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Negotiation by Harvard Business School Press

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6

Barriers to Agreement

How to Recognize and Overcome Them

Key Topics Covered in This Chapter

  • Die-hard bargainers
  • Lack of trust
  • Informational vacuums and the negotiator’s dilemma
  • Structural impediments
  • Spoilers
  • Cultural and gender differences
  • Communication problems
  • The power of dialogue

SOME NEGOTIATIONS cannot be completed for the simple reason that one or another party has better alternatives elsewhere. For them, negotiations are not in their best interest; it’s better to walk away. But other negotiations for which ZOPAs exist nonetheless fail. One need only examine geopolitical history to note the many conflicts that could have been negotiated successfully had the parties been more objective and less driven by pride, impatience, stubbornness, ...

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