternative to the typically adversarial methods used in traditional labor negotiations. In the zeal to tone down the adversarial and dysfunctional aspects of traditional bargaining, however, some IBN devotees have removed components of traditional bargaining that we believe to be legitimate and productive, while they have added or emphasized features that seemingly elevate form over function, leaving labor and management bargainers frequently frustrated and disappointed. …we are convinced that a synthesis of traditional contract negotiations and IBN is much more effective than either approach by itself. This synthesis, which we refer to as Results-Focused Bargaining (RFB), uses the interest-based methodology as the foundation and borrows selectively from more traditional methods of negotiating. This article examines IBN’s shortcomings and the RFB alternative, with a focus on transformational negotiations.

Leave a Reply