Negotiations, or at least opportunities to negotiate, are an ever-present part of the manager’s world. The fact was recognised by Simons and Tripp1 when they declared ‘Managers and executives negotiate constantly over issues as varied as hiring decisions and purchases, corporate resource allocations, and labor contracts.’ There can be few aspects of the job that don’t involve negotiating in some shape or form. The grand set pieces of industrial relations settlements or megabuck corporate takeover deals readily spring to mind. Negotiating features, though, on an ongoing basis in the day-to-day business of life at work with its myriad clashes of interests, disagreements and frustrations. Nevertheless, the smooth operation of the organisation depends upon the proper handling of such everyday situations. When recognised and dealt with astutely they do not compromise the smooth running of the organisation — indeed this may even be enhanced. When ignored or mishandled, an organisation that was making bold strides forward begins to hobble.
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