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Strategic Negotiations: A Theory of Change in Labor-Management Relations Hardcover – August 1, 1994

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Editorial Reviews


"Strategic Negotiations makes a significant contribution to the literature on strategic choice (the explicit structuring by management and labor of business and bargaining strategies that use the economic and political environment as a framework to create bargaining power). The authors intentionally build upon previous work in A Behavioral Theory of Labor Negotiations, but this book also is a successful application of the three-tiered collective bargaining theory first developed in The Transformation of American Industrial Relations. Although scholars have identified strategic initiatives in the collective bargaining relationship, recent research has continued to emphasize economic explanations. This book provides an alternative framework of analysis. . . . Strategic Negotiations provides abundant evidence, both theoretical and empirical, that the traditional concerns of industrial relations researchers are still relevant."―Industrial and Labor Relations Review

"This book is both an amalgam of and a valuable, although incremental, addition to widely accepted theories within the domain of labour-management relations and negotiations. . . It is a must read for anyone interested in industrial theory and negotiations."―Karen J. Bentham, Queen's University. The Journal of Industrial Relations, September 2001 --This text refers to the Paperback edition.

From the Back Cover

Strategic Negotiations identifies three fundamental negotiating strategies that are being used to effect changes in labor-management relations. The first, called forcing, involves making labor accept unwanted substantive terms while simultaneously reducing the union's influence in the workplace. This strategy carries severe risks, including uncontrolled escalation, defeat, and a legacy of intergroup distrust. In contrast, the second strategy of fostering emphasizes finding solutions to common problems and building trust and consensus between the parties. A major risk with fostering is that difficult problems may not be addressed for fear of straining the new relationship. The third strategy, escape, entails withdrawing from the negotiating relationship altogether by physically transferring operations to another location. Using detailed case studies of individual firms and entire industries to analyze the tactical advantages and risks of each approach, the authors ultimately recommend a mixed strategy of forcing and fostering. Part I of Strategic Negotiations reviews the contemporary labor-management landscape and presents the authors' theory about how the strategies are being used to reshape relationships between American management and labor. Part II offers case histories of thirteen companies drawn from the pulp and paper, auto supply, and railroad industries to illustrate that theory. Part III examines the case studies in greater depth to assess the influences on the negotiators and their ensuing strategic choices, and Part IV identifies the specific tactics companies use to implement their negotiating strategies. Throughout the book, the authors note evidence that explains whycertain negotiations were successful while others failed, and provide guidelines to help practitioners decide which strategy or combination of strategies is best for their situation. While labor and management must continue to attend to their different and often conflicting interests, each must give equal or greater attention to the parties' common interests to survive in today's competitive business arena. By establishing a clear framework for understanding how the U.S. labor market is evolving, Strategic Negotiations offers the parties a way to address both their differences and their expanding mutual interests.

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 400 pages
  • Publisher: Harvard Business Review Press; First Edition edition (August 1, 1994)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0875845517
  • ISBN-13: 978-0875845517
  • Product Dimensions: 6.5 x 1.3 x 9.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.6 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,140,985 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
If you are involved in high stakes labor relations/negotiations/management this book is an excellent source of perspective. I have been involved in the labor management business for 35 years and found that the book supported some of my thinking while it also offered differing viewpoints. This is a subject where very little quality press is available and this is by far the best I have found.
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