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Competitive and Cooperative Approaches to Conflict

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This basic tension between cooperation and competition in negotiation is known as, "The Negotiator's Dilemma. How a party approaches resolving a conflict depends on many factors. Scholars in the field of social psychology, particularly Morton Deutsch, have developed theories about factors that influence whether a person approaches a conflict cooperatively or competitively. The most important factors are the nature of the dispute and the goals each side seeks to achieve as a result of it.

Deutsch's theory centers on the relationship between the two sides' goals, which he calls interdependence. According to his theory, the type of interdependence existing between negotiating parties will largely guide how they interact. Deutsch identifies two basic types of goal interdependence -- positive and negative. Positive interdependence means that each side's goals are tied together in such a way that the chance of one side attaining its goal is increased by the probability of the other side successfully attaining its goal.

The approach or conflict style a negotiator chooses to take when entering negotiations may be based on rational criteria, such as selecting the style that will most likely lead to the desired goals.

However, the personalities of the people involved may also play a significant role in which conflict styles are brought to the negotiating table. Thus, it is also possible that some people consistently use a certain style "because they have a personality predisposition to do so. Deutsch distinguishes between two key dimensions of personality: Morton Deutsch's theory of cooperation and competition includes predictions about what sort of interactions will occur between negotiating parties as a result of their disputing style.

Despite the very negative picture painted by Deutsch, other theorists emphasize that competition, in some circumstances, can be constructive.

Competition in sports, for example, encourages each side to strive for excellence. Although most sporting events are structured in a win-lose sort of way, good sportsmanship norms ensure that the games are played fairly, and in many instances, the loser gets to come back and play again on equal ground.

What Spangler didn't mention, however, is the self-fullfilling prophecy problem. In June, , both the Republicans and the Democrats are vowing and whenever possible implementing revenge against the other, which just makes the other even angrier, and more determined to retaliate. So our political divides are growing deeper and deeper and little if anything is being done to address our increasingly pressing social, environmental, and economic problems while the political fights continue to lead to standoffs.

We need to admit that our goals are interdependent, and start changing our process frames to behave accordingly! Sebenius, The Manager as Negotiator: The Free Press, , Theory and Practice , eds.

Jossey-Bass Publishers, , Constructive and Destructive Processes New Haven: Yale University Press, , This section of Deutsch's earlier work on constructive and destructive conflict resolution processes is closely paralleled by the later chapter in The Handbook of Conflict Resolution: Theory and Practice , which offers a summarized version of his older work.

Saunders and John W. Minton, Negotiation, 3 rd Edition San Francisco: Irwin McGraw-Hill, , The other ideas comprising this section were also drawn from this work, pp. Use the following to cite this article: Guy Burgess and Heidi Burgess. Check out our Quick Start Guide. Don't miss upcoming posts, signup for the Newsletter.

Find out what you can do to help society more constructively handle the intractable conflicts that are making so many problems insoluble.

Essay Topic The Ideal Future Free Trade System — Tasks and Solutions — Free trade aims to achieve economic development by promoting free transactions of goods and services in a global economy which is becoming increasingly interdependent. What advantages are people around the world gaining through free trade, and, to the contrary, what are the disadvantages?

What kinds of measures are conceivable in order to further increase the advantages while reducing the disadvantages? We ask for constructive and concrete suggestions that go beyond any analyses.

However, it is not required to mention the parts played by all of these parties. The Ideal Future Free Trade System — Tasks and Solutions — Free trade aims to achieve economic development by promoting free transactions of goods and services in a global economy which is becoming increasingly interdependent. September 8, at The entry page will be really congested at around the deadline time. It is recommended to apply earlier to avoid technical difficulty accessing the page.

Essays must be submitted in the specified format sheet downloaded from our website. Unless both essay title and summary are presented, such application shall be deemed incomplete and will NOT be evaluated. All submissions must be original and should be submitted with an entry form completely filled out. When you indicate sources cited, please put them concisely. Submitted work will not be returned.

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The RES has announced details of its popular annual essay competition for A Level Economics students. Essays should be a maximum of 1, words excluding references. Students should focus on economic analysis and include references. The competition is open to Year 12 and Year 13 students. Students can only submit one essay. The LSESU Economics Society, with the support of the LSE Economics Department, is pleased to announce the return of our annual Economics Essay Competition!

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