Julie S. Roberts
To understand the online negotiation process, it is necessary to first understand the traditional negotiation process. A negotiation process should include the following five steps:
Communication, of course, is key to negotiating. Successful communication may warrant a positive outcome, but communication problems may hinder success. Online negotiations may solve a few problems associated with face-to-face negotiations - such as a controlling participant who doesn't allow anyone else an opportunity to say anything - but generally, negotiation communication problems such as understanding of technical vocabulary, a judgmental participant, and/or a lack of diplomacy will remain as problems even if the negotiation occurs online.
Nonetheless, some of the advantages of negotiating online include:
To achieve these desired advantages, there are things that supply managers can do to enhance their online negotiations. One such idea is to exchange information that helps promote like and trust. In short, previous communication promotes cooperation. Along with this idea of exchanging information, it is important to remember to attend to emotional bonds and social contracts. Self disclosure prior to negotiations can serve as a powerful social lubricant. Lastly, a successful search for commonality between negotiators increases the likelihood of a positive outcome.
While there are advantages to using online tools for negotiations (e.g., timing and convenience), it is important to note that online negotiations still require supply managers to acquire and use most of the same negotiation skills used for face-to-face negotiations.
By Julie S. Roberts, Writer for Purchasing Today®.