BBA Business Communication Study Material Conflict and Negotiation : BBA Year 2019 Most Important Question Answer Study Material Notes in English Language.
- Dealing with a conflict through negotiation is the most challenging task of communication.
- Conflict arises from serious disagreement about something important like allocation of scarce resources, clash of goals or different perceptions.
- Negotiation is a process in which the concerned parties interact to resolve a conflict jointly.
- The essential characteristics of negotiation situation are – a conflict of interest no fixed se of rules, and search for agreement.
- Like all communication events, negotiation is ‘structured’. From a marketing researcher’s point of views there are four stages of moves in a typical negotiation – opening, exchange of information, change of position and closing.
- The linguistic content of negotiation has five factors – information, Interaction, Meta-talk, Concession, and Agreement.
- Each of these factors has content and structure variables.
- There are two types of negotiation process – integrative and distributive. The integrative process is based on a ‘win- win’ situation while the distributive process is based on a ‘win – lose’ situation.
- In any negotiation both these processes are at work.
- Negotiation is a complex communication phenomenon leading to a compromise. A negotiating party has, therefore, to be careful at every move.
In the preceding chapter we have discussed the four major/ mega/ main functions of communication. All these functions have their roles to play both separately and in combination, depending upon the context or the demands of the situation. Perhaps the most interesting and challenging task of communication is concerned with conflict and negotiation. Almost all of us are familiar with the situations in which conflicts arise and the need to negotiate becomes paramount. It happens quite frequently in our personal and social lives. But there is certainly no business organization that is free from conflicts and does not endeavour to resolve it s conflicts through negotiation. It may be possible to put down conflicts in a family, but in the corporate world negotiation is the only royal road to success.
Literally conflict means (a) “serious disagreement and argument about something important” and (b) “a state of mind in which you find it impossible to make a decision or choice.” In business, conflict involves a disagreement about the allocation of scarce resources or a clash of goals, statuses, values, perceptions, or personalities. Quite a lot of our conflicts arise from our communication of our wants, needs and values to others. Our communication may or may not suit others.
The essential ingredients of conflict, therefore, are
- Clash of goals , interests, perceptions etc,
- Difficulty in making a decision,
- Inadequate or poor communication, and
- Incompatible personalities
Conflict, in this way is a situation that requires serious attention, and resolution through negotiation. In a business organization such situations crop up very often, especially in the context of labour management relations. A manager can no doubt use dominance and suppression in handling conflicts with employees. But such an action can, sooner or later, prove to be counterproductive. The best option for him is negotiation.
Negotiation can easily be defined as “a process by which two parties interact to resolve a conflict jointly” J.L. Graham, who has done extensive research in this area of communication, defines negotiation as “a face – to – face decision, making process between parties concerning a specific product”.
The distinguishing features of a negotiation are the following:
- There are a minimum of two parties present.
- Both parties have predetermined goals.
- Some of the predetermined goals are not shared by both participants.
- There is an outcome.
- Both parties believe the outcome of the negotiation may be satisfactory.
- Both parties are willing to modify their position.
- The parties’, incompatible positions make modification of position difficult.
- The parties understand the purpose of negotiation.
It has been found by researchers that in case any of these features is not present, the interaction does not qualify to be called a negotiation.
The first feature is a prerequisite in any face – to – face communication event. The second and third features motivate the parties to enter into negotiation. The fourth and fifth features, dealing with the outcome of the negotiation, show whether there is resolution and the process is satisfactory or not. After this, the parties come to a ‘give and take’ in negotiation the sixth feature. The seventh feature shows that ‘give and take’ is difficult. Finally, the parties must share the same sociocultural knowledge of the process of negotiation and conversational conventions. All parties must be competent to understand the goals of the interaction that they are participating in. In cross – cultural negotiation, i.e. in a situation where the negotiating parties belong to different cultural back grounds/nationalities while they understand the process differently, all share an understanding of the goals of the event. In other words, they understandably have the same goal in mind, and strive towards its achievement.
In our day – to – day life we witness/get into countless examples of negotiation. We negotiate with a car dealer to buy a car. We negotiate with our friends/colleagues about cultural/recreational activities. We negotiate with authorities about working hours and conditions. Top – level managers negotiate with union leaders over contract provisions, with the environmentalists over the ‘best’ way to protect the environment or clean up pollution. Very often they have to negotiate with employees over particular work assignments or bonus or incentives or such other matters.