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Donald Trump: How Reputations Affect Negotations

Did you know Donald Trump is considering running for President? You did? Darn, I was hoping to surprise you. Well, The Donald is making the lives of Politico editors and cable news producers everywhere easier by providing a continuous stream of ridiculous accusations about President Obama's birth certificate, his education credentials, and his choice of footwear. (To be fair, if the President was wearing socks with his sandals, Trump would have a point.) But if Trump did somehow become president, it seems likely he'd simply adapt his business techniques to the world of international diplomacy. In the business world, the Trumpster, as I like to imagine his friends call him, is known to be a tough negotiator. How does this change the strategies of the people he negotiates with?

In Chapter 10 of the book Wharton on Making Decisions, Steven Glick of the Boston Consulting Group and Rachel Croson of the Wharton School studied 75 Wharton students and their approaches to different types of negotiating partners. Against "tough negotiators" (the Trump demographic), about half of students used "distributive tactics" (extreme demands, threatening to walk away, or asking pointed questions, all more appropriate for "win-lose" negotiations), while only a little over a third used "integrative tactics" (sharing information voluntarily or making unilateral concessions, more appropriate for "win-win" negotiations). In other words, don't expect a major peace agreement from a Trump administration.