Getting to no: managing the delicate business of refusing a contractor's claim

Rooke, JA 2006, Getting to no: managing the delicate business of refusing a contractor's claim , in: Symposium on sustainability and value through construction procurement, CIB W092, 29th November-2nd December 2006, Digital World Centre, Salford.

Full text not available from this repository. (Request a copy)


A short transcript from a meeting between a contractor and employer's representatives is presented and analysed to reveal some of the conversational methods employed in the negotiation. A key sequence is analysed to show how the refusal to grant a claim for costs incurred due to delay is managed in such a way as to maintain good relations between contractor and client. This analysis is supplemented with additional ethnographic detail, in order to provide adequate context for an understanding of the negotiation. Conversational analysis, a technique developed originally by Harvey Sacks, is introduced and employed. The resulting analysis is compared with that suggested by Fisher, Ury & Patton in their classic text on negotiation, 'Getting to Yes'. While some of the principles enunciated by Fisher et al are clearly seen to be in operation, others are not. Moreover, additional techniques are employed that do not find a place in the 'Getting to Yes' method. Thus, negotiators can be observed to explicitly 'separate the people from the problem' and 'insist on objective criteria'. On the other hand, while there is some indication of a focus on interests, rather than positions, this is implicit rather than overt. The invention of 'options for mutual gain' is clearly not viable at this stage in the negotiation. Additional techniques found to be present which are not explored by Fisher et al include the use of humour and a focus on the autonomy of relationships beyond the arena of negotiation. The paper finishes with some brief general remarks on the consequences that the naturalistic approach to studying negotiation adopted here has for Fisher et al's normative and formal study.

Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)
Themes: Subjects / Themes > H Social Sciences > HD Industries. Land use. Labor > HD0028 - 0070 Management. Industrial Management
Subjects outside of the University Themes
Schools: Schools > School of the Built Environment
Schools > School of the Built Environment > Centre for Urban Processes, Resilient Infrastructures & Sustainable Environments
Refereed: Yes
Depositing User: Users 29196 not found.
Date Deposited: 02 Dec 2009 10:00
Last Modified: 27 Aug 2021 22:11

Actions (login required)

Edit record (repository staff only) Edit record (repository staff only)