The strategic use of interests, rights, and power to resolve disputes

Anne L. Lytle*, Jeanne M. Brett, Debra L. Shapiro

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

70 Scopus citations


To ensure success in resolving difficult disputes, negotiators must make strategic decisions about their negotiation approach. In this essay, we make practical recommendations for negotiation strategy based on Ury, Brett, and Goldberg's (1993) interests, rights, and power framework for dispute resolution and subsequent empirical research by Brett, Shapiro, and Lytle (1998). We discuss how negotiations cycle through interests, rights, and power foci; the prevalence of reciprocity; and the one-sided, distributive outcomes that result from reciprocity of rights and power communications. We then turn to using interests, rights, and power strategically in negotiations. We discuss choosing an opening strategy, breaking conflict spirals of reciprocated rights and power communications, and when and how to use rights and power communications effectively in negotiations.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)31-51
Number of pages21
JournalNegotiation Journal
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1999

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Sciences(all)
  • Strategy and Management
  • Management of Technology and Innovation


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