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The distributive knot: negotiators’ responsibility to untie complex demands

Alain Lempereur (The Heller School for Social Policy and Management, Brandeis University and Harvard PON, Waltham, Massachusetts, USA)
Michele Pekar (Oxford Programme on Negotiation, Saïd Business School, Oxford University, Oxford, UK)

Journal of Business & Industrial Marketing

ISSN: 0885-8624

Article publication date: 2 May 2017




This article aims to explore the fundamental negotiation structure as a demand/response dynamic. It tests it in a complex business system, where a manager as a negotiator is confronted with multiple demands or pressures at different levels from a variety of stakeholders, both external and internal.


Based on concrete examples from the automotive industry, it presents an analytical framework to tackle all negotiation interactions.


This article suggests that it is possible to describe all negotiation interactions, whether they are simple or complex, through a demand/response framework.


This contribution examines a fundamental structure for negotiation responsibility – the demand/response dynamic – defining the mission of any negotiator in deal-making or dispute resolution as to try to supply a response to the expressed crossed demands. Second, the proposed theoretical model of demand/response is transposed and tested in a managerial system where a sales negotiator is confronted with demands from more sources, both external and internal, with the responsibility to satisfy as best as possible the various stakeholders and the capacity to address each of them with different moves.



Lempereur, A. and Pekar, M. (2017), "The distributive knot: negotiators’ responsibility to untie complex demands", Journal of Business & Industrial Marketing, Vol. 32 No. 4, pp. 535-540.



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Copyright © 2017, Emerald Publishing Limited

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