Planning for the Negotiation
Planning for the Negotiation
Every person who wants to enter into a negotiation must adopt a suitable approach that would help them get through the process successfully. Michelle who needs to engage in a negotiation with Nikki can either utilize the integrative or distributive approach to negotiation. The distributive approach seeks to allocate resources among the negotiating parties, and every side wants to grab a bigger share of the resources. The advantage of the distributive approach is that it may generate more gain to a negotiating party while its demerit is that it may cause varied ways of looking at the issue at hand. The integrative approach, on the other hand, takes the form of a joint effort to come up with resolutions that benefit all the parties. The negotiators who use the integrative approach perceive the other parties as friends since the form of negotiation promotes the common interests of all the sides contrary to the distributive technique where the negotiating groups view each other as adversaries. Michelle, based on the description of the two negotiation approaches, should adopt the integrative method that would benefit both sides rather than creating competition.
Nikki, the manager of the call center at InBloom Flowers creates a work schedule that does not go well with Michelle who serves in a lower seniority. Employees with seniority choose their ideal working hours leaving those with less seniority with less perfect shifts. Michelle who ranks around the bottom 20 percent for picking the working hours ends up with the working shift that begins 10:00am-6:00 pm Tuesday –Saturday (8:00-4:00 pm on Saturdays). The bargaining mix in the case is that Michelle feels that the working schedule will leave her with little time to focus on her engagement considering that she is a single mom. Michelle believes that the program may give her little to take care of her baby who remains in the care of a daycare who only serves from 8:30-5:30 Monday through Friday.
The parties that seek to enter into the negotiation have varying interests. Nikki who stands for the company’s interest wants to elongate the working hours to meet the number of orders from customers. Nikki feels that by increasing the working hours, the employees will spend more time working on the orders, therefore, managing the increasing demands from the customers. Nikki wishes to accomplish the organization’s desire which is to serve all its customers without delay. Michelle on her part has interest in securing enough time to be with the child and to get some rest.
Michelle and Nikki are likely to have some resistance points that would not allow them to engage in the negotiation when things turn out in contrary to expectations. Nikki might reach the resistance point when Nikki refuses to heed to her requests, and when she can no longer convince the manager to alter the working program. Nikki on her part might reach the resistance point when Michelle fails to provide a convincing reason as to why she needs a working program that gives her enough time to cater for her child. Nikki might also reach her resistance point when the organization policy would not allow her to change the working timetable once selected by the employees.
Michelle should have several alternatives and the best alternative to a negotiated agreement (BATNA) to increase her chances of convincing Nikki. First, Michelle may decide to face the manager and describe her two-year service at the firm which should put her in a position where she can choose a more favorable schedule. Michelle may also describe her child or her marital status which can motivate Nikki to give in to the pleas. Michelle’s BATNA would be to find a baby keeper that would be willing to serve for longer hours in case Nikki declines to offer the request.
Michelle should enter the negotiation with clearly set objectives and should settle on a suitable opening bid. The employee targets a better working schedule that would allow her more time to focus on other personal issues. Michelle’s objective is also to come to a valid agreement with the departmental manager (Nikki). Michelle should start with explaining why the working shift does not favor her and goes ahead to provide suggestions that would assist the manager in helping her.
The environment in which the negotiation takes place will have a significant effect on the outcome and the participating sides. The talk will take place in an atmosphere where every person has the right to express their opinions provided that they adhere to the set regulations. The consultation will involve Nikki and Michelle as the major parties, but some of the business leaders in charge of the change might also be present as an additional constituent to aid with the decision-making. The negotiation which is likely to occur at Nikki’s office will mostly focus on the agenda outlined above (addressing the issue of a tight working schedule) unless the present parties may wish to introduce additional subjects.
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