Unraveling Business Negotiations Using Practitioner Data

  • Ray Fells (University of Western Australia)
  • Helen Rogers
  • Peter Prowse
  • Ursula F. Ott


Although negotiations are a core business activity, there is a lack of information about what actually occurs during a business negotiation. This study addresses this issue though an international survey of managers focusing on actual negotiations. The 294 respondents reported on what actions they took as they sought to achieve an agreement, including how information was exchanged and how they looked for new solutions and managed concession making. The analysis suggests a pragmatic approach to negotiation, whereby information is not withheld, but neither is it freely given. Solutions emerge from discussion of priorities and commonalities rather than through more formal creative processes. The underlying script of negotiation appears to draw more on competitive than overtly collaborative tactics, suggesting that business negotiators are cautious co‐operators. Further research avenues include investigating the pressures and context that impact upon negotiators' decision‐making and closer examination of interactions between negotiation tasks en route to an agreement.

Keywords: outcome satisfaction, negotiation processes and tasks, international business negotiations

How to Cite:

Fells, R. & Rogers, H. & Prowse, P. & Ott, U., (2015) “Unraveling Business Negotiations Using Practitioner Data”, Negotiation and Conflict Management Research 8(2), 119-136. doi:

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Published on
24 Apr 2015
Peer Reviewed