Leveraging Power from BATNA-PPA605

Week 3 Assignment

Leveraging Power from BATNA

Review the Learning Exercise: Unhappy Co-Owners (below) and address the following:

  1. Assuming your Best Alternative to a Negotiating Agreement (BATNA) is letting a court sell the property, discuss how it may help you reach an agreement. Recommend other strategies that you could use to accomplish a successful negotiation.
  2. Discuss your power sources and your co-owner’s power sources in this negotiation, and analyze how you can strengthen your power position.
  3. Propose a logical and an emotional argument to persuade your co-owner to agree to a deal.
  4. Describe a nonverbal communication technique that you will use to persuade your co-owner that your proposal is a win-win proposition.
  5. Describe a threat you can make that would force your co-owner to make concessions.

Sample paper

Best Alternative to a Negotiated Agreement (BATNA)

PPA605 Negotiation, Bargaining & Conflict Management

Best Alternative to a Negotiated Agreement (BATNA)

Drawing on information available in the learning exercise it is clear that only a litigation can help solve the contentious issue. It appears that one must develop his/her BATNA in order to avert further losses and turn around the situation to favor both parties involved in the issue. In order for me to achieve the BATNA, I will carefully review the situation taking into consideration a number of key things. For instance, it is important that I refrain from being overoptimistic and from being too much pessimistic. Nonetheless, emotions may be valuable in the bargaining process (Carrell & Heavrin, 2008). Keeping an open mind and exercising sound judgment can help to manage the situation effectively. Since there is likelihood that the issue may escalate to the court, one may expect that it will be more complex. By introducing the BATNA, I would expect that the parties reach an agreement quickly. This will help eliminate the lengthy and expensive process involved in legal litigation. This paper will explore the concept of Best Alternative to a Negotiated Agreement in solving the situation especially by use of persuasion and coercion.

Although there are certain merits associated with litigation, there are certain inherent demerits too associated with the process, notably time consuming and the possibility that the court decision may not be in one’s favor. It would be prudent to reach an agreement before the matter goes to court. However, at this point, a solution can only be reached by seeking a legal intervention. As such, my BATNA is to accept a legal intervention to the issue at hand. Nonetheless, other solutions could lead to both parties striking a good deal as follows:

  • One of my offer is to buy out the co-owner at the current fair market price, and may even go higher as per the value of developed property having four upscale vacation homes.
  • Since I have inherited the property from my parents, there is an intrinsic value to the property that no monetary reward can compensate. As such, the best alternative is for the co-owner to sell his share of property to me.
  • Another offer is to make improvements to the property, which we can then rent out to interested clients during the period when we are not using it. The income generated from renting out the property would go towards offsetting the renovation costs. This can help use cool down our emotions and reach a long-term solution.
  • Although threats may help in establishing a solution, going to court may be far more expensive and time-consuming. Sometimes the court decision may end up favoring neither of the aggrieved parties.
  • My final option is to press charges against the co-owner, specifically as a usurper. It is clear that I have rightful part ownership to the property. As such, I have to approve any decisions that the co-owner makes regarding the property. The court cannot ignore my interest to the property since I am a rightful owner by means of inheritance. In addition, the court must also take into consideration the fact that the co-owner has interest to the property. Physically dividing the property may not be possible since this could greatly alter the usage of the property as a summer home. This can lead to a pareto optimal situation, which denotes a modification to a property or any form of redistribution that detrimentally affect another party (Carrell & Heavrin, 2008).

Power Sources

In this negotiation, I will utilize two basic power sources, which include maintaining a long-term connection and developing better communication with the co-owner. There is legitimate power with regard to the property since I have already inherited the property. My family has maintained half ownership of the property for a long period. Moreover, local authorities have a clean record of the house in terms of payment of land rates and other form of taxes. Over the years, my family have developed and maintained cordial relationships with the local community. Most of the community members recognize the property as a summer cottage. As such, it may be difficult for community members too to see the property changed into an upscale vacation home or into something else. Another source of power that I plan to use is psychological power, which entails bringing a sense that one is powerful and thus able to influence decisions.

My co-owner yields vast experience in property management. He also holds more wealth compared to my family. This gives him role power in the bargaining. While he is relatively new in the area, he possesses vast knowledge in the development of various types of properties including summer cottages. Since the new owner has enough funds to develop the property, he may place an argument in court that property may yield higher profits and more revenue to the local government if it undergoes transformation into an upscale vacation home. The court may see the argument as logical since it holds the potential to increase even employment opportunities in the area. It can also attract new investments and further growth in the area. It is also possible that the previous and current co-owner to the property have much more experience in selling and buying property. They could therefore employ hard-bargaining tactics in the process. In addition, it is likely that they could be able to cater easily to the legal costs and higher better lawyers to represent them in court.

From the above, their true power can be seen as both rewarding and coercive in some way. The previous and current co-owner can accept to lose the property easily compared to me since they do not have any emotional attachment. Basing on the power sources of my co-owners, it is evident that my power sources need a bit of strengthening. The following are ways in which I can achieve this:

  • Disregard the co-operative bargaining process. The current co-owner has already threatened to take the matter to court. In such a situation, it would be prudent to disregard the cooperative bargaining style (Morak, 2009). It is impossible to make any progress in solving the situation since he has already made threats. It would only be prudent to opt for the hard-bargaining strategy (Tuncel, Mislin, Kesebir, & Pinkley, 2016).
  • Exerting pressure in different ways. It is clear that the co-owner may decide to make an argument about the benefit to be derived when the property is developed into an upscale vacation home. According to Kang, Galinski, Kray, and Shikaro (2015) one may opt to use counter arguments in such a situation. For instance, one may question whether in developing the summer cottage labor will be sourced from within the local community or from outside. Other strong points include the need for an environmental impact assessment.
  • Developing strong arguments that are logical and legitimate. If I establish my arguments as valid and reasonable, the current co-owner may drop his arguments. In addition, the court my back my argument especially since I have an emotional attachment to the house.

The Use of Logic and Emotion

Use of logic is important in any form of argument. According to Carrell and Heavrin (2008), the use of logic in an argument centers on the “rationality of the argument” (p. 117). In such a case, the use of logic requires one to use analytics while evaluating a particular situation. For instance, one may evaluate the pros and cons of a particular strategy. For example, one may critically evaluate whether claiming for an environmental impact assessment may hold ground in court. Since the property borders the ocean, one may assess whether developing upscale vacation homes may have a negative impact on the surrounding environment. One may evaluate whether the cost of the development outweigh all the costs involved. An environmental impact assessment may take a long period to actualize. Thus, the logical thing would be for me to purchase the summer cottage at the current market fair price.

Using emotion can be a powerful tool in negotiation and bargaining. Strong emotions motivate me to fight for the property and ensure that my family’s memories remain intact. According to Wong (2016), passion and emotion are critical elements involved in negotiation and persuasion. In order to emerge victorious in the negotiation, I  plan to use the current owner’s sense of pride and turn it into a win for me. I have to maintain the property’s simplicity and above all ensure that my family’s memories are safeguarded. I also plan to sell the idea that the property can still generate more revenues without the need for modification or developments. For instance, the property can be put to low-key commercial uses such as the perfect place to host weddings. According to Woodley, Bourdage, and Nguyen (2015), these are key elements in the distributive bargaining process.

The Use of Nonverbal Communication Methods

Nonverbal communication is a critical element in the bargaining process. Maintaining eye contact during the negotiation process can be a good indicator that I am strong opponent and willing to fight for my rights. Carrell and Heavrin (2008) assert that maintaining eye contact is a good way to make the listener pay attention. It also helps in commanding the full attention of the listener.

Possible Threat

One of the possible threats I can make is that the legal process is cumbersome and will require a substantial amount of money. In addition, there is a possibility that he may lose the case of both of use may lose the case, in which he has to settle all the legal fees I will have incurred in the process.


One may not accurately judge the effectiveness of the decision he/she makes and the impacts on the outcomes of the tussle. While distributive bargaining may not be entirely effective in helping one achieve what he/she wants in such a situation, it is necessary to integrate some elements of hard bargaining such as threat. It is critical to employ logic in the bargaining process to ensure that that one achieves the BATNA.


Woodley, H. J. R., Bourdage, J. S., Ogunfowora, B., & Nguyen, B. (2015). Examining Equity Sensitivity: An Investigation Using the Big Five and HEXACO Models of Personality. Frontiers in Psychology6, 2000. Retrieved December 31, 2016, from the PubMed Central database.

Kang, S. K., Galinsky, A. D., Kray, L. J., & Shirako, A. (2015 May). Power affects performance when the pressure is on: Evidence for low-power threat and high-power lift. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 41(5), 726-735. Retrieved December 31, 2016, from the PsycINFO database.

Carrell, M. R., & Heavrin, C. (2008). Negotiating essentials: Theory, skills, and practices. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson Prentice Hall.

Morak, D. (2009). Cooperative Negotiation. München: GRIN Verlag GmbH.

Wong, S. S. (2016 March). Emotions and the communication of intentions in face-to-face diplomacy. European Journal of International Relations, 22(1), 144-167. Retrieved December 31, 2016, from the EBSCOhost database.

Tuncel, E., Mislin, A., Kesebir, S., & Pinkley, R. L. (2016 March). Agreement attraction and impasse aversion: Reasons for selecting a poor deal over no deal at all. Psychological Science, 27(3), 312-321. Retrieved December 31, 2016, from the PsycINFO database.