The Negotiator Magazine

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Reader's Review

Game, Set, Match: Winning the Negotiations Game
By Henry S. Kramer
360 pp. New York: ALM Publishing, 2001
Paperback Edition: US $19.95

The practice of negotiations surely ranks among the earliest forms of human interaction. If those seashells or flint scrappers did not change hands by force, they were probably negotiated in the prehistoric mists. The art of negotiating, honed by observation in the early market trades and conflict resolutions, must have become a highly valued skill that was passed on from the experienced negotiator to the new. It remains so today.

Henry S. Kramer is one of those practitioners and teachers whose new book is in the tradition of the tutorial. It breaks no new ground, expounds no new theories, and slays no myths. It is, however, one of those fundamental resources for the negotiator: a step-by-step, "nuts and bolts" guide through the complex and formal negotiations process used by organizations.

Professor Kramer is a Visiting Fellow at the New York State School of Industrial and Labor Relations, Cornell University (USA), and the former chief spokesperson and Corporate Manager of Labor Relations and Legal Services for the BASF Corporation.

He is also the author of Alternative Dispute Resolution in the Work Place and the co-author with Lawrence Solotoff of Sexual Harassment in the Work Place. He has the credentials for his task.

The author lays out his assumptions about the field of negotiations early in his book. We know quickly where he is coming from as we proceed. "At its heart, the negotiations game is adversarial no matter how we try to sugar coat it," Kramer tells us (p. 8). Therefore, we learn, "...this book is about winning for yourself, as a primary objective." (p.10). Never-the less, Kramer is clear that "... a feeling on the part of both sides that they have ‘won’ the negotiations game is critical ..." (p.8).

Negotiations are process-driven in Kramer’s view and he leads his reader through each step of the negotiating enterprise from initial planning to the essential follow-up after the completion of the negotiation. Each component along the way is explored in detail and listed in the table of contents for ease of future reference.

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