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date: 18 January 2020

Abstract and Keywords

The interest-based approach to labor-management negotiations has become increasingly common, though still not the dominant mode for collective bargaining in the US or Canada. This chapter provides an overview of practice and theory with respect to interest-based bargaining. A five-phase model is summarized, including: I. Prepare; II. Bargain over how to bargain; III. Open and explore; IV. Focus and agree; V. Implement and sustain. Research documenting outcomes associated with the interest-based approach is reviewed, with findings that it is generally associated with mutual gains more than the more traditional, positional bargaining. Underlying theory spans many domains, including literatures on negotiations, transformative mediation, bias in decision-making, transformation in industrial relations, etc. Future prospects are identified, including the potential to better take into account the public interest in labor-management negotiations (in the public and private sectors) as well as potential applications among many stakeholders at a systems level of analysis.

Keywords: bargaining, mutual gains, negotiation, union, transformation, concessions, interests, positions

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