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Mutual Gains Bargaining

In today’s highly adversarial unionized workplace, both union and management negotiators involved in collective bargaining are constantly trying to find better ways to improve efficiency and relationships at the bargaining table. For years unions and management have fought against each other’s positions, not taking into consideration the relationships between the two. In the traditional bargaining approach, the two parties exchange proposals in order to obtain target positions. There are several reasons this approach is not always the best approach, which I will explain in detail later in this paper. The traditional collective bargaining process is described as being “based on mistrust and conflict – that is, there is a fundamental divergence of interest between employers and employees” (Pettinger, 2000, pp 59). In traditional bargaining, the two sides act as adversaries, causing the two sides to lose trust in each other. When this happens negotiations often break down resulting in impasses. When an impasse is reached, the union can strike or management can lockout causing workers valuable working time and companies to lose valuable production time. To help avoid impasses, a more allied approach to negotiating has been developed to aid in the relationships between the two sides, as well as to help aid in the negotiation process.
Mutual Gains Bargaining (MGB) originated in Japanese industrial relations where both sides of the bargaining table approached the negotiations by working toward a common goal through cooperation between the two sides (Abbey, 1996, pp 21). Mutual gains bargaining (also known as principled negotiations, interest-based bargaining, integrative bargaining, or win-win bargaining) focuses on the interests of the two parties instead of the positions. The two parties disclose to one another their interests before negotiations and work together as one team to mutually come to a decision. When used pr...

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Mutual Gains Bargaining. (1969, December 31). In Retrieved 14:24, August 02, 2015, from