Mining Negotiation Theory for Planning Insights

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Journal of Planning, Education & Research


Planning in the public domain entails responding to and shaping anticipated social and resource needs in the uncertain future. Knowledge, resources, and authority are fragmented and dispersed, so planning decisions require interaction among multiple actors. Thus, planning is essentially joint decision making, which is in turn inherently transactional (negotiated). Negotiation language has already become embedded in the planning literature, but the contributions of negotiation scholars have yet to command the conceptual and analytic attention they deserve. This article calls for renewed exploration of the potential contributions of negotiation theory and practice to our understanding of planning situations and to the design of decision processes that yield implementable results. We begin by proposing a conceptual link between negotia¬tion and planning and then illustrate the usefulness of this linkage by mapping three key negotiation concepts into the planning process.



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