Team Negotiations

Cite this article as:"Team Negotiations," in The Business Professor, updated October 22, 2017, last accessed July 4, 2020,

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What are team negotiations and how do they affect the negotiation process?

Presence of at least one team at the bargaining table increases the incidence of integrative agreements

  • Team Effect – In negotiation, the tendency for parties represented by a bargaining team to reach more integrative settlements.
  • Team Efficacy effect – The collective perception held by individuals and/or members of a team that their efforts, decisions, and products are superior, more valued, and more worthwhile than an individual’s efforts, decisions, and products.
  • Team Halo effect – Refers to the fact that teams tend not to be blamed for their failures, as much as individuals do, holding constant the nature of the failure.

Challenges that negotiating teams face include:

  • Selecting your teammates – Criteria for selecting teammates might include: negotiation expertise, technical expertise, interpersonal skills. How many team members is also a consideration.
  • Communication on the team (information pooling) – In group interaction, the strategy of collecting information from all members in a systematic fashion.
  • Team cohesion – The strength of positive relations in a group, the sum of pressures acting to keep individuals in a group, and the result of all forces acting on members to remain in a group. Common-identity groups are groups composed of members who are attracted to the group for what it represents. Common-bond groups are groups composed of members who are attracted to the group because of the particular members in the group.
  • Information processing (common information bias) – The tendency of members of a group to share and discuss only the information that is common to all members, as opposed to unique information.

Tactics for improving team negotiations include:

  • Goal and Strategy alignment – Make certain that all members of the team understand the interests and objectives at stake in the negotiation.
  • Prepare together – Preparing for a negotiation is crucial for effectiveness. When multiple individuals will play a part in the negotiation, they should all prepare together. This will ensure alignment of interests, strategy, and tactics. It will also make certain that all parties understand the constraints of the negotiation.
  • Assess accountability – If all members are going to take part in a negotiation, assign roles and make certain individuals are accountable for each.

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