Why negotiations fail

Featured Faculty:

Erika V. Hall
Associate Professor of Organization & Management; Faculty Advisor at The Roberto C. Goizueta Business & Society Institute
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For business leaders engaged in negotiations, it’s essential to constantly analyze and revisit their negotiation strategy to avoid many of the errors typically made in the process. In the Handbook of Conflict Management Research, Erika Hall, assistant professor of organization & management, and coauthors Brian Lucas (U of Chicago) and Leigh Thompson (Northwestern U) offer a window into negotiation methods and some of the mistakes negotiators make along the way. The trio discovered and defined three specific errors that occur in negotiations, including what they label as domain myopia, the self-preoccupation effect, and the script hijack effect. Domain myopia is described as the “tendency for negotiators to fail to see meaningful parallels across negotiation situations that might appear different on the surface, but have meaningful underlying similarities.” Hall and her coauthors also describe the self-preoccupation effect, where negotiators let their emotions win the day and subsequently lose perspective. The third scenario that they define is the script hijack effect, which they describe as “the tendency for negotiators to feel compelled to follow a script, often based on stereotypes.” According to the authors, the problems they document apply across a variety of industries.

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