Power Tactics and Strategy in a Negotiation
How do Power Tactics Relate to Strategy in a Negotiation?
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Table of ContentsWhat are Power tactics in a Negotiation? How does power in a negotiation affect the selection of a strategic orientation? Types of Power in a NegotiationWhat is Expert Power?What is Reward Power?What is Coercive Power? What is Legitimate Power?What is Referent Power? What are the Sources of Power in a Negotiation?Information as a Source of PowerWhat is Personality-based power? What is Positional (structural) power? What is Resource Power?What is Network Location Power? What is Relationship Power? What is Power through Context?What are the Types of Use of Power?What is Potential power?What is Perceived Power?What is Realized Power?
What are Power tactics in a Negotiation?
Power is an overarching theme that guides the selection of a strategic orientation, objective, plan, and tactics employed in a negotiation.
Asserting or demonstrating power would be a strategic objective. Actually employing a type or using a source of power to achieve a strategic objective is a tactic.
As discussed in other sections, power in a negotiation may be used to dominate and control the other party. This is often referred to as a power-use tactic.
Sometimes, power tactics are used to effect the power balance itself by enhancing the negotiators own power or diminishing the others power. This is referred to more broadly as a power tactic.
Here we will refer to these tactics collectively as power tactics. While a power tactic most often aligns with a competitive or distributive strategy, it can also be used as leverage to further a cooperative or collaborative strategy.
As such, power tactics still play an important role in integrative negotiations.
Measures used to demonstrate potential power, cause perception of power, or the realization (or exercise of) actual power to influence the other party. Refers to the behaviors designed to use or change the power relationship.
How does power in a negotiation affect the selection of a strategic orientation?
An overarching theme that guides the selection of a strategic orientation in a negotiation.
Power in a negotiation is used to dominate and control the other party.
This tactic generally aligns with a competitive or distributive marketing strategy.
A power tactic can be benign and supportive or oppressive and abusive.
It can also be used to work together with the other if the power holder jointly develops and shares power with the other.
That is, a tactic may be designed to enhance the negotiators own power or to diminish the others power, and to create a state of either power equalization or power difference.
Seeking power in negotiation usually arises from a negotiator believing she currently has less power or needs more power than the other party to increase the probability of securing a desired outcome.
Conversely, a negotiator may employ tactics designed to create power equalization or minimize the other party's ability to dominate the relationship.
- Note: Individuals have a tendency to view power as an attribute of the actor only and ignore elements of power that are derived from the situation or context in which the actor operates.
Next Article: What is a "strategic objective" in a negotiation? Back to: NEGOTIATIONS
Types of Power in a Negotiation
The following are major types of power. (French & Raven, 1959)
What is Expert Power?
This refers to the influence supplied by knowledge or ability.
What is Reward Power?
This refers to the ability to compensate or reward others for their activity.
What is Coercive Power?
This refers to the ability to control individual conduct through threat of negative consequences.
What is Legitimate Power?
This is power exerted by an individual with a special post, title, or position in an organizational hierarchy.
What is Referent Power?
Is a form of social status yielding admiration and respect from others.
What are the Sources of Power in a Negotiation?
The major sources of power are embedded into the following groupings:
- Network Locations
Each of these is discussed further below.
Information as a Source of Power
Information Power is derived from the negotiators ability to assemble and organize facts and data to support his or her position, arguments, or desired outcomes. It may also spring from possession or awareness of facts that are unknown to the other party. Remember that all negotiations are exercises in communication. Selectively revealing facts concerning one party's position is inherent to negotiation practice.
What is Personality-based power?
Personality is made up of personal, cognitive, and motivational orientation.
Personal orientation is the cognitive, motivational and moral orientations to a given situation that serve to guide ones behavior and responses to that situation.
Cognitive orientation is made up of three ideological perspectives unitary, radical, and pluralist each of which operates as a frame, shaping expectations about what one should pay attention to, how events will evolve, and how one should engage situations of power.
Motivation orientation focuses on differences rooted more in needs and energizing elements of the personality, such as disposition and skills, moral orientation, and moods.
What is Positional (structural) power?
This type of power is divided into legitimacy and resources. Legitimate power relates to social structure, such as occupying a particular job, office, or position in an organizational hierarchy.
People can acquire legitimate power through birth, election, appointment or promotion to some organizational position (legitimate authority).
This power structure derives from the willingness of others to acknowledge the legitimacy of the organizational structure and the system of rules and regulations that empowers its leaders.
Resource power is the control of resources and the capacity to give them to someone who will do what they want and withhold them (or take them away) from someone who does not do what they want.
The power is greater in environments where resources are aggregated in the face of scarcity.
Resources may include money (or other assets), supplies, human capital, time, critical services, etc.
Note: It is also possible to apply the notion of legitimacy to certain social norms or conventions that exert strong control over people, such as reciprocity, equity, and responsibility or dependence.
What is Resource Power?
This source of regards the control of resources and the capacity to give them to someone who will do what they want and withhold them (or take them away) from someone who does not do what they want.
What is Network Location Power?
Network location power is a type of structural power that comes from location in an organizational structure - but not necessarily a hierarchical one.
In this case, power is derived from critical resources that flow through a particular location.
The particular location in the structure allows individuals to become powerful because of the way that their actions and responsibilities are embedded in the flows of information, goods and services, or contacts.
Tie strength is an indication of the strength or quality of relationships with others.
Tie content reflects that the more content, the stronger the relationship, and the more trust and respect created for each other.
Network structure is the overall set of relationships (centrality, criticality or relevance, flexibility, visibility, and coalitions) within a social system.
What is Relationship Power?
This is power based in the situation or environment in which negotiations take place, such as the time, location, method of communication, alternatives, third party involvement, and culture can be a source of power. A party with greater power in a negotiation has a wider range of options regarding strategy.
This regards the level of dependence between the negotiators.
- Goal interdependence refers to how the parties view their goals and how much achievement of their goal depends on the behavior of the other party and how likely parties will be to constructively use power.
- Referent power is often based on an appeal to common experiences, common past, common fate, or membership in the same groups. It is made salient when one party identifies the dimension of commonality in an effort to increase their power (usually persuasiveness) over the other.
What is Power through Context?
This is power based in the context, situation, or environment in which negotiations take place. The availability of a Best Alliterative to a Negotiated Agreement (BATNA) offers a negotiator significant power because she now has a choice between accepting the other partys proposal or the alternative deal. Culture is a system of basic assumptions, norms, and/or common values that individuals in a group or organization share about how to interact with each other, work together, deal with the external environment, and move the organization into the future. Culture often shapes what kinds of power are seen as legitimate and illegitimate or how people use influence and react to influence. Culture, both organizational and national, often translates into deeply embedded structural inequalities in a society. Agents, constituencies and external audiences can give rise to contextual power discrepancies. Negotiations become significantly more complex when negotiators are representing others views.
What are the Types of Use of Power?
Any form of power can be further classified as follows:
What is Potential power?
Power that an individual has the ability to bring forward or exercise in the negotiation. The underlying capacity of the negotiator to obtain benefits from ones agreement.
What is Perceived Power?
This is the power that a negotiators believes she and the counter-party they have. The source of this perceived power may not be real, but it still provides a point of influence in the negotiation. A negotiators assessment of each party's potential power, which may or may not square with reality.
What is Realized Power?
Power that has been employed or exercised to influence the other party. The extent to which negotiators have claimed benefits from the interaction. Power tactics can be defined as measures used to demonstrate potential power, cause perception of power, or the realization (or exercise of) actual power to influence the other party. These tactics are designed to use or change the power relationship.