Value Creation: A Coordination Game
Strategy in negotiation is often modeled as an activity involving the interplay of creating and claiming behaviors. Theorists have advanced differing perspectives on what game best describes the consequences of choosing one approach over the other. David Lax and James Sebenius offer the prisoner's dilemma game as a model, whereas Richard Walton and Robert McKersie's analysis is consistent with a version of a classic coordination game — namely, the game of “chicken.” This article revisits these two perspectives and shows that the Walton–McKersie view is applicable to a broad range of contexts. In particular, it demonstrates how what is commonly called the tension between creating value and claiming is better understood as the simple tension between a high-risk and a low-risk choice.