We investigated the notion that successful negotiations require that all parties to the dispute must have a desire to bargain. This desire is most likely to be present when the dispute exhibits ripeness and each party believes a bargained solution is the most cost-effective way to resolve differences. Structured interviews of participants in six Federal Energy Regulatory Commission hydropower licensing consultations were conducted to determine the level of need to negotiate for each party. The findings indicate that a need to negotiate is a necessary, but not sufficient, condition for success. Several factors were associated with a need to negotiate: a weak BATNA (best alternative to a negotiated agreement); a salient issue; participants’ sense of efficacy; a sense of inevitability; professional roles encouraging negotiation; and disputes about facts as opposed to disputes about values. Participants’ need to negotiate fluctuated throughout the process and intensified when questions were ripe: i.e., critical issues were debated or the regulatory process required action.
|Title||Desire to bargain and negotiation success: lessons about the need to negotiate from six hydropower disputes|
|Authors||Nina Burkardt, Berton Lee Lamb, Jonathan G. Taylor|
|Publication Subtype||Journal Article|
|Series Title||Environmental Management|
|Record Source||USGS Publications Warehouse|
|USGS Organization||Fort Collins Science Center|