Staying in the Game or Changing It: An Analysis of Moves and Turns in Negotiation


  • Deborah Kolb is professor of management at the Simmons School of Management and Center for Gender in Organizations, 409 Commonwealth Avenue, Boston, MA 02215; e-mail:


As parties bargain over the terms of an agreement, they are concurrently negotiating their relationship. In this parallel negotiation, parties seek to position themselves to advantage by using a variety of strategic moves. In so doing the other party can be put into a defensive position making it difficult to advocate effectively. Turns, such as interrupting, correcting, questioning, naming, and diverting, challenge these moves. Turns can be used restoratively to move out of a defensive position or participatively, to engage the other in collaboration. Anticipating strategic moves and having turns in mind is part of preparing to negotiate.