Boundary roles

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review


Boundary role conflict: negotiation as dual responsiveness

The concept of a boundary role was introduced by Walton and McKersie as part of their intraorganizational model of labor-management bargaining. They define the concept in terms of two forces, a pull in the direction of the opponent’s expectations and a pull in the direction of the bargainer’s own party. They refer to these forces as conflicting expectations, which include objectives, priorities, aspirations, and behavior. Their broad treatment of these concepts is grounded in examples from diverse cases mostly involving unions. The boundary role conflict suggests two types of functions in negotiations: monitoring the other side for evidence of movement and monitoring one’s own side for evidence of preferences. These functions differ in terms of focus and information-processing. This chapter addresses these functions in terms of two general models, referred to as the negotiator as bargainer and the negotiator as representative.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationNegotiation, identity, and justice
Subtitle of host publicationpathways to agreement
Place of PublicationLondon ; New York
PublisherRoutledge, Taylor and Francis Group
Number of pages22
ISBN (Electronic)9781003293361
ISBN (Print)9781032275741, 9781032275734
Publication statusPublished - 2023

Publication series

NameRoutledge Studies in Security and Conflict Management

Bibliographical note

Chapter first published as an article in Journal of Conflict Resolution 21 (4) (1977): 639–662.


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