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Importance manipulation for negotiation issues

The increasing complexity of negotiations and the growing competition in markets require that negotiation issues are properly defined and played out.

Negotiators often have preference differences with respect to one or more negotiation issues, which can realize integrative potential in a negotiation. However, this integrative potential often remains hidden because the preference differences are not known to the negotiators. By identifying differences in importance regarding the negotiation issues before and during a negotiation, integrative potential can be analyzed and consequently the possible agreement space can be expanded.

In the context of the NAP research project, the targeted influencing of importance differences is investigated by negotiators adjusting the importance of negotiation items upwards or downwards. Consequently, distortions in the negotiator’s perception of the importance of topics arise, which should be used as an opportunity. If, for example, the negotiation analysis shows that the negotiating partner has a one-sided preference for a specific negotiation item, this must be played out tactically in order to obtain concessions. This can bring the principle of reciprocity to bear to a particular extent.

NAP Consulting