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    Negotiation Science

    Negotiation research data certainly exists, but is generally fragmented and conducted on a small national or local scale, often by individual educational institutions using national surveys or work with immediate constituencies, such as students. Sound analysis requires credible international data that should be published and made accessible for peer review and public scrutiny1. The INI will mobilize, map and disseminate the results of more of such credible negotiation research and analysis. For example:

    • The monetary value of negotiation skills is known to be significant but remains largely unproven. The US Department of Commerce report indicated that in 2002 the construction industry alone lost at least $15.8 billion through defective interactions – eg communication and co-ordination barriers, poor information sharing and other negotiation failings2. Similarly, an analysis by UK research agencies YouGov and the Centre for Economics and Business Research (CEBR), drawing data from a survey of 1,000 UK businesses in 15 sectors, suggested that the UK alone loses US$22 billion a year through ineffective negotiation3. More comprehensive research is needed across more sectors and countries to establish the value that negotiation skills can add to societies and economies
    • Some research and analytical work has been focused on "canons" or principles underpinning “good” negotiating practice. The International Chamber of Commerce has published Principles to Facilitate Commercial Negotiation4, and some negotiation scholars and trainers have been developing and promoting a set of negotiation canons5. This area could be progressed on an international scale based on more comprehensive data that is designed to be culturally sensitive.
    • There is no recognized voluntary international code of negotiation ethics to encourage responsible negotiation. Often assumed to be too challenging to achieve, there is no published data on whether an ethical code would improve negotiators’ behaviors or have significant tangible consequences. Such work would need to take into account the cross-cultural diversity of negotiation ethics. These efforts could be best coordinated and promoted through a global initiative.

    The INI will be in a position to attract governmental, institutional and private funding, as it will have the collaborative professional and social network to enable such research to be conducted in an integrated way and for the results to be analyzed and published internationally. Thought leadership articles and other materials could be more effectively and formally shared and promoted (and, where necessary, translated).

    Negotiation competence and quality of educational / training programs

    Negotiation rarely features as a core subject in educational curricula. Most professionals join the workforce without a structured negotiation education, even for making deals or resolving disputes. It mainly falls to employers to provide post-qualification negotiating training at their own cost.

    There are many outstanding books and courses teaching negotiation skills for deals and disputes as a post-qualification discipline. Courses have been established by business schools, university faculties (law and other disciplines), professional bodies, independent trainers and dispute resolution providers. Usually lasting 3 to 5 days, they vary in content, coverage, cost, quality and achieved competence levels. Identifying the right course to attend can be hard; objective guidance is not easily accessible. For trainees and sponsors, return on the investment in negotiation courses is not always guaranteed.

    Some aspects, such as culture and cross-cultural communication skills, cognitive biases, psychology and ethics are increasingly being included in the curricula of professional negotiation training courses, but need to be adopted much more widely by educators.

    In order to maximize the value of negotiated outcomes, parties must master integrative (principled, interest-based) as well as distributive (competitive, positional) negotiation techniques and various other negotiation models. If only one party is properly trained in the full range of possible approaches and techniques, potential outcomes can be severely constrained.

    A close relationship will be maintained between research analysis and educational standards to enable negotiation education and practice to be soundly based on science as well as art. Through its network, the INI will keep education and training standards under continuous review and improvement. For example, the multilingual INI website will:

    • Define high standards in negotiation education and training.
    • Include cultural, cross-cultural & cognitive aspects of negotiation.
    • Encourage trainers to award negotiation qualifications via international competence criteria.
    • Establish criteria to help trainers appoint assessors of negotiation competence.
    • Serve as a clearinghouse for teaching and case materials.
    • Be a distribution and reference hub for articles published worldwide.
    • Support negotiation trainers in developing countries with materials and tools.
    • Introduce sponsored scholarship programs in countries and sectors lacking robust negotiation education facilities.
    • Promote updated information on negotiation conferences and events worldwide.
    • Provide guidance for students on career and professional development.
    • Coordinate/support negotiation competitions, including those conducted online.
    • Create a global network and community of practice among negotiation experts.
    • Provide open and objective information on negotiation education and training.

    1 E.g. Huthwaite International’s 2014 analysis at: http://horizons.huthwaiteinternational.com/latest-negotiation-research/
    2 https://nvlpubs.nist.gov/nistpubs/gcr/2004/NIST.GCR.04-867.pdf.
    3 Reported in The Yes Book (2013) by Clive Rich pages 22-26.
    4 https://iccwbo.org/publication/icc-principles-to-facilitate-commercial-negotiation/.
    5 Christopher Honeyman & Andrea Kupfer Schneider, eds, The Negotiator’s Desk Reference (St. Paul: DRI Press, 2017); Andrea Kupfer Schneider & Christopher Honeyman, eds, The Negotiator’s Fieldbook: The Desk Reference for the Experienced Negotiator (American Bar Association, 2006).

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