Helpful Information

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What a party can do away from the table, without the consent of other parties. The alternative a party perceives as most likely to meet that party’s Interests is their best alternative to a negotiated agreement (“BATNA”). See Seven Elements.



See Alternatives.


Circle of Value

Refers specifically to the Seven Elements categories of Interests, Options and Legitimacy, through which value can be created and distributed. Refers generally to a diagram depicting all Seven Elements, with Communication and Relationship above, with Interests, Options and Legitimacy in a central circle, and with Alternatives and Commitment below. See Seven Elements.



Oral or written statements about what a party will or will not do. See Seven Elements.



What a party conveys, how the party conveys it, and how other parties interpret or receive it. Also refers to the process and skills used to exchange information, ideas and feelings. See Seven Elements.


Differing Interests

Interests parties do not have in common. See Making Trades, and Interests.


Difficult Tactics

Behaviors parties use to manipulate other parties for the purpose of meeting Interests. Examples include Positional Bargaining, threats, time pressures, lying, personal attacks, interrupting, and pulling rank.


Four Ps of Process Management

Refers to purpose (information sharing, problem solving, or relationship management), product (tangible output), people (participants and their roles), and process (agenda). Typically used as a tool for meeting preparation, conduct, and review.



What parties really care about; the underlying desires, concerns, or other factors motivating each party. Interests are the reasons why a party takes a particular Position. See Positions. See also Shared Interests, Differing Interests, and Opposed Interests. See also Seven Elements.



Extent to which parties perceive an Option to be fair or appropriate. Standards of Legitimacy refers to objective criteria or data used to evaluate Options. See Options. See also Seven Elements.


Opposed Interests

Interests parties have in conflict. See Interests.



What parties can agree to at the table, with each other’s consent, to meet Interests. See Seven Elements.


Pareto Curve (Pareto Frontier)

Refers to a line on a graph representing an economic state where value is allocated in the most efficient manner such that one party’s situation cannot be improved without making another party’s situation worse. This economic state is called Pareto optimality, or Pareto efficiency. Named for Italian economist Vilfredo Federico Damaso Pareto (1848 – 1923).


Pareto Optimality (Efficiency)

See Pareto Curve.


Positional Bargaining

A relative gains approach to Value Distribution in which each party tries to claim as much value for itself as possible, typically with each making an extreme demand, followed by a series of concessions closing the gap toward a possible agreement. Commonly called haggling. Historically used by many cultures.



What parties demand. Positions are taken for the purpose of meeting underlying Interests. See Interests.



Interpersonal dynamic among parties, primarily with respect to trust. See Seven Elements.


Seven Elements

Refers to distinct but connected categories of negotiation that can be used as a framework for preparation, conduct and measuring success. See Alternatives, Interests, Options, Legitimacy, Communication, Relationship, and Commitment. See also, Circle of Value.


Shared Interests

Interests parties have in common. See Interests.


Substance/Relationship Tension

Refers to the challenge of getting what one values from a negotiation without damaging working relationships, and to improving working relationships without giving up what one values.


Three Buckets of Decision Making

Refers to consult (getting information and opinions), decide (determining a course of action, possibly including negotiation among decision makers), inform (telling others of decisions made). Typically used as a tool for decision making preparation, conduct, and review.


Three Types of Interests

See Interests – Shared, Differing, and Opposed.


Trades (Making Low Cost, High Value Trades)

Inventing options for meeting Differing Interests, typically by identifying what relatively low cost things one party can do that would mean a lot to the other. Can by used to create value or break impasse. See Differing Interests.


Traditional Positional Bargaining

See Positional Bargaining.


Value Creation

Finding ways to increase the amount of beneficial things that parties can allocate among them. Often described as “expanding the pie.” Typically achieved in negotiation through a cooperative process of integrative or interest-based problem solving, where parties work to achieve mutually beneficial outcomes (“win-win” solutions). See Trades. See also Value Distribution.


