Negotiating in a brave new world: Challenges and opportunities for the field of negotiation science

Michele J. Gelfand, Yakov Gal

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter (peer-reviewed)peer-review

Abstract

Contributors to this volume have collectively paved the way for a new revolution in the field of negotiation science. The Psychology of Negotiations in the 21st Century Workplace is a tour de force. The territory covered in the book is simply astounding, including such basic processes as fairness, trust, competition, and cooperation, to social structure and networks, to organizational learning and national culture-all of which capture part of the complex “elephant” that is negotiation. Each chapter draws on new and exciting theoretical and empirical developments from a wide variety of disciplines to inform key learning that can be distilled for managers, practitioners, and anyone who needs to manage interdependence with others in their daily lives. And, the authors have each grounded their theoretical, empirical, and practical discussions of negotiation in situ-in the particular features of the 21st century organizational landscape that invariably affect the process and outcomes of negotiations in this brave new negotiating world. Put simply, this volume exemplifies the sciencepractitioner model at its very best. Unlike other volumes in the field, this collection is particularly unique in that it not only takes a look back on the seminal theories, the empirical discoveries, and the practical wisdom of decades of negotiation research but also provides a thoughtful window into the future of the science and practice of negotiation and the contextual realities that negotiators will face. Negotiations in the 21st century, as many of the chapters illustrate, are much more complex; they are “wired,” they are global, they are networked, and they occur in increasingly flattened and fluid organizational structures (Goldman & Shapiro, Chapter 1, this volume). In this new 21st century workplace, negotiations are connected; they take place across a much broader array of actors-with peers, supervisors, customers, suppliers, alliance partners, and even computer agents-who are embedded in wider social networks, and they take place across many new forms of social media. By providing us with an analysis of the critical features of the 21st century organization in which negotiations are embedded, the chapters in this book provide an infinite number of research ideas for decades to come. In this commentary, we take the opportunity to take a bird’s-eye view of the volume to make explicit some of the implicit scientific mandates that the authors address. We highlight the need for new conceptualizations of negotiation that are better matched to the organizational realities in the 21st century workplace; we discuss neglected scholarly territory and critical research gaps that desperately await investigation; above all, we champion a negotiation science that transcends disciplines and recommend new intellectual mergers that are required to address the complex organizational realities of negotiation that this volume identifies.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationThe Psychology of Negotiations in the 21st Century Workplace
Place of PublicationNew York, USA
PublisherRoutledge
Chapter15
Pages443-464
Number of pages22
Edition1st
ISBN (Electronic)9781136483554
Publication statusPublished - 12 Apr 2012

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