- The disadvantage is that if the viewpoints of the parties are too distant then progress is difficult to achieve.
- A particular negotiation may have a successful outcome. However, parties may be of unequal power and the weaker party/parties may be placed at a disadvantage.
- Where a party with an interest in the matter in dispute is excluded or inadequately represented in the negotiations, the agreement’s value is diminished, thereby making it subject to future challenge. In the absence of safeguards in the negotiating process, the agreement could be viewed by a participant or others outside the process as being inequitable, even though the substance of the agreement may be beyond reproach.
- A successful negotiation requires each party to have a clear understanding of its negotiating mandate. If uncertainty exists regarding the limits of a party’s negotiating authority and the party will not be able to participate effectively in the bargaining
- The absence of a neutral third party can result in parties being unable to reach agreement as they be may be incapable of defining the issues at stake, let alone making any progress towards a solution.
- The absence of a neutral third party may encourage one party to attempt to take advantage of the other.
- No party can be compelled to continue negotiating. Anyone who chooses to terminate negotiations may do so at any time in the process, notwithstanding the time, effort and money that may have been invested by the other party or parties.
- Some issues or questions are simply not amenable to negotiation. There will be virtually no chance of an agreement where the parties are divided by opposing ideologies or beliefs which leave little or no room for mutual concessions and there is no willingness to make any such concessions.
- The negotiation process cannot guarantee the good faith or trustworthiness of any of the parties.
- Negotiation may be used as a stalling tactic to prevent another party from asserting its rights (e.g., through litigation or arbitration).
- The disadvantage is there are often differences with regard to who the arbitrator will be and as a result it introduces a new set of conflicts. Additionally, the personal bias of the arbitrator may lead to a ruling which is not fair but none the less binding upon all parties.
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