A zero-sum approach to collective bargaining, in which gains for one side are made at the expense of the other. Distributive bargaining may flourish in a situation of low trust and be associated with the threat and deployment of sanctions by employers and trade unions. It is often characteristic of wage negotiations, where gains for the union and its members are achieved directly at the expense of the employer. Advocates of the reform of collective bargaining suggest that distributive bargaining be replaced by integrative or positive-sum bargaining, in which the two sides co-operate to find mutually beneficial solutions to shared problems. [See integrative bargaining.]
Subjects: Human Resource Management.