For this symposium on improving negotiation theory, Professors David Matz and Adrian Borbély wrote an excellent article advocating the use of full-length accounts of actual negotiations to develop more realistic negotiation theory. They propose using “full-length accounts databases against which to measure good practice prescriptions.” Their article illustrates how we can use rich data from actual negotiations to build and ultimately test negotiation theories. Based on their reading of full-length accounts of negotiations, they suggest five key variables that are critical in understanding negotiation: “ghosts,” history, interactions, uncertainty, and power. Their observations provide a useful framework for further analysis and testing.



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