Value Distribution

Finding ways to allocated existing amounts of beneficial things that parties can allocated among them. Often described as dividing a “fixed pie” of available value. Typically achieved in negotiation through a competitive process of distributive bargaining using Difficult Tactics, where each party works to claim as much value for itself as possible, to the detriment of other parties (“win-lose” solutions). See Value Creation.




Fisher, Roger, and Scott Brown, Getting Together: Building Relationships as We Negotiate, Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1988.


Fisher, Roger, and Alan Sharp, Getting It Done: How to Lead When You’re Not in Charge, New York: Harper Collins, 1998.


Kegan, Robert, and Lisa Laskow Lahey, Immunity to Change, Boston, MA: Harvard Business Press, 2009.


Patton, Bruce, Douglas Stone, and Sheila Heen, Difficult Conversations: How to Discuss What Matters Most, New York: Viking, 1999.


Conflict Management

Arrow, Kenneth et al., Barriers to Conflict Resolution, New York: W.W. Norton, 1995.


Axelrod, Robert, The Evolution of Cooperation, New York: Basic Books, 1984.


Fisher, Roger, Elizabeth Kopelman and Andrea Kupfer Schneider, Beyond Machiavelli: Coping with Conflict, Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1994.


Moffitt, Michael L. and Robert C. Bordone, Eds., The Handbook of Dispute Resolution, San Francisco: Jossey-Bass, 2005.


Rubin, Jeffrey Z., Dean G. Pruitt and Sung Hee Kim, Social Conflict: Escalation, Stalemate and Settlement, New York: McGraw-Hill Companies, 2d Edition, 1994.


Schelling, Thomas C., The Strategy of Conflict, Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1990.


Susskind, Lawrence, Sarah McKearnan and Jennifer Thomas-Larmer, The Consensus Building Handbook: A Comprehensive Guide to Reaching Agreement, Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications, 1999.


Ury, William, Jeanne Brett and Stephen Goldberg, Getting Disputes Resolved: Designing Systems to Cut the Cost of Conflict, Cambridge: Program on Negotiation at Harvard Law School, 1993.


Decision-Making/Game Theory

Bazerman, Max and Margaret A. Neale, Negotiating Rationally, New York: Free Press, 1992.


Cialdini, Robert B., Influence: Science and Practice, 3d Edition, Boston: Allyn and Bacon, 1993.


Dixit, Avinash K. and Barry J. Nalebuff, Thinking Strategically: The Competitive Edge in Business, Politics, and Everyday Life, New York: Norton, 1991.


Hammond, John S., Ralph L Keeney, & Howard Raiffa, Smart Choices: A Practical Guide to Making Better Decisions, Boston: Harvard Business School Press, 1999.


Janis, Irving, Groupthink: Psychological Studies of Policy Decisions and Fiascoes, 2nd ed., Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1982.


Menkel-Meadow, Carrie, Toward Another View of Legal Negotiation: The Structure of Problem Solving, 31 U.C.L.A. L. Rev. 754 (1982).


Raiffa, Howard, The Art and Science of Negotiation, Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1982.


Raiffa, Howard, John S. Hammond, Ralph L. Keeney, Smart Choices: A Practical Guide to Making Better Decisions, Cambridge: Harvard Business School Press, 1999.


Rasmusen, Eric, Games and Information: An Introduction to Game Theory, Blackwell Publishers, 1994.


Environmental Negotiation

Bacow, Lawrence S. and Michael Wheeler, Environmental Dispute Resolution, Cambridge: Perseus Books, 1984.


Sullivan, Timothy J., Resolving Development Disputes through Negotiations, Cambridge: Perseus Books, 1984.


International Negotiation and Mediation

Fisher, Roger, Improved Compliance With International Law, Buffalo: William S. Hein & Co., Inc., January 1981.


Fisher, Roger and William L. Ury, International Mediation: A Working Guide – Ideas for the Practitioner, Cambridge: Harvard Negotiation Project, 1978.


Lall, Arthur, Modern International Negotiation, New York: Columbia University Press, 1966.


