The Mayor (Theresa) is involved in multiple conflicts with the prominent local environmentalist group, Proper Plinkton, The Department of Conservation and the Extremely Sporty Plinkton (ESP: a council owned commercial entity co-ordination major sports events for the city). The feuds are over a cycle of dreadful incidences that transpired at the Plinkton tournament because of the Mayor trying to beautify Accidental Bay, Plinkton’s main beach where the “Beached As” Volleyball Series took place. The flawed incidences consisted of, the colour of the sand not being the natural grey of the area plus the Mayor did not consulted with the community at large about agreeing for such a change. The marine life in the harbour is said to have been affected from the moment of the first sand dumping and continued to have ongoing constant effects. Lastly ESP was in all sorts of difficulties, the athletes had lesions and infections on their skin and the athletes also complained about the coarseness of the sand, leading to withdrawal of a team from the remaining tournaments of the series. Furthermore, the contracted price for TV coverage was out of proportion to the actual revenue achieved. Lastly, the CEO of “Beached As” announced that Plinkton’s future as a venue for the series was terminated.
Suggestions: How the parties might best reach an agreed outcome
According to Findlaw Corporation (2018), negotiation is a collaborative process that occurs whenever one party wants something from another: Negotiation is a conversation intended to settle disputes, or to identify outcomes that appease various interests. Negotiation is therefore a course of communicating back and forth for reaching a joint decision (Findlaw Corporation, 2018). Negotiation involves three fundamentals, namely; process, behaviour and substance. Process is how the strategy used by the parties plus the series and stages in which all of strategies plays out: Behaviour is the communication technique among the parties: Substance is the plan, the difficulties, the alternatives and the compromise reached at the end (Fisher, Ury and Patton 2011). As stated by Findlaw Corporation (2018), practical strategy and planning are pivotal critical foundations for achieving negotiation goals: Lack of practical planning and target setting, makes it impossible to reach desired results. According to Krantcents (2018), not assigning ample time to planning is a gap that may cause failure (Lewicki et. al, 2010).
There are two avenues of negotiation, namely; principled and positional approaches. The prospects of both approaches can be used in negotiation (Spencer, 2005). Principled negotiation is defined as an interest-based approach that focusses on conflict management and conflict resolution: It is also said to be suitable when there are multiple issues rather than a single-issue (Swarm Thoughts, 2018). In these scenarios, principled negotiation is recommended because there are more han one issues to be addressed as well as more than two parties. Swarm Thoughts (2018) states that positional negotiation is a method that holds on a fixed idea or position regardless of any underlying interests (Spencer, 2005). Taking this approach in this matter could lead to detrimental relational effects.
Outline: Advice regarding the negotiation strategy to use
Helpguide (2018) advise that negotiation entails being clear about one’s objectives and to comprehend the position of the other party: It also involves offering and accepting proposals to reach an agreement (Brown and Marriott, 1999). According to Brown and Marriott (1999), awareness of basic communication techniques and strategies on how to communicate in challenging situations is advantageous. It is critical to prepare beforehand to respond effectively to tactics, whenever they arise: In constructing strategies to counter such behaviour, each situation must be viewed individually (Brown and Marriott, 1999).
Explain: The benefits of the above strategy
According to Fisher Ury and Patton (2011), those who involved in the negotiation would steadily hold their side’s positions and make quick response to other side’s activity: Consequently, the issues between two sides always arise from their assessment, emotion, and communication. Fisher, Ury and Patton (2011) advise that position is something that parties decide upon: The aim of negotiation is to reach agreement by focusing on each side’s interests, rather than their positions. In this Beached As scenario, it is important for the Mayor and the members of Proper Plinkton Group for instance to respect each other’s position and what each party does for the community. It is important that they are forward looking in order to get by this problem and hopefully in future work together to get the Volleyball Tournament to be hosted on their ground again in order to generate funds for the community at large. Unfortunately, most time, people generally think that negotiation is about the position rather than the communication: Hence the tendency is to take advantageous position in the negotiation to accomplish the goal (Fisher, Ury and Patton, 2011).
As stated by Fisher, Ury and Patton (2011), in the Github (2018), should both parties concentrate on interest, it is easier to then invent options for mutual benefits: This reciprocal perspective is the main difference from the win-lose path. According to Fisher, Ury and Patton 2011), each party should seek new solutions of the conflict which are positive to both sides. Before reaching the agreement and solutions of the conflict, Fisher, Ury and Patton (2005), suggest that various solutions can de established by brainstorming. Through that process all parties could view mutual gains (Fisher, Ury and Patton, 2011) in Github (2018).
According to Fisher, Ury and Patton (2011), when the concerns are totally opposed between two parties, the negotiation technique might tend to be problematic. Using a decision basis that is independent of either side is always useful. Resolution based on principle make it easier for both parties to achieve the agreement (Fisher, Ury and Patton, 2011).
