8 ªecluse the commitment often specifies the con

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8 ªec!,:luse the commitment often specifies the con- cessionsth~ opponent is being asked to make, changing the set of is- sues can sometimes undo the basis for the commitment. 9 In additio~, an attempt to commitfrequently involves introduc- ing a new interest into the negotiation that the opponent cannot sat- isfy and on which the negotiator will bear great costs unless the agreement exceeds sorne threshold. The negotiator who stress es his concern with his future reputation and the administrator who c1aims to be worried about having to deal with hundreds of others if she break s long-established precedent are introducing interests only la- tent in the negotiation that their counterparts cannot apparentIy sat- isfy. The house-buyer whose wife will divorce him if he pays more than $245,000 is "adding" a party (his wife) and an interest (the rela- tionship with his wife) that the seller cannot satisfy. These sorts of commitments can often be undone by finding a way to satisfy the allegedly unsatisfied interests. By credibly promis- ing never to tell anyone and thereby eliminating questions of reputa- tion or by agreeing to intimate to the relevant public that the elppO- nent did very well, one can sometimes un do a commitment based on reputation. Similarly, finding a reason that this case is "different" and therefore does not violate the precedent can undo commitments based on precedent. And, persuading the buyer's wife of the reason- ableness of the $260,000 price satisfies the buyer's alleged interest in avoiding his wife's anger. THREATS AS CONDITONAL COMMITMENTS , Negotiators sometimes threaten drastic consequences if their highly partisan demands are not met. ~tl1reat can be understºº<:las a co~~HQnaLcommi1ment 19 do something undesirableif th~.!QE~~- eneQ.,p~[!Y.ºQ~s nQt cOmply. To take a farfetched example, suppose 7See Raiffa (1982) and Walton and McKersie (1965). 8See Walton and McKersie (1965) for a general discussion or Sebenius (1984) on how a computer mode! permitted a similar occurrence in a major international nego- tiation. 9Chapter Nine deals at length with moves intended to change the parties, inter- ests, and other elements of a negotiation.
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Claiming Value that a mild-mannered accountant threatens to blow up the seller's car if she does not sell it to him for a pittance. Suppose she refuses. What would motivate him to carry out the threat? It would be costly, messy, and dangerous for him and still he would not have the caro He has a serious credibility problem. Contrast his threat with the implied threat of co-CEO Lew Glucksman of Lehman Brothers to provoke internal upheaval and perhaps take the profitable trading operation to another firm if his abrupt demand to run Lehman by himself was not honored. Glucksman, with a reputation for volatile, vindictive, and even irrational actions, conveyed the powerfuUmpression that - ""' ~ his feet were "set in concrete"; he left little doubt that the apparent costs of executing his threat were meaningless to him and that he would act. In general, a threat tends ro be more effective the more
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