Since the company operations are prone to conflict of interests, the art of negotiation becomes a useful tool for ensuring that two opposing sides agree. Often, this is achieved through the application of various communication theories in solving conflicts. In business, the art of negotiation is quite critical in reaching a compromise in all the process of decision-making. For instance, bringing two co-workers together to agree on a common course is a necessary practice in ensuring success in the running of company operations.

Problem Analysis

For example, knowing that a worker X was the best performer, a supervisor was hesitant to grant her leave, so that she could meet the scheduled strict deadlines. In this case, the supervisor applied authoritarian theory in executing his mandate over workers through applying the direct control. The problem was about denying worker X the leave she applied for.

Furthermore, the controversy was complex because X had bought an air ticket and feared that she would lose her money if the company did not grant her leave. On the other hand, the supervisor considered this time so crucial that he could not grant her permission to be absent. Due to her dedication to work, the supervisor knew that he would not meet the strict deal that the short contract required without her contribution. Rejecting her leave application only showed that the supervisor acted within his legitimate mandate, since “legitimate power is based on a person’s position or role in an organization” (Dwyer, 2006). Making use of his position, the supervisor considered the amount of work that his team was expected to complete within the shortest time. Apparently, settling this problem was not easy, because “the most important element of effective negotiation, says Rowe, is preparation, preparation, preparation” (Goodman, 2007). For example, X did not consult with the supervisor whether she could be granted a leave or not, before rushing to buy the flight ticket. On the other hand, the supervisor was not prepared to receive the leave application from X. As a result, there was no preparation to counter the concern of each party involved in the conflict. In order to solve this conflict, two negotiation processes/strategies have been employed.

Analysis of the Negotiation Processes

According to Judith Dwyer, in order to solve this problem, the concerned parties had to negotiate various issues, meaning that the number of solutions might increase (Dwyer, 2006). Therefore, in offering solutions, it is significant that the two co-workers observe the problem solving/negotiation processes, “the first step in negotiation is scanning alternatives, a task that normally involves research”, without rushing to justify non-practical means (Dwyer, 2006). Considering this case, some solutions include the following. First, in her quest to see and buy for her grandchild a gift and pay them a visit, worker X was exercising the social responsibility theory (Dwyer, 2006). Although she had a social role to play at the family level, X had to negotiate with her son and the entire family members to inform them about the situation at the company. She would inform them that the leave she had applied could not be granted because of the new workload that workers had to complete within a short time. The second process to this dilemma would be that X should negotiate airline authority or the travelling agent that sold her the ticket, explain to them reasons for cancelling the trip and if she could be refunded the money. Third, X ought to agree with the supervisor and explain to him the reason for applying for the urgent leave, and that if not granted; she would lose the money she had spent to purchase the flight ticket. Finally, the she should negotiate with the supervisor if he could consult the company authority to employ another person on the temporary basis to help ease the workload and complete the contract according to the schedule. However, Brenda Goodman holds a different view, as illustrated in the following paragraph.

Brenda Goodman ascertained that in making sure that solutions address the supervisor and X’s concerns (Goodman, 2007). In this regard, the overall intervention strategy tries to engage and commit the two co-workers to mature and responsible negotiations with the aim of achieving mutually beneficial agreements, known as “win-win solutions" (Dwyer, 2006). In negotiating for amicable solutions, bargaining parties should not be overwhelmed. Unfortunately, in comparison to Brenda’s article, X became emotional and felt that her dedication and loyalty to the company have been overlooked (Dwyer, 2006). In an emotional response, she disregarded carrying herself ethically and bursts into tears, and stormed out of the office, which is not justified according to Brenda (Goodman, 2007).

Application of the above Negotiation Strategies to Work-setting

These can be applied to find the best solution in the work environment, Judith Dwyer acknowledged that the co-workers explain their perception of the problem, identify specific issues that need to be addressed and particular interests, which are to be satisfied for a satisfactory agreement (Dwyer, 2006). For example, X and the supervisor should advance and justify their argument, so that after thorough scrutiny, the best compromise is reached for both of them. The best solution is that X should forgo the trip and concentrate on her new contract.


Summing up, the manner in which an organisation solves its problem shows its level of maturity. Although problems arise in the execution of duty, management must be ready to apply relevant negotiation strategies in any compromised position. The common ground helps in solving conflict issues, which different co-workers raise.  

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