Jun 25, 2018 in Research

Hostage Negotiation


Negotiation is a process which consist two or more parties that reaches an agreement on matters of familiar concern. In a hostage negotiation, it is very jeopardy to handle it and come out with a positive outcome. Current researchers argues that it can conclude to certainly mental/emotional or trauma if not handled carefully by professional. Therefore, it’s crucial for hostage negotiation to be handled by well trained negotiators in order to avoid its negative impacts and also, to obtain a positive outcome (William, 2008).      

 The international hostage negotiation started early but in present years, it has spread at a brisk rate. Many organization and business men’s have gain a lot of merits in their daily activities through excellent management of hostage negotiator. In negotiation, the most vital thing is management, it’s very important for the negotiators to prepare themselves appropriately in their negotiations. Also, as noted from oxford university researchers (2009), before negotiation kick off, it must be right, accurate, understands one’s own goal and with first-class communication. By doing this, negotiators from all parties will be in a position of achieving their objectives goals. Moreover, the negotiators also necessitate a well plan opening statement and carefully positions so that they can be well prepared before the commencement of negotiation. Also, it’s very important to avoid preplanning which will lead to over planning. For negotiators to succeed, all parties are also required to measure or understand their own strengths, weakness, the interest, the situation and their needs. However, there are various factors which hinder the progress of negotiation. (Lewicki, 2001)

In hostage negotiation, it is all about psychology, where the current researches indicate that the most highly successful negotiators are the skilled practical psychologists. For example, we are surrounded by death each an every day, as there are a lot violent death at the hands of a suicidal, delusional, depressed, homicidal, cold-blooded hostage tanker, or drug-fueled. For someone to resolve these hostage crises it may take days, months, years or decades without being successful, but high skilled negotiation, you can resolve the problem within a period of time, when compared to unskilled who may take decades. In a latest research conducted in law enforcement, it shows that less than twenty percent of critical incidents normally deal with real hostage taking, and majority of the crises are been resolved successful without losing life. Actually, negotiation strategies and commitment, usually contribute up to 95 percent successful rate, when come to hostage crisis solving.

Types of negotiations

There two different types of negotiations; that are, distributive negotiations and integrative negotiations.

Distributive Negotiations (the Fixed Pie)

A distributive negotiation normally includes people who have never comes across each other. There are a lot of things which goes around, but only few are distributed and available. For instance, in a negotiations of a buyer and a seller, the seller usually try to persuade the buyer and obtain the best price, while the buyer on other hand tries to obtain the lowest price through bargaining. The buyer and the seller are both strangers to other. However, even if someone is a friend or business quittance, he/she can go to bargain like any other stranger. Also, when transacting any deal with strangers, you are not suppose to go out off topic; if it is business, make sure you have only stick with it; any personal subject remain secret: you ought to have strong techniques.

Distributive Techniques

  • You must play your cards to close to your chest: by this, you just need to give few information to opposite site.
  • The opposite is equally true.
  • As seller, you need to make the first offer.   

Integrative Negotiation

This type of negotiation includes several join groups, such as cooperation, and many more. The skills required must have a higher degree of trust. There are many advantages which can be gained by both parties after taking a cooperative stand to mutual problem solving.

Integrative techniques

·         Multiple issues: this negotiation includes mass issues to be negotiated.

·         Sharing: both parties need to share more information in order to understand each other well.

·         Problem solving: you must come out with a solution of each other problem.

·         Bridge building: there is a broad network as a result of negotiation; this has enabled many companies to become friendship, hence offering great security.        

Negotiations and Conflict Management

There are various factors which affect growing field of internationally and cross-cultural negotiation; that is environmental factors and the immediate context. Examples of the environmental factors which manipulate international negotiation are political and legal pluralism, foreign governments and bureaucracies, international economics, ideology, instability, external stakeholders and culture. The immediate context factors are relative bargaining power, relationship between negotiators, levels of conflict, immediate stakeholders and desired outcomes. Both of these factors (environmental and immediate context) have much influence and an effective hostage negotiation needs to understand on how to manage them. Moreover, there are four cultures which are used in international negotiation; that are, culture as learned behavior, culture as dialectics, culture in context and culture as shared values. These cultures can affect negotiation through various ways such as time sensitivity, protocol, the nature of agreements, emotionalism, groups verses individualism, risk propensity, the selection of negotiators and the negotiation opportunity. It’s the work of the negotiators to choose the right culture which will be useful in achieving their goals and eliminate the one which will lead into hot water. (William, 2008)

Emerging Trends

One of the emerging trends in negotiation is the use of advanced technology which uses a computer as a medial. Many businesses internationally have been doing well through the use of e-commerce. Therefore, the negotiators should also engage themselves so that they can gain these advantages. The negotiators who engage themselves on the internet, they are said to more competitive, adversarial and impersonal. Also, since internet is the fastest tool of communication than face to face communication, the hostage negotiators will be able to resolve their dispute fast whereas it arises; compared to face-to-face negotiators who have to come together, as they might be late and their result will be unsuccessful goals (failure to meet their goals). (Kumar & Worm, 2000)


A well managed negotiation, will always lead to a successful goals and it is very important to took time and make a good preparation before the negotiation kick off. Moreover, it is necessary for all parties to be active members; if there is a dormant party then they wouldn’t achieve their objective. Also, both parties must come to an agreement on procedures and regulation which will act as guidance. Moreover, it’s better if the negotiators will involve themselves into the new trend so that it will increase their chances of meeting their desired goals (Lewicki, 2008).

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