The role of issues in negotiation: framing, linking, and ordering

Daniel Druckman*, Lynn Wagner

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Citations (Scopus)


Three aspects of negotiation issues are framing (types of issues), linking (relationships among the issues), and ordering (procedures for discussing them). In this essay, we review the relevant experimental and case study literatures on each of these aspects and consider interactions among them. Framing includes distinctions among abstract and concrete issues, values and interests, and broad formulas and the details needed to implement them. Linking can be either substantive or tactical, involves adding or subtracting issues, and includes issues imported from other domains or those previously discussed separately within a negotiation. Ordering refers to the distinction between sequential (one issue at a time) and simultaneous (building packages of issues) strategies. These distinctions are choices that may influence the course of negotiation depending on various contingencies within and outside of the negotiation. They are also understood in terms of interactions in a more dynamic conception of negotiating issues. The review concludes with an organizing framework and suggestions for further research in each of the areas covered.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)249-278
Number of pages30
JournalNegotiation Journal
Issue number2
Early online date3 Apr 2021
Publication statusPublished - May 2021


  • integrative bargaining
  • issue framing
  • issue linkage
  • issue order
  • issue size
  • negotiation dynamics


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