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Negotiation Strategy – Article Analysis

Various studies nowadays use the term “negotiation” for giving description of different situations, which are aimed with active discussion of issues/business cases or life problems in order to agree with something/somebody or resolve any uncertainties. The classic definition of negotiation was given by Dr. Mastenbruk, who differentiated “negotiations as the style of behavior, with which we encounter and use ourselves every day. ” (Mastenbruk, 1996).

Negotiation as a scientific term and definition is widely used not only in the close relation to formal situations including business and politic spheres but also in different situations, which rely to private life. Negotiation is a process that can be built on the basis of new relationship establishment including cooperation context or conflict situations, where negotiations are arranged around redistribution of material goods or the question of human life even.

The aims and objectives I set up as the necessary background for current paper are closely linked to idea of opening the real esteem of “tough negotiations” basing on examples taken from real life negotiations. The bright sample of indirect negotiations format with third party involvement in order to manage the peaceful character and constructive dialogue of communication between the participants, has taken place in Ankara,

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in May, 2008th, negotiations between Syria and Israel (The Associated Press, 2008).

It is a classic case of indirect negotiations, which took place on the third party’s location and were targeted with redistribution of the territory, because the existing dissatisfaction with current situation from one of the parties. Turkish diplomats played the role of mediators between the Israeli Prime Minister, Ehud Olmert and the Syrian Delegation. Many factors prove that these negotiations can be classified as tough, because the both parties look for finding a weaker position of the opponent instead of finding the compromise in the situation.

The situational case is based on the Syria’s demand to return the Golan Heights, which were occupied by Israel in 1967th. The previous latest negotiations on this case were held in the year 2000th and after 8 years’ break , the parties decided that they are in the position to step in negotiations again. Positioning is the right word for defining this particular talk, as the situation and the result of the conversation was well known before the actual dialogue has started.

Polls made in Israel before the meeting in Ankara showed that the majority of Israeli population was against the idea of giving the Golan Heights back to Syria. On the other hand Syria being isolated because its alliance with Iran, tried to involve USA in the dialogue in order to make Syrian position stronger. This is classic positional bargain, where the both parties go into debating on their positions, which are based on primary interests of participants in the subject of negotiations.

As a rule, the mostly expected outcome in this type of negotiations is a doubled competition. Summarizing the features that differentiate positional bargaining, I’d like to add those, which can be linked to Syria – Israel peacemaking negotiations. Participants are interested in implementation of their own goals with the maximum extent possible under the circumstances and without paying attention on the opponent, and his attitude to the possible outcome of negotiations.

Golan Heights is a subject; Syria is interested in getting it back and official Damascus claims to return it to Syrian territory, at the same time Israeli Premier Minister claims that it is not possible in principal, so there is no chance for peaceful relationship between the countries as far as the issue of Golan Heights exists. This statement pronounced by Israeli side proves the next characteristics of positioning bargain that emphasizes the distinction between the conflict parties at the time, when the existing similarity was rejected.

Current negotiation is based on the positions, which were already nominated and the parties seek to defend them. The actions, such as claimed by Syrian side, US involvement to the conflict is rather aimed with threatening and shattering the positions of the opponent at negotiation table, than solving the problem. One more tough example of direct negotiations, I have intention to review under the theme of present paper is linked to the Russian – Ukrainian gas conflict and their negotiations.

The participants are Gazprom and Naftogaz, the main organizations responsible for services related to gas and their performance in the Ukraine and Russian Federation. In fact, the question was discussed on Premier Ministers’ level (OilVoice, 2009). These negotiations being initially direct organized between the main players of the gas conflict have grown into indirect after the international conference in Brussels, which has taken place on the 23ird of May this year, as the representatives from EU became involved.

Gazprom – Naftogaz negotiation is a classic sample of interests based negotiations. Alternatively to positional bargain negotiations based on mutual interest envisages “win – win” situation as a desired outcome of the dialogue. Initially the partnership approach should drive negotiations based on mutual interests. Russia – Ukrainian case is specific. Negotiations being originally organized in order to achieve a compromise and satisfy the both participants’ expectations have stepped aside from traditional formula described in works of Fisher and Jury.

The participants instead of finding the compromised solution have started to involve political questions. This factor slowed down the negotiations process significantly. The main issues brought on negotiation table where linked to gas transfer across the Ukrainian territory, the gas prices and the money not paid for the gas being already used. The both parties were purely interested in quick resolving of the situation as Ukraine needed gas transfers to be renewed, because of resources shortage and the pressure of western European countries, who became the customers of Ukrainian gas transfer system.

On the other side Gazprom was interested in fast renewal of gas selling because growing amount of money losses, caused by gas selling stop. Clear and easy but with political ambitious involved the countries sit again and again at negotiations table to talk about the same issue. Still I would like to underline the negotiation strategies used in this case in order to show that sometimes even the traditional negotiation instruments used correctly can be out of service.

The strategies used in gas dialogue included common analysis of the problem, agreement on partnering in the situation resolving, transparency and clearness of the processes and mechanism being settled as the required measure of negotiation procedure. The result of described strategy is always a compromised solution that satisfies the both dialogue’s participants completely. Let me consider Russian – Ukrainian negotiations as partly failed, because their disability to resolve the issue completely with stable outcome for many years with solution that will satisfy all the interested parties.

As the result of negotiations in Moscow the temporary compromise was found and now all the Europe is waiting if the winter coming will bring another gas problem pitfall. References: 1. Mastenbruk. , U. (1996). Managing conflict situations in the terms of organizational development. Moscow. 2. The Associated Press. (2008). Peace Talks Resume between Israel and Syria. Indirect discussion with Turkish mediation. 3. OilVoice. (2009) Naftogaz comments on latest negotiations with Gazprom. Discussion of Russian – Ukrainian Gas Partnership. .

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