Watkins, Michael and Susan Rosegrant, Breakthrough International Negotiation: How Great Negotiators Transformed the World’s Toughest Post-Cold War Conflicts, San Francisco: Jossey-Bass, 2001.



Baruch Bush, Robert A. and Joseph P. Folger, The Promise of Mediation: The Transformative Approach to Conflict, San Francisco: Jossey-Bass, 2005.


Bowling, Daniel and David Hoffman, Bringing Peace into the Room, San Francisco: Jossey-Bass, 2003.


Moffitt, Michael, Casting Light on the Black Box of Mediation: Should Mediators Make Their Conduct More Transparent?, Ohio State Journal on Dispute Resolution, Vol 13 No.1 (1997).


Moore, Christopher W., The Mediation Process: Practical Strategies for Resolving Conflict, 3d Edition, San Francisco: Jossey-Bass, 2003.


Riskin, Leonard, Understanding Mediator Orientations, Strategies, and Techniques: A Grid for the Perplexed, 1 Harvard Negotiation Law Journal 7 (1996).



Breslin, J. William and Jeffrey Z. Rubin, Negotiation Theory and Practice, Cambridge: Program on Negotiation Books, 1995.


Fisher, Roger and Daniel Shapiro, Beyond Reason: Using Emotions as You Negotiate, New York: Penguin Books, 2005.


Fisher, Roger and Danny Ertel, Getting Ready to Negotiate: The Getting to Yes Workbook, New York: Penguin Books, 1995.


Fisher, Roger and William L. Ury, Bruce Patton (Ed.), Getting to YES: Negotiating Agreement Without Giving In, New York: Penguin Books, 2nd Edition, 1991.


Hall, Lavina, Negotiation Strategies for Mutual Gain, Newbury Park: Sage Publications Inc., 1993.


Lax, David A. and James K. Sebenius, The Manager as Negotiator: Bargaining for Cooperation and Competitive Gain, New York: Simon & Schuster Trade, 1986.


Lewicki Roy J., David M. Saunders and John W. Minton, Eds., Negotiation: Readings, Cases, and Exercises, New York: McGraw-Hill Companies, 1998.


Mnookin, Robert H., Scott R. Peppet, and Andrew S. Tulumello, Beyond Winning: Negotiating to Create Value in Deals and Disputes, Cambridge: Belknap Press of Harvard University Press, 2000.


Rosette, Ashleigh Shelby and Shirli Kopelman and JeAnna Abbott, “Good Grief! Feelings of Anxiety Sour the Economic Benefits of First Offers,” Social Science Research Network, May 2007, <>.


Shell, G. Richard, Bargaining for Advantage, New York: Penguin Books, 1999.


Ury, William L., Getting Past No: Negotiating Your Way from Confrontation to Cooperation, New York: Bantam Books, 1993.


Zartman, I. William and Maureen Burman, The Practical Negotiator, New Haven: Yale University Press, 1983.


Women and Negotiation

Babcock, Linda and Sara Laschever, Women Don’t Ask: Negotiation and the Gender Divide, Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2003.


Kolb, Deborah M. and Judith Williams, The Shadow Negotiation: How Women Can Master the Hidden Agendas That Determine Bargaining Success, New York: Simon & Schuster, 2000.


Kolb, Deborah M., Judith Williams, Carol Frohlinger, Her Place at the Table: A Woman’s Guide to Negotiating Five Key Challenges to Leadership Success, San Francisco: Jossey-Bass, 2004.


Regular Publications

Harvard Negotiation Law Review: A Multidisciplinary Journal on Dispute Resolution, published annually by the Harvard Negotiation Law Review at Harvard Law School.


Dispute Resolution Magazine: published quarterly by the American Bar Association Section on Dispute Resolution; the largest circulation magazine in the conflict resolution field.


Negotiation Journal: On the Process of Dispute Settlement, published quarterly in cooperation with the Program on Negotiation at Harvard Law School.


Ohio State Journal on Dispute Resolution: published quarterly by students at the Ohio State University Law School; a leading journal on negotiation and dispute resolution.