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Steven R. Wilson

In: Communication and Negotiation

Chapter 8: Face and Facework in Negotiation

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Face and Facework in Negotiation
Face and facework in negotiation

IMAGE MAY NOT BE everything, but for negotiators it is a major concern. Although they haggle over substantive issues, negotiators also claim desired images and identities during interaction and worry about “losing face” and “saving face.” During the Persian Gulf crisis, these concerns about face may have been partially responsible for Saddam Hussein's unwillingness to withdraw unconditionally from Kuwait, as well as for the Bush administration's repeated insistence that the United States was not “negotiating” with Iraq.1 As this example suggests, parties may choose to forgo negotiations when their identities are called in question. When negotiations get underway, concerns about face influence how the parties structure their opening moves, how they respond to their opponent's tactics, ...

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