Historically, a transactional perspective has dominated the business negotiation literature. This perspective includes the notions that business negotiations are a linear process that follows episodic or stage models, business negotiations are geared toward an outcome in the form of a one-time transaction, business negotiations focus on a single negotiator or negotiation in a dyad and the research has historically viewed negotiation as a “zero-sum” game. Inspired by a long tradition of empirical studies of business relationships, there is good reason to apply a conceptual analysis to challenge these four assumptions and propose an alternative view on the negotiation process. The purpose of this paper is to contrast how aspects of business negotiations are commonly conceptualized with the industrial marketing and purchasing (IMP) perspective and develop propositions that will contribute to future research by offering guidelines for the development of business negotiation literature.
To contribute to a discussion on the relation between conceptualization and research results, definitions within the existing literature regarding business negotiation are contrasted with similar definitions of concepts from the IMP perspective.
Four propositions have been formulated that further the conceptual understanding of business negotiation. Moreover, a need for future methodological deliberations is demonstrated, and suggestions for future research in the field are offered.
Introducing a relational perspective into the conceptually rather underdeveloped stream of research would help to develop the existing critique within the business negotiation literature of its transactional, linear and dyadic focus.
Eklinder-Frick, J. and Åge, L. (2020), "Relational business negotiation – propositions based on an interactional perspective", Journal of Business & Industrial Marketing, Vol. ahead-of-print No. ahead-of-print. https://doi.org/10.1108/JBIM-04-2019-0169Download as .RIS
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