Background Note | HBS Case Collection | August 2007 (Revised September 2007)

Negotiation Strategy: Pattern Recognition Game

by Gregory M. Barron and Michael A. Wheeler


In negotiation, correctly identifying your counterpart's strategy is vital. Only then can you constructively influence their behavior-or adapt appropriately to what they are doing. This case-and its related computer-based exercise (Negotiation Strategy Simulation)-illuminate how through a thoughtful process of probing and testing, a negotiator may determine whether the other party tends to be cooperative or competitive. The material also demonstrates how the benefit of such learning must be weighed against the possible costs of being provocative.

Keywords: Negotiation; Behavior; Conflict and Resolution; Power and Influence; Strategy; Competition; Cooperation;


Barron, Gregory M., and Michael A. Wheeler. "Negotiation Strategy: Pattern Recognition Game." Harvard Business School Background Note 908-015, August 2007. (Revised September 2007.)