Article | Negotiation Journal | October 2009

Negotiation Analysis: From Games to Inferences to Decisions to Deals

by James K. Sebenius


Exemplified by the pioneering work of Howard Raiffa and often expressed in the pages of the Negotiation Journal, the emergent prescriptive field of "negotiation analysis" progressively developed from Raiffa's early contributions to game theory and to his later foundational work in statistical decision theory and decision analysis. Drawing from each of these fields but methodologically distinct from them, negotiation analysis has mainly adopted an "asymmetrically prescriptive/descriptive" orientation. It develops the best possible advice for what one or more parties should do conditional on empirically grounded assessment of what the other side(s) actually will do. An extensive negotiation analytic literature has developed, often making the traditional assumption of a well-specified and fixed situation for analysis. Relaxing this requirement, however, more recent work systematically puts the "setup" of a negotiation itself-its parties, their interests, their no-deal options, the sequence and basic process choices or design-into the realm of strategic and tactical choice.

Keywords: Decision Choices and Conditions; Negotiation Participants; Negotiation Preparation; Negotiation Process; Negotiation Tactics; Game Theory;


Sebenius, James K. "Negotiation Analysis: From Games to Inferences to Decisions to Deals." Negotiation Journal 25, no. 4 (October 2009): 449–465.