Sun, 8 Aug 2010 17:10:21
What are the other choice, BATNA, what is the Best alternative to a negotiated agreement.
In negotiation theory, the best alternative to a negotiated agreement or BATNA is the course of action that will be taken by a party if the current negotiations fail and an agreement cannot be reached. BATNA is the key focus and the driving force behind a successful negotiator. BATNA should not be confused with the reservation point or walkaway point. A party should generally not accept a worse resolution than its BATNA. Care should be taken, however, to ensure that deals are accurately valued, taking into account all considerations, such as relationship value, time value of money and the likelihood that the other party will live up to their side of the bargain. These other considerations are often difficult to value, since they are frequently based on uncertain or qualitative considerations, rather than easily measurable and quantifiable factors.
The BATNA is often seen by negotiators not as a safety net, but rather as a point of leverage in negotiations. Although a negotiator's alternative options should, in theory, be straightforward to evaluate, the effort to understand which alternative represents a party's BATNA is often not invested. Options need to be real and actionable to be of value, however without the investment of time, options will frequently be included that fail on one of these criteria. A Program on Negotiation Executive Seminar experiment and other experiments have demonstrated that most managers overestimate their BATNA whilst simultaneously investing too little time into researching their real options. This can result in poor or faulty decision making and negotiating outcomes.
BATNA was developed by negotiation researchers Roger Fisher and William Ury of the Harvard Program on Negotiation (PON), in their series of books on Principled negotiation that started with Getting to YES, unwittingly duplicating a game theoretic concept pioneered by Nobel Laureate John Forbes Nash decades earlier in his early undergraduate research.