The role of ethics in negotiations Essay

The role of ethics in negotiations
The role of ethics in negotiations

The role of ethics in negotiations

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  1. Explain the role of ethics in negotiations

Success in business typically requires successful negotiation. In the capitalistic market where business success is defined by competition and morals, the business executive often face ethical problems in business activities. Ethics in a business context is what is morally right or wrong in a meticulous circumstances or practice for coming up with those values (Barraquier, 2011). Moral principles often arise from philosophies defined by the nature of the place we live in and the natural rules of living together.

Ethics is important in negotiation as it helps to establish a means of doing what is right, honest and fair during the negotiation process. Building reputation in every negotiation is critical so as to achieve a win-win outcome. A person with a reputation of being fair, honest and willing to perform what is right will make good concessions during negotiation. People often guard their reputation by acting in an ethical manner hence successful negotiation.

The negotiation process is multifaceted. The central part of the negotiation is persuading and convincing others to accept the information provided and influences their decision. Though, it is possible to influence people by lying, but when other parties in the negotiation find out that they have been lied to, then the credibility of the party in negotiation goes down.

  1. Situations where it might not be best to take complete advantage of the other side negotiations

Some of the situations where it might not be best to take advantage of the other side negotiation are when; the other party has power or authority over us. For instance, when negotiating with attorneys, doctors, teachers, clerks, etc. In such situations, it is good to get along and understand the status quo. Secondly, is in situations where the other party has a walk-away alternative that meet their interests. In such situations, the other party can walk away if they feel they are not satisfied, or they feel cornered. Therefore, it is not best to take complete advantage of them.

  1. Win-Win Approaches to negotiations that watch for the best interests of both parties

There are different approaches to negotiation. However, to achieve a win-win situation the best approach to negotiation is a principled negotiation approach. This approach can be employed in a collaborative manner. This method focuses on four important considerations during the negotiation process. That is People, Interests, Options, and Criteria (POIC).  The negotiating parties should be able to separate people from the problem, focus on interests and not positions (Weiss, 2014). On the same note, the parties should generate a variety of possibilities before making conclusions. Finally, the parties should insist on the result to be based on the set objective standards.

  1. Ethical negotiations and win-win negotiations in the real world

Ethical negotiation follows that, both parties are guided by what is right, honesty, and fairness in their dealings. On the other hand, win-win negotiation centers on coming up with jointly beneficial agreements. This objective is achieved through the bargaining process that is forged in the course of collaboration, cooperation and accommodating. It is feasible to achieve a successful negotiation by ensuring that ethical the moral principles of doing what is right in an honest and fair manner and coming up with beneficial agreements for both parties.

This is evident in the case of UAW Chrysler agreement with the workers union governing the company’s employees. The workers agreed to sacrifice and dedicate themselves for the company. In return, Chrysler workers were rewarded for contributing to the success of the company. Their salaries were increased o $19.28% and the workers were ensured of job security.

  1. The biggest impediments to ethical behavior in business

One of the biggest impediments to ethical behavior in business is hidden agendas in the organization. This barrier is evident in organizations with an incentive to induce change or behavior that encourages a negative tendency within the organization.

Another barrier is over valuing of outcomes. That is where a company rewards results of activity instead of rewarding high-quality decisions (Burnes & Oswick, 2012). This often results in organization rewarding unethical decisions since they often result in good results.


  1. How ethical behavior can be instilled while trying to make profits for shareholders

In pursuit of profit for the organization, it is imperative to ensure ethical conduct in business activities to ensure the reputation for credible profession principles and organization values. The organization achieves this objective through rewarding of ethical behavior. Organization should prove and reward the solid ethical behavior by employees in the organization. Secondly, the company should consider the work-life balance of the employee. According to Fells (2012), employees with a better work-life balance are likely to make a good ethical decision during work. On the same note, an organization can train employees to operate ethically as dictated by the organization’s code of conduct.

Therefore, an organization will often end up making more profit and build their reputation by ensuring that ethical behavior is observed when conducting the company’s dealings. By striving to ensure that employees do what is right, in an honest manner, and ensuring fairness during the negotiation process. Then, the company will be able to build a corporate image and enjoy business sustainability.


Weiss, J. W. (2014). Business ethics: A stakeholder and issues management approach (6th ed.). San Francisco, CA: Berrett-Koehler Publishers, Inc

Fells, R. (2012). Effective negotiation: From research to results. Cambridge University Press.

Barraquier, A. (2011). Ethical behaviour in practice: decision outcomes and strategic implications. British Journal of Management22(s1), S28-S46.

By, R. T., Burnes, B., & Oswick, C. (2012). Change management: Leadership, values and ethics. Journal of Change Management12(1), 1-5.

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