Negotiations in the Public Sector: Applying Negotiation Theory to Multiparty Conflicts
Collaborative processes in the public sector involve multiple parties at scales ranging from the very local, to city-wide, and to regional. While facilitation/mediation of these processes relies heavily on negotiation theory, much of the literature focuses on two-party (dyadic) interactions. To explore whether multiparty processes warrant special theoretical/practical consideration, we analyze multiparty cases at three scales: a land use dispute in a small Israeli locality; a transportation/land use conflict in a city in Oregon; and a planning effort in the Northeast Ohio region. We find that some negotiation theory elements hold true in multiparty situations, although often at a heightened level of intensity and complexity. However, important qualitative differences call for added research attention. The cases illuminate seven areas typical of multiparty negotiations that warrant further study: interdependent “BATNAs,” long time frames and changing political contexts, multiple sequential and parallel processes, challenges of representation, alliances and coalitions, information and communication flows, and concerns about interventions, agreement types, and decision rules.
Kaufman, Sanda; Ozawa, Connie; and Shmueli, Deborah, "Negotiations in the Public Sector: Applying Negotiation Theory to Multiparty Conflicts" (2018). Urban Publications. 0 1 2 3 1531.