Lower their counterparts aspirations as the

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~~~~I,jI!J.~~iqKtQ~s!~Lr!U;!illJ~,:,,!1:,~~8!i'!:!()r~,,!~I1.~~i(),~,slxJ!yJ9 lower their counterparts' aspirations. As the project head approaches hls"bo'ss'wÍlfi--alook11iiiTsÍgú-áTs'n1)udget increase request," the boss can be counted on to begin muttering about the tough year, the aus- terity directives from aboye, how the last four requests for increases were turned down, and so on. If successful, the boss will have low- ered the project head's money aspirations. In general, the tools for accomplishing lowered aspirations are the same as those employed to affect perceptions of the bargining seto Beyond run-of-the-mill argu- ments and efforts to persuade, these include moves to affect percep- I1 See Siegel and Fouraker (1960),
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132 Negotiation Analysis tions of alternatives, where and how any commitments are at- tempted, as well as patterns of offers and concessions-a subject we treat in the next section. Taking Positions One common school of thought on how to choose offers is nicely ex- pressed by Henry Kissinger: If agreeIIlent is usually found between. two startingpoints, there iSQQ point in making moderate offers. Good bargaini I1 g tec!miglle wOlll<i suggest a point ofdeparNre farll}oreextreme than what one is willing to accept. The more outrageous the initial proposition thebeüeri~the prospect that wl1al QUe "really" wants will be considered a compro- mise. 12 But, beyond the risk of souring the atmosphere, such tactics may stimulate equally extreme counteroffers that may simply cancel the intended effects and increase the chances of impasse. If one invests an extreme offer with a great deal of credibility, eventual movement may damage the credibility of subsequent "firm" stands. If this is so and Kissinger's advice need not always apply, is there anything to guide the choice of offers? CHOOSING OPENING OFFERS Opening offers are often intended to influence perceptions of the bargaining set. Thus, the offer of $320,000 for the industrial building with an asking price of $600,000 was intended to convey to the build- ing's owner that the buyer group aspired to a very low price, that they would not pay anywhere near $600,000, and that $600,000 was much higher than their alternative possibilities. In other words, the buyers hoped to cause a shift downward in the owner's perceptions of the bargaining set. They might well have accompanied this offer with ar- guments that other, potentially higher-paying buyers would not be able to get the zoning variances needed to make the building useful, and thus, that the owner's no-agreement alternatives were worse than he originally thought. The choice of an effective opening offer and even the decision whether or not to make the first offer should also reflect a negotia- 12Kissinger (1961:205).
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Claiming Value 133 tor's perceptions about the counterpart's reservation value.
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