Integration of Concepts and Reflection on Negotiation cases of Twin Lakes Mining Company and Harborco



The intention of this study is negotiation as “an interaction that occurs when 2 or more parties attempt to agree on a mutually acceptable outcome in a situation where their preferences for outcomes are negatively related.” Lax and Sebenius add that in negotiation, a better outcome through joint action is achieved rather than when each party would act independently. The element of conflict also arises due to varying preferences and priorities of the different parties. Negotiation becomes a way to resolve such conflicts and compromise on a joint decision, usually, the middle ground stand. McGrath claims that negotiation is a mixed-motive process – the negotiating parties cooperate to reach an agreement and at the same time, compete to fulfill their own interests. From these definitions of negotiation, it is apparent that negotiators should possess several skills in order to be successful in getting what they bargain for. At the same time, negotiation entails multiple processes that occur simultaneously within each negotiating party such as decision making, research, critical judgment and effective communication, among others. The cases of Twin Lakes Mining Company and Haborco are special cases that involve the government and private companies. I realized these entities are often in conflict where public welfare is concerned. A great deal of the conflict comes from environmental issues because it concerns everybody. The Twin Lakes Mining Company was placed in a situation where their business, which places great risks to the air and water quality of the town of Tamarack, is obliged to clean up the ongoing mess their company is producing, to the detriment of the townspeople. Faced with the reality of their civic responsibility, the officials of Twin Lakes have no choice but to comply with the mandate of the government, but are at a loss as to how to come up with the money to spend for the clean-up. Thus, they sought negotiations with the Town Council to help them out. The Town Council is aware of the revenue Twin Lakes provides for the town as well as its great role in providing employment to their people. The town council is willing to help out, but is constrained by the government’s ruling of “clean sheets” balances for budgetary allocations. This means that whatever revenue the town gets should just be enough for its expenditures. No deficits are allowed. This puts them in a bind in going all the way in helping the company out in their financial predicament. The three main issues in the negotiating process in the Twin Lakes case are the following: upgrading water quality by building a new water filtration plant, paving roads damaged by Twin Lakes with their business operations and consequently controlling the dust to improve air quality, and finally, the allegedly enormous taxes Twin Lakes need to pay the local