Reasons: For outline above (refer to info in the scenario)
Negotiation is a critical process and therefore should be managed with great care: It is about getting the best possible deal in the best possible way (Fisher, Ury and Patton, 2011). Principled negotiation allows for the prospect of creative options and solutions that can benefit both parties. With a positional approach the aim will be more on claiming as much value as possible with a focus on the financial sum alone (Fisher, Ury and Patton, 2011) With a principled approach the Mayor could propose other options such as providing an apology to the residents of Plinkton to address her action to beautify the beach without consultation, this would assist in settling the negotiation. This option is unimaginable under a purely positional approach.
Blankenship (2018) advise that there are advantages in pursuing early settlement to issues. It would be advisable in this instance that the Mayor plans her strategies for communicating with all parties that have been affected, sooner rather than later. If left to escalate, the issues and conflict mount and if parties involved are resistant to consider common outcome benefits, the matter leads towards an expensive legal dispute (Lewicki, 2010). Negotiation is the most adaptable form of dispute resolution because it involves only those parties with some concerns in the matter and their representatives: Negotiations have a greater chance of achievement when the parties embrace an interest-based approach as opposed to a positional based approach (Blankenship, 2018). The Mayor’s approach to all affected parties is critical as this could either mend the relationships or completely break them. Negotiations is strictly an independent process: None is forced to participate in negotiations should they wish not to do so. There is no need for appeal to a third-party neutral. The result of a negotiation only compels those parties who are involved in negotiation: Negotiation will furnish the parties with the prospect to design an agreement which echoes their interests. Negotiations maintain and, in some cases, boost the relationship between the parties once an agreement has been reached between them.
In the likely event that negotiation results in a deadlock, mediation is an option that could be explored: Mediation has value in that it provides a third party who could assist in a settlement agreement while also having a process that is mutual (Spiller, 2007). A settlement at Mediation avoids litigation which invariably involves consequential time and cost: Mediation is a private process, and this avoids any reputational damage from negative publicity that normally arises from litigation (Wikipedia, 2018). This would be a benefit Plinkton and the Mayor who will want to minimise any reputational damage.
Mediation avoids considerable emotional and psychological costs related with litigation. A facilitative style of mediation aides in dealing with the underlying interests and behaviour that are barriers preventing a negotiation settlement. Analysing the parties’ interests and developing options for mutual gain is available with a third party to facilitate a settlement (Wikipedia, 2018). In this matter the interests of the residents of Plinkton need to be put into consideration while also advising the residents of the advantages of hosting the volleyball tournament, therefore a compromise between the Mayor and the residents would be helpful in the long-run. In an evaluative mediation the reality of what would be associated with an oppositional process is established: Mediation is beneficial until the beginning of a hearing (Mackie, 2007). However, when mediation does not result in an agreement, it adds more time and cost to a discord that advances to litigation. Additionally, when there is no agreement this can be perceived by the parties as a failure to a process. Nonetheless a mediation that results in no full settlement adds value to resolving the feud by agreeing to some facts and issues resulting in a drop in the time and cost of litigation and any future mediation (Mackie, 2007).
According to Spiller (2007), the features of a competitive negotiation are that it places pressure on the other party: Positional negotiating aims at being more fixed to the extent that the focus on a position can make it problematic for a party to move (Spiller, 2007). It would not be advisable for the prominent local environmentalist group (Proper Plinkton) for instance to go into mediation pointing out on the Mayor’s mistakes and not wanting to look at ways to solve the problem at hand. Likewise, it would be incorrect for the Mayor to take on a higher oral group because of her designation and not show remorse for the unfortunate incidences that have transpired. Ultimately, the rigid position might be outside the other party’s Zone of Potential Agreement (ZOPA) (Spiller 2007). In some cases, settlement mediation model is an option; but it is important to note that this is not related to a positional style of negotiation: It could be used if both parties agree that the only issue is financial (Spiller, 2007).
In some cases, parties may not be of equal power therefore the weaker party may be at a disadvantage. As Cloke (2001), advises, for negotiation to be successful, there is need for each party to have a clear understanding of its negotiating mandate. In Wikipedia (2018), it is further stated that when ambiguity exists regarding the boundaries of a party’s negotiating command, the party is then unable to engage effectively in the bargaining process (Cloke, 2001). Unfortunately, the lack of a neutral third party can result in parties being unable to make progress towards a solution. Furthermore, some matters are not amenable to negotiation. Seemingly, there is no chance of an agreement where the parties are divided by opposing philosophies which leave no room for common concessions (Cloke, 2001). The negotiation process therefore, cannot certify the good faith of any of the parties: In some scenes, negotiation is therefore used as a slowing tactic to prevent another party from asserting its rights through litigation or arbitration (Fisher, Ury and Patton, 2011).