This paper examines whether patterns in communication behavior over time can predict the outcome of crisis negotiations. A sample of 189 interaction episodes was transcribed from 9 resolved negotiations and coded according to differences in the degree and type of behavior. Partial order scalogram analysis POSAC was used to produce a graphical representation of the similarities and differences among episodes while simultaneously uncovering the role of each behavior in shaping the negotiation process. Results showed that episodes could be represented along a partially ordered scale of competitiveness, which was structured by the occurrence of two types of behavior DistributiveExpressive and IntegrativeInstrumental. The likelihood of negotiation success reduced with movement up the competitive scale, and negotiations involving episodes that passed a threshold of extreme competition on the scale inevitably ended unsuccessfully regardless of future developments. As negotiations developed over time, behavior alternated between periods of increasing cooperation and periods of increasing competition, with unsuccessful negotiations associated with a concluding trend of increasing competitive behavior.
International Journal of Conflict Management – Emerald Publishing
Published: Jan 1, 2002