Preparing to Negotiate: An Exploratory Analysis of the Activities Comprising the Pre-Negotiation Process in a Buyer-Seller Interaction

Document Type


Publication Date

Spring 2010

Publication Title

Marketing Management Journal


A significant body of research has focused on the negotiation process, especially how skilled negotiators gain an advantage in the marketplace. However, the preoccupation with negotiation table exchanges has been at the expense of understanding what negotiators do prior to arriving at the table, which often determines what options they have while actively conversing. While previous research into negotiation antecedents has tended to focus on the demographic characteristics of the negotiator, the focus of this research is on defining the activities that negotiators often conduct in preparation of the negotiation encounter. Comprehending these activities should illuminate priorities, tendencies, and coveted behaviors/actions that people invest in prior to a negotiation encounter. The researchers identify and test a list of 34 pre-negotiation activities in a business negotiation situation, specifically in a buyer-seller encounter. Managerial implications and suggestions for future research are also discussed.