Strategy and Collective Bargaining Negotiation

By Carl M. Stevens | Go to book overview

CHAPTER I Subject Matter Context and the Negotiation Model

SUBJECT MATTER OF THIS INQUIRY

Negotiation and Bargaining Distinguished

This is an inquiry into tactics, strategy, and collective bargaining negotiation over terms and conditions of employment. Although in a general way the empirical reference of "collective bargaining negotiation" is apparent, ambiguities do arise in the interpretation of this term. "Negotiation" has a more restricted reference than "bargaining" in that although only certain exchange transactions are featured by negotiation, all may be viewed as instances of bargaining.1 In any exchange transaction --for example, an ordinary retail purchase--a bargain regarding the terms of exchange is struck, and, hence, a kind of bargaining may be said to have taken place. However, as in this instance, there need be no negotiation involved.

In order to conclude any transaction, the parties must exchange minimal information--namely, their terms and their subsequent acceptance or rejection of the other's terms.2 However, they may be said to negotiate if they exchange further information relevant to the transaction. An analysis of negotiation is in large part an analysis of the content and function of such additional information and of the tactical "moves," agreement problems, and so forth, reflected in it.

Just as negotiation is only one aspect of the total collective bargaining relationship, that relationship itself is set into a larger context which is well defined by John T. Dunlop's concept of an "industrial relations system."3 An industrial relations system determines the "web of rules" governing the work place (including among these rules the terms of compensation). In Dunlop's model, the workers and their organizations,

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