Upstream and Downstream Negotiation Research

Leigh Thompson, Brian Lucas and Erika Hall

in The Oxford Handbook of Economic Conflict Resolution

Published in print September 2012 | ISBN: 9780199730858
Published online December 2012 | | DOI:

Series: Oxford Handbooks

 Upstream and Downstream Negotiation Research

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  • Economics
  • Microeconomics
  • Econometrics and Mathematical Economics


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This article argues for expanding the research focus in the field of bargaining and negotiation. It discusses three different research vantage points in negotiation, which are referred to as upstream, midstream, and downstream research. It also reviews six areas of potentially fruitful upstream research: negotiability, negotiation threshold, preparation competency, choosing a team, networks, and reputation. It is argued that the realization that negotiation is an option, the decision to negotiate, preparation, and reputational concerns constitute meaningful effects in the study of negotiation. Moreover, it reviews four downstream areas: commitment, learning and insight, rebound/recovery, and collateral damage. By expanding the research focus to upstream and downstream research, the possibility of new research vistas is offered. Extending research on the upstream and downstream of negotiations will also strengthen the understanding of not only how negotiators operate but whether and when, and will highlight potentially unanticipated consequences of negotiation that were previously unexplored.

Keywords: bargaining; negotiation; upstream research; midstream research; downstream research; reputation; commitment; collateral damage

Article.  7050 words. 

Subjects: Economics ; Microeconomics ; Econometrics and Mathematical Economics

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