Distributive bargaining and integrative bargaining are two primary types of strategy used in negotiation or conflict resolution. Take note that these two strategies are inherently different from one another in terms of principles, approach or the involved processes, as well as negotiation outcomes
The Difference Between Distributive Bargaining and Integrative Negotiation
Distributive bargaining is a zero-sum game that produces a win-lose outcome. What this means is that it is based on a principle that the gain of one party would result in a loss to the other party. This strategy applies to scenarios that involve fixed or limited amount of resources that cannot be divided equally, or extremely opposing goals and objectives that cannot be synthesized.
On the other hand, integrative negotiation provides a win-win solution to negotiation or conflict resolution. The goal of this strategy is to allow involved parties to achieve their goals and objectives. This applies to scenarios in which the goals and objectives of the parties are not mutually exclusive, thus making room for compromises.
The definitions above also mean that the difference between distributive bargaining and integrative negotiation is the level of complexity of the involved process. The former is less complicated than the latter.
Another difference is applicability and outcome. To reiterate, distributive bargaining applies to scenarios in which it is impossible to reach an outcome that would equalize and satisfy the involved parties. On the other hand, integrative negotiation applies to instances in which it is possible to synthesize the interest of the involved parties.