Assignment: Power In Negotiation

Assignment: Power In Negotiation

Assignment: Power In Negotiation

What is power? How does one acquire power and what is the best kind of power to have?

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How do I preserve the power that I have?

How do I influence someone with power and make sure that my message gets through?

Provide examples from your own experience or researched data.

Assignment: Power In Negotiation

The Role of Power in Negotiation

The word power has had a bad connotation for many years.

It has received this reputation because most people associate the word with one side dominating or overpowering the other. I define power as the ability to influence people or situations. With this definition, power is neither good nor bad. It is the abuse of power that is bad.

Types of Power

Various types of power can influence the outcome of a negotiation. I emphasize the word can because if you have power but don’t use it, your power is of no value. The following are a few types of power that can be significant in the negotiating process:

Position. Some measure of power is conferred based on one’s formal position in an organization. For example, if you are the marketing manager, you can influence decisions that affect the marketing department.
Knowledge or expertise. Knowledge in itself is not powerful; it is the application of knowledge that confers power. It’s important to take the time prior to a negotiation to research facts and statistics, find out what the other party’s goals are, and discover what areas he or she might consider negotiable–and then use this knowledge!

Assignment: Power In Negotiation

Character. Individuals who are seen as trustworthy have a great deal of power in negotiations. You are perceived as trustworthy if you have a reputation for doing what you say you are going to do.
Reward and punishment. Those who are able to bestow rewards or perceived rewards, such as raises or job benefits, hold power. Conversely, those who have the ability to create a negative outcome for the other party also have power.
Behavior style. Most people exhibit one or a combination of the following behavior styles:
analytical–process oriented, methodical
driven–task oriented, goal directed
supportive–relationship oriented, focused on feelings

Which behavioral style is most appropriate depends on the situation. For example, if you were going through a divorce and wanted to maintain a good relationship with your spouse, you would want to use the supportive style. You gain real power from a knowledge of behavior styles only if you can read a situation and adapt your style to it.

Most people have more power than they think. I believe there is a link between a person’s self-esteem and the amount of power that person thinks he or she has. It has been demonstrated that people with high self-esteem feel they have more viable options (and thus more power to act) in negotiations. I believe the reverse is also true: People with low self-esteem feel powerless, and do not stand a fair chance.

Assignment: Power In Negotiation

Rules of Power

Knowing the following rules of power comes in handy when entering into a negotiation.

Rule #1: Seldom does one side have all the power. Even the individual who goes to a bank to ask for a loan has power–the power to decide which bank to apply to, the power to decide an acceptable interest rate, and the power to decide what to put up as collateral.

Rule #2: Power may be real or apparent. When I was a proctor in the sociology department at San Diego State University, I knew that cheating was a potential problem. As I was passing out tests, I announced that I would uphold the university’s “policy” on cheating. One bold student asked what the policy was. My response was simple: “If you need to ask, you don’t want to know.” This was the first time I had ever seen all sixty students staring at their own paper! Does the university have a policy on cheating? I don’t know. But in this situation, whether the power was real or apparent didn’t matter. The students perceived that I had the power.

Rule #3: Power exists only to the point at which it is accepted. At the airport on a return trip from Europe, I noted that all the ticketing agents for economy class had at least a twenty-minute line to check baggage. Yet the business and first-class agents had not one person in line. I boldly walked up to the business class agent and got my seat assignment. Of course, this strategy was successful only because the ticket agent was willing to work with me. But I never would have known if I hadn’t tried.

Rule #4: Power relationships can change over time. This is one of the hardest lessons I have ever learned. In my youth, I had the same girlfriend from the seventh to the eleventh grades. In the beginning, I had the power in the relationship. I chose which activities we would become involved in and who our friends would be. Then something happened that sent me into a tailspin. My girlfriend was asked out by the student body president! Overnight, I was sending roses and begging for a date.

Rule #5: In relationships, the side with the least commitment generally holds the most power. If you are negotiating to buy a car from a salesman whose boss has warned him that he had better start making sales, and you are not committed to buying this particular car from this particular dealer, you are in the driver’s seat in the negotiating process.

Assignment: Power In Negotiation

Testing Your Power

What is the lesson to be learned here? Power is of no value unless you take advantage of it. (Remember, power is not bad–the abuse of it is bad.) When negotiating, be willing to take a chance. Try out your ability to influence the other party and the outcome of the negotiation….

Assignment: Power In Negotiation


Discussion Questions (DQ)

  • Initial responses to the DQ should address all components of the questions asked, include a minimum of one scholarly source, and be at least 250 words.
  • Successful responses are substantive (i.e., add something new to the discussion, engage others in the discussion, well-developed idea) and include at least one scholarly source.
  • One or two sentence responses, simple statements of agreement or “good post,” and responses that are off-topic will not count as substantive. Substantive responses should be at least 150 words.
  • I encourage you to incorporate the readings from the week (as applicable) into your responses.

Weekly Participation

  • Your initial responses to the mandatory DQ do not count toward participation and are graded separately.
  • In addition to the DQ responses, you must post at least one reply to peers (or me) on three separate days, for a total of three replies.
  • Participation posts do not require a scholarly source/citation (unless you cite someone else’s work).
  • Part of your weekly participation includes viewing the weekly announcement and attesting to watching it in the comments. These announcements are made to ensure you understand everything that is due during the week.

APA Format and Writing Quality

  • Familiarize yourself with APA format and practice using it correctly. It is used for most writing assignments for your degree. Visit the Writing Center in the Student Success Center, under the Resources tab in LoudCloud for APA paper templates, citation examples, tips, etc. Points will be deducted for poor use of APA format or absence of APA format (if required).
  • Cite all sources of information! When in doubt, cite the source. Paraphrasing also requires a citation.
  • I highly recommend using the APA Publication Manual, 6th edition.

Use of Direct Quotes

  • I discourage overutilization of direct quotes in DQs and assignments at the Masters’ level and deduct points accordingly.
  • As Masters’ level students, it is important that you be able to critically analyze and interpret information from journal articles and other resources. Simply restating someone else’s words does not demonstrate an understanding of the content or critical analysis of the content.
  • It is best to paraphrase content and cite your source.


LopesWrite Policy

  • For assignments that need to be submitted to LopesWrite, please be sure you have received your report and Similarity Index (SI) percentage BEFORE you do a “final submit” to me.
  • Once you have received your report, please review it. This report will show you grammatical, punctuation, and spelling errors that can easily be fixed. Take the extra few minutes to review instead of getting counted off for these mistakes.
  • Review your similarities. Did you forget to cite something? Did you not paraphrase well enough? Is your paper made up of someone else’s thoughts more than your own?
  • Visit the Writing Center in the Student Success Center, under the Resources tab in LoudCloud for tips on improving your paper and SI score.

Late Policy

  • The university’s policy on late assignments is 10% penalty PER DAY LATE. This also applies to late DQ replies.
  • Please communicate with me if you anticipate having to submit an assignment late. I am happy to be flexible, with advance notice. We may be able to work out an extension based on extenuating circumstances.
  • If you do not communicate with me before submitting an assignment late, the GCU late policy will be in effect.
  • I do not accept assignments that are two or more weeks late unless we have worked out an extension.
  • As per policy, no assignments are accepted after the last day of class. Any assignment submitted after midnight on the last day of class will not be accepted for grading.


  • Communication is so very important. There are multiple ways to communicate with me: 
    • Questions to Instructor Forum: This is a great place to ask course content or assignment questions. If you have a question, there is a good chance one of your peers does as well. This is a public forum for the class.
    • Individual Forum: This is a private forum to ask me questions or send me messages. This will be checked at least once every 24 hours.


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