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Achieving Better Agreements through a Systemic Model of Negotiation

Stéphane Royer

Ferring /

Doctor DBA, Business Science Institute

(DBA Thesis supervised by Prof. Michelle Bergadaà)



61% of managers' time is dedicated to negotiation activities in the broad sense, yet only 8% are trained in this practice (Royer, 2022). This may explain the quasi-permanence of tensions in managers' activities, not to mention the high costs for organizations.

Moreover, although there are many studies and publications on this subject, it is often difficult to separate the wheat from the chaff. There is no systemic model of negotiation validated by a scientific approach. The objective of our research is therefore threefold: to propose a systemic model of negotiation based on a rigorous synthesis of the literature, to demonstrate the value of this model for managers, and to design a training program to transmit this model.

Impacts of the research

Our systemic model

We have defined five streams of literature (diplomatic, distributive, integrative, business and emotional) for use by managers and then designed several tools based on them:

  • A dynamic model centered on Attention and representing all the stages of Negotiation and their interactions,

  • A guide to the 10 universal principles that govern Negotiations,

  • The 24 techniques, divided by stages of Negotiation, explained and summarized in easy-to-remember acronyms,

  • The 5 attitudes and 7 tactics for managing a negotiation,

  • A Negotiation preparation sheet in the form of an outline containing all the key elements of the research.

A demonstration of the value of this model for managers

A 2-day face-to-face training module as well as an online master class of 20 lessons allowed to experiment these tools in a rigorous framework.

The design of a knowledge transfer training

We have already trained 163 managers who have confirmed that the method, compared to the use of other methods on which they were trained, brought them more value (+23%) and more frequent agreements (+36%), while certifying that the system was usable on a daily basis (87%). In addition, in line with one of our research recommendations, we are training 400 managers of a pharmaceutical group around an internal Negotiation standard to optimize their negotiations and improve overall value.

Foundations of the research

By its very activity, Negotiation would be a communication process that goes back to the dawn of time, as soon as people needed to exchange values or resolve disagreements. However, although it was originally an everyday activity, it was not until the advent of writing that we saw the first traces and attempts to theorize this process. The first works on the subject appeared in the 17th century, thanks to diplomats in particular.

There are several traditions of negotiation: mathematical models (distributive methods), advisory models (integrative methods) and behaviorist models (emotional methods). To these can be added works that come from Negotiation practitioners and are based on their experience.

Table 1 presents the main currents of thought in negotiation that we have listed:


We established a reading grid and a segmentation and categorization tool (OSCAR). Then, we screened more than 100 articles and 41 books to classify and document 2230 data. Then, we tested the completeness hypothesis of the existing negotiation models to notice that they could constitute a coherent and unique whole. Only 4 exceptions could be arbitrated.

Thus, we constructed 1 model, 10 principles, 7 tactics, 24 techniques, 5 attitudes, and 4 themes on emotion by descriptive approach.

Finally, we performed a quantitative and statistical study (MINITAB) on the data from the Managers' Negotiation simulations. We tested the value (+23%) and the agreements obtained (+36%) and the adequacy of the method with the Manager's reality (87%) in comparison with other methods on which the different managers have been trained.

To go further...

1. Le Deley E. L’intemporalité des principes de négociation, analyse comparée des textes anciens et récents sur la négociation. 2011.

2. Rojot J. La Négociation. Vuibert; 2006.

3. Armand Jean du Plessis de Richelieu. Testament Politique.; 1688.

4. Schelling TC. The Strategy of Conflict. Cambridge,. Harvard University Press; 1980.

5. Lax DA, Sebenius JK. The Manager as Negotiator: Bargaining for Cooperation and Competitive Gain.; 1986.

6. Rosenberg MB, Cesotti A, Secretan C, Rojzman C. Les Mots Sont Des Fenêtres (Ou Bien Ils Sont Des Murs) : Introduction À La Communication Non Violente. La Découverte & Syros; 1999.

7. Thompson LL. The Mind and Heart of the Negotiator. 5th Edition. Pearson Education; 2012.


To be discovered...

"The secrets of negotiation" By Dr. Stéphane Royer

Researcher, Negotiator, Speaker, Mediator and Teacher

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