United we stand: A principle-based negotiation training for collective bargaining

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This study aims to identify effective behaviors in labor-management negotiation (LMN) and, on that basis, derive overarching psychological principles of successful negotiation in this important context. These empirical findings are used to develop and test a comprehensive negotiation training program.
Twenty-seven practitioners from one of the world’s largest labor unions were interviewed to identify the requirements of effective LMN, resulting in 796 descriptions of single behaviors from 41 negotiation cases.
The analyses revealed 13 categories of behaviors critical to negotiation success. The findings highlight the pivotal role of the union negotiator by illustrating how they lead the negotiations with the other party while also ensuring that their own team and the workforce stand united. To provide guidance for effective LMN, six psychological principles were derived from these behavioral categories. The paper describes a six-day training program developed for LMN based on the empirical findings of this study and the related six principles.
This paper has three unique features: first, it examines the requirements for effective LMN based on a systematic needs assessment. Second, by teaching not only knowledge and skills but also general psychological principles of successful negotiation, the training intervention is aimed at promoting long-term behavioral change. Third, the research presents a comprehensive and empirically-based training program for LMN.
Original languageEnglish
JournalInternational Journal of Conflict Management
Issue number2
Pages (from-to)427-452
Number of pages26
Publication statusPublished - 13.02.2024

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2023, Michel Mann, Marco Warsitzka, Joachim Hüffmeier and Roman Trötschel.