| HBS Case Collection
(Revised from original 2002 version)
A Note on Maneuvering in War and Negotiation
Military metaphors are commonplace in business writing about strategy, but they are rarely used in the negotiation literature. This case takes the Marine Corps philosophy of warfighting and compares it with the tactics and techniques of effective negotiators. Some of the characteristics of war--such as friction, imperfect information and communication, fluidity, and disorder--are also parts of negotiations. Likewise, some of the techniques military strategists use, like exploiting gaps in the enemy's lines and using boldness and speed to surprise the enemy, can also work for negotiators. Most critically, however, this case applies the notion of complexity to both warfare and negotiation and introduces students to the ideas of continual adaptation and dynamic responses to changing environments.
Keywords: Negotiation Tactics;
Situation or Environment;
Conflict and Resolution;