Optimizing Negotiation Outcome in a Business Environment: Development of a negotiation guide for entrepreneurs
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The main objective of the current thesis is to provide inexperienced entrepreneurs with a negotiation Guide that will help them negotiate better and more efficiently. The aim of this guide is to provide an answer to the research question ?How should the inexperienced entrepreneur prepare and execute negotiations in a business environment??The field of negotiation research is rather comprehensive and scattered, and many researchers claim that their frameworks can be used in all negotiation settings. Our assumption is that there is not one single negotiation approach for all entrepreneurial negotiation settings; one has to combine several of them in order to advise entrepreneurs in their daily business interactions. In order to investigate this we had to get an overview of how the most important negotiation approaches correlates and differ. Snowballing was used as the main method for finding relevant literature. The result of the literature study was a framework and is the authors attempt to describe which negotiation approaches that should be used in a given setting, as seen from a theoretical standpoint.This initial framework functioned as the basis for the first revision of the negotiation Guide, which in turn was tested on the students from NSE. The experiment used role-plays in order to test the negotiation guide on the target group, and to get their feedback on the usability of the guide. The main takeaway from the experiment was that the entrepreneurs found the negotiation guide to be of great help for preparing.In order to triangulate the data from the literature study, and to try to uncover new findings on how entrepreneurs should prepare for and execute negotiations, a series of interviews were conducted. The interviews were semi-structured, and served as an exploratory-inductive effort to be able to answer the research question. 13 interviews were conducted with experienced negotiators and successful entrepreneurs. The main takeaway from the interviews was the SPICE framework, which prescribes how to negotiate with suppliers, partners, investors, customers, and co-entrepreneurs. This framework was implemented in the first revision of the negotiation guide. The guide was then sent to expert negotiators. Their feedback resulted in the second revision of the negotiation guide, and this is the final product of our master thesis.The answer to the research question is complex in nature, and the negotiation guide may be seen as a summary of it.