THE EFFECTS OF EMOTIONAL AND RATIONAL NEGOTIATION WITHIN DESIGN
Editor: Erik Bohemia, Ahmed Kovacevic, Lyndon Buck, Peter Childs, Stephen Green, Ashley Hall, Aran Dasan
Author: Coutts, Euan; Mitchell, Mairi; Duffy, Alex
Institution: University of Strathclyde, United Kingdom
Section: Design and Engineering Education Practices
Negotiation in design is conducted using a wide spectrum of skills and procedures. Typically a rational approach to negotiation is taken by providing evidence and reasoning for either side of the negotiation. Such ‘proself’ approaches have, on occasion, been found to be a disruptive and argumentative approach to negotiation. Subsequently a focus on emotional negotiation has become an important research topic. The benefits of considering other parties emotions have slowly become a reasonable argument for changing the way negation is conducted in many industries such as engineering design. By investigating ‘prosocial’ opportunities for both parties’ during negotiation, better outcomes or greater opportunities for win-win situations are provided. Despite this, when emotion is used in the context of design projects, it is often seen as a weak position or a hindrance to the negotiation process. This paper focuses on how negotiations are affected by participants’ use of rational and emotional negotiation. An experiment has been conducted with a new rational and emotional framework to understand its effects on the performance of a design project and test proposed hypotheses. The results of this experimentation revealed that group performance improves as they focus more on joint outcomes. However, it does not make the process of negotiation any easier. The paper concludes with a discussion of the results and recommendations for further work.