Turning Points and Negotiation: The Case of the 2007–2008 Writers' Strike

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Extant communication research on negotiation typically focuses on the microprocesses of interaction without much attention to the larger context in which these conflicts occur. However, public campaigns related to labor‐management conflicts impinge on the way negotiations are enacted. This study focuses on the turning points and conflict framing in the 2007–2008 conflict between the Writers Guild of America and the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers. Using media coverage and press releases, it examines turning points across critical events, communicative framing, and the role of a simultaneous corporate campaign in shaping the outcome of this negotiation. Overall, it demonstrates that procedural precipitants in combination with the corporate campaign triggered departures that escalated the conflict, while procedural and external precipitants shaped departures that led to an agreement. Writers Guild of America's particular brand of a soft corporate campaign played an important role in solidifying the labor union and garnering public support for the strike.

Keywords: strikes, corporate campaigns, conflict framing, negotiation, turning points

How to Cite: Putnam, L. & Fuller, R. (2014) “Turning Points and Negotiation: The Case of the 2007–2008 Writers' Strike”, Negotiation and Conflict Management Research. 7(3). doi: