When Negotiations Become Routine

Remigiusz Smolinski
University of Aarhus – Department of Organization and Management; Handelshochschule Leipzig (HHL) – Leipzig Graduate School of Management

Peter Kesting
University of Aarhus – Department of Organisation and Management; Handelshochschule Leipzig (HHL)

January 25, 2006


The aim of this paper is to apply the insights of recent research on routine in the context of repeated negotiations. To demonstrate the link between both concepts, we introduce an analytical framework, based on which we identify different negotiation situations in which routine can develop. Following various definitions, we distinguish two dimensions of the negotiation process: a problem solving dimension and a communication dimension which imply and determine the dimensions of our framework, namely: the degree of substance standardization in negotiated deals and variability of negotiation partners respectively. We introduce the concept of a critical skill set and argue that in repeated negotiations, it can be reduced to the part which is relevant for coping with the dimension that remains unstable or non-standard throughout repetitions. Moreover, we demonstrate that our framework is inherently dynamic and we illustrate this with simplified business examples.

When Negotiations Become Routine

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