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Negotiation (2nd Edition – book review)

negotiations

Summary

A detailed examination of negotiation theory with plenty of useful advice and application to everyday negotiations.  A good overview but tries to cover too much material.
Level: Intermediate to Advanced
Categories: Business, Psychology, Academic
Publication Date: 2006-11-29

by Roy J. Lewicki, Joseph A. Littner, John W. Minton, David M. Saunders

Negotiation 2nd Edition is a must read for both the novice and the professional who engages in negotiation. This book is packed with the latest developments in the theory and practice of the negotiation process and conflict management. The authors have drawn upon a rich pool of resources from business schools, education, public policy, psychology and many other sources. The result is a rich product that delves deeply into the subject of negotiation and examines the topic matter from numerous angles and facets to create a very detailed tapestry of valuable information.

The only complaint that one might make about this fine work is that it perhaps ties to examine too much information. The result is that some of the most interesting and relevant topics are glossed over and lack some valuable detail which might leave the reader thirsting for more information. Particularly, there perhaps could have been more development on the chapters that dealt with Communication Processes and especially on International Negotiation However, the excellent reference section avails the reader to more information should they find the need to slake their interest further. The second problem is that the book relies too heavily on theory, as theory and practical application often diverge in real world situations.

Nonetheless, there is a multitude of pertinent and relevant information provided by the authors in this book that the reader will find of considerable use and can be applied in their everyday negotiations. The book is well structured in its design and presentation, and can be most certainly described as being very readable.

The authors have structured the book into fourteen chapters, having included International Negotiation which hadn’t been included in the first edition. The first two chapters prepare the reader by examining the negotiation process and by describing what conflict management entails. The next two chapters explain the two primary methods utilised in most negotiations being distributive and integrative negotiations, succinctly explaining their differences and how they diverge.

The rest of the book takes us into the broad recesses of what comprises the actual depth of the negotiation process. The reader then discovers what encompasses the tactics and strategy of the negotiation interaction. Next, follows one of the most important chapters covered that reveals how to prepare for a negotiation, one of the most overlooked stages and often ignored by many negotiators. Then, we examine in detail the causes and reason for a negotiation breakdown.This chapter is then enhanced by the importance and relevance of communication processes. This chapter is astutely followed by the persuasion process and the detailed examination of the social structure of a negotiation.

The next four chapters consider how to create and use power in their negotiations. This is followed by a most interesting chapter that probes into the psychology and influences of personality and negotiation style. Lastly we discover the importance of both the strengths and weaknesses of third party intervention, followed by a crucial examination of ethics. The final chapter encompasses a brief but thorough examination of the increasing importance of international negotiations and understanding cultural differences in a cross border negotiation context.

This is an excellent book for both the beginning and experienced negotiator. The book includes the latest developments in many fields that are especially pertinent and relevant to the topic of negotiation